It's been incredibly frustrating to watch people I respect and care about cling to Team Clinton's PR line, that the Democrats lost the US Prez election in 2016 because the winner colluded with the government of a rival power, rather than because when faced with a populist far-right candidate (an effective liar), they ran roughshod over a populist centre-left candidate (not a liar), sometimes in violation of their own rules of process, to run a lame duck, centre-right candidate (a bad liar).

Now the Mueller report is out, will they accept reality, or double down? Will the Democrats field a candidate for 2020 who is actually somewhere on the left, not just paying lip service to buy votes (a lot of the current field if you look at their political history further back than 2016)? Or will they lap up the Clintonite dribble claiming that a candidate the left can vote for without feeling like they're swallowing a dead rat, can only be a repeat of McGovern in 1972?

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@strypey The new line is 'You didn't see the full report!', as if somehow seeing the full report should change the conclusion of it.

But there's been other deranged pieces written as well, like:

@MatejLach this is a very convenient line to run, since the full report cannot and will not be released publicly. A Special Counsel has (as the name suggests) has special powers to rifle through the sock drawers of the accused to see if they've stashed any smoking guns there. Publishing the report would be a total violation of the privacy of the accused, and an abuse of the powers of the Special Counsel. I wouldn't shed many tears for Trump, but unlike him, I think principles are important.

@strypey Agreed. I predict them running with the 'there's a smoking gun behind the retractions' till 2020, boosting Trump who can legitimately claim witch hunt.

But to me, the more raveling thing is just how quickly 'the Russians' have become #1 baddies again, (coming from people horrified by Trump's descriptions of Mexicans btw) & also how short sighted people are with regards to prosecuting WikiLeaks - that will be a disaster if it ever happens, for all journalists.

@MatejLach the new rhetoric makes the neocons behind it stand out like dogs balls. It's only focused on Russia and not China because Russians are "white", so it's less obviously xenophobic. I mean, both Russia and China are terrorist empires that imprison and murder people with impunity (remember , remember the new going on in Tibet, and now Xinjian too). But so is the USA (remember the invasions of Aghanistan and Iraq, is still open, etc) :(

@MatejLach any Democrat candidate that doesn't acknowledge the US-led war crimes of the last couple of decades, and points the bone at Russia *or* China as a Weapon of Mass Distraction, is a hypocrite and a liar. Aside from that, the US left needs to be looking very carefully at the voting records of a lot of the newly-minted "leftists" who are aping Bernie's campaign as a cynical PR strategy. Remember Obama? The guy who said "we can!" and signed off on numerous homicides by drone strike?

@MatejLach as for survived the sex abuse allegations against Assange and years in exile. They're remarkably resilient. Besides, they've shown us a proof-of-concept for a new model of journalism, and some of it's failure modes. We ought to be setting up a number of WikiLeaks style operations, ideally using some kind of decentralized platform and trying to pull off the crowdsourcing vision I remember them beginning with, when I was still with .

@strypey @MatejLach In the cold light of history I think Wikileaks only had limited success and that its premises were flawed.

Turning raw data into journalism requires a lot of work and that's not something which can easily be crowdsourced. Also the once charismatic figure of Assange turned into a single point of failure. Nobody can really withstand that amount of scrutiny and sooner or later they'll come unstuck either via external forces or their own hubris.

Also the premise that showing the public The Truth, or some approximation of it, would change the policies of governments didn't turn out to be true. Transparency on its own isn't enough. This idea arises out of a liberal confusion about the role that the mainstream media plays.

If there is to be some future incarnation of Wikileaks I think its leader should be a computer generated animation with a synthetic voice, but not as creepy as Anonymous. Just something which looks and sounds like an unremarkable news reader. Like the Ned Ludd tactic you can't arrest a computer animation.





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