Free Speech, or is it?

There is an object lesson in the offing this past week and it looks like there is a new price on Free Speech.  Enter the hero / villain depending on how much diplomatic traffic you create or created, and how high up you are in the ambassadorial food chain.  The bloke that opened Pandora’s Box…

There are a couple of points to remember.

  • If you write something on paper or in an email or in a message someone will eventually read it and the more damning it is the more likely it will be read by the wrong people and completely misinterpreted.
  • If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, especially behind their backs, don’t say anything at all and for God’s sake, don’t write it down!

The secret nature of these messages and posts seem to have less to do with the content and much more with the personage involved.  There is some really damning stuff here.  There was a secret message about the young Muslims in Saudi Arabia and secret parties full of alcohol and drugs, and women not in bee-keepers suits.  Oh Allah, say it’s not so…

Then there were the messages that I think were misconstrued regarding the importation of booze into another Muslim country being OK as long as it was good booze.  IT’S A JOKE!!!

There seems to be a Karmic or Zen process at work here.  When you slam someone behind their back it comes back to haunt you… Don’t spit into the wind… kind of thing. 

Then there is this poor bloke being hunted and captured under suspicion of sexual misconduct in Sweden…  Something is rotten in the state of Sweden…  I’ve seen some TV commercials from this forward thinking country.  Although I am not offended and more then entertained, there is not too much left to the imagination, and there are two women claiming sexual misconduct?  I can only imagine what constitutes sexual misconduct given the content of the TV ads.  I just find it interesting that these two young women came forward several months after the alleged encounters and only after his pseudo- notoriety from his release of documents that embarrassed the entire world.  Hmmmm….

Even our US Attorney General is digging deeply to find something to hang this poor bloke on.  This bloke has embarrassed America and should be made to pay.  I’m sorry, but we have embarrassed ourselves, all he did was expose those with the big mouths.  When was the last time we needed help make complete international fools of our selves?  Believe me; we don’t need any help at all as some of the posts prove so adequately.

Now he sits in an 11th Century Victorian Prison, without bail (he’s a flight risk you know) waiting for the wheels of British Justice to grind slowly through the minutia to decide his culpability and whether to export (extradite) this poor bloke to Sweden.  He pays the price for his Free Speech.  Then it’s off to Sweden where he will again enjoy the indignities of foreign judicial system being held without bail in 15th Century prison.  This is the next recurring payment for Free Speech.  None of the other European countries have weighted in yet, but you can be sure that someone out there will exact their pound of flesh.

This little tour de farce through the international justice system will no doubt allow just enough time for the good old USA to have their case ready for his extradition to US soil where he will be our guest in an 18th century prison (san bail) waiting for the case to mature and be brought to trial.  This constitutes the next installment payment toward the cost of Free Speech.

Let’s face facts…  Free Speech is not now nor ever been free.  We have a choice to speak our minds and await the consequences or keep silent and watch the show as some other poor bloke pays the price.  We have the privilege to sit ring-side while the greatest show on earth unfolds before us; taking sides and placing our bets on the winning side all the while remaining non-committal and as someone else pays the price for Free Speech.

What harm has this poor bloke done?  Has he brought a screeching halt to international diplomacy?  Has he single handedly brought a halt to the SALT treaty or the Middle East Peace talks?  Has he stopped START?  No… He brought to our attention that all the huffing and puffing and posturing and ranting and shoe-banging and name calling and hiding behind Allah is just that…  All show and no go… 

All he did was bring it to the world’s attention “That the Emperor has no cloths…”