Collateral Murder: Death, Leaks, and Governmentality (Full Video)
In case you’re not one of the 8 million viewers of the above video, allow me to explain. The footage, known online as Collateral Murder is content that was released as part of WikiLeaks. The subtitles of the above video explain what’s going on here pretty well – a group of people, two of which were journalists working for Reuters as well as two children and medical personnel responding to the scene, were gunned down by U.S. military helicopters as their cameras were “mistaken” for AK-47′s. Because when was the last time you saw a DSLR with a banana clip? Or a Canon that doubled as a cannon?
As a writer myself who contributes news bits to the music industry, and who grew up in the D.C. area well aware of how the government likes to target journalists since their word is quite powerful, the above video is just extremely bothersome. I mean, it should bother anyone who isn’t even a writer as it depicts the loss of innocent lives.
The video sparks discussion on its own, but I was even more compelled to watch it today thanks to Julian Assange turning himself in, and thus starting another chapter in the WikiLeaks saga.
And then a good friend of mine just so happened to forward me this very valuable link, which ties in the WikiLeaks scandal with something much more close to UntitledType’s home — the government seizure of Hip Hop blog domains. It’s worth a read, and explores the concepts of “governmentality,” and how the concept of “leaks” can be viewed as a parallel to how Marxist writings viewed labor.
The calling of WikiLeaks and Assange as “terrorists” by Peter King and Joe Lieberman are moral claims directed not at WikiLeaks or Assange but at us, much like the ICE seizures of OnSmash and dajaz1. They are rather pathetic attempts to have us view WikiLeaks as unacceptable morally, and thus not navigate to it on our browsers. They exemplify the key characteristic of what Foucault calls “governmentality.” The prohibition and/or encouragement of particular practices is always justified in terms of the population’s security. In this case, censorship for your own good.