Ecuador may criminalize the publication of classified government documents


#1

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#2

Once again, a piece on Ecuador filled with anonymous sources and innuendo, about a request for a bill that hasn't even been written yet. The "opposition" in Ecuador mainly consists of the former governing plutocracy and its representatives who dominate the media. This piece is a hit piece, plain and simple. This quote says much:

We don’t know what’s going to happen, but the president has a grip on the congress so it’s likely going to become law,” said one activist who wished to remain anonymous.

So we have to take the word of an anonymous "activist" claiming the president has a "grip" on congress as if he is a third world dictator instead of an elected president who actually represents the will of the masses of the poor who elected him.

Here is an open letter to the media on its biased and distorted coverage of socialist southern nations from a large and impressive list of professors and journalists:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/07/an-open-letter-to-the-media-snowden-and-latin-america.html

And here is Bill Black on Ecuador:

Ecuador poses existential threats to Heritage’s index and ideology. First, President Correa is a top economist whose policies are based on the view that Heritage’s proposed policies are self-destructive, immoral, and economically illiterate. Correa’s policies are working brilliantly and are exceptionally popular in Ecuador. Better education, health, and infrastructure are essential to spur economic growth, but they are also steps that dramatically reduce human misery and powerlessness and expand freedom. Polls showed Correa had the highest approval rating of any head of state in the Americas.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/06/bill-black-how-ecuador-won-by-defying-neoliberal-washington-consensus-playbook.html

I'm not sure why we keep seeing the same tone coming from BoingBoing on these issues, surely its time to reach beyond the mainstream media and its trojan horses like Buzzfeed for information on Central and South America. FYI, Buzzfeed's editor in chief is Ben Smith of Politico, another wonderfully dubious source of slanted and outright lying coverage of Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua.


#3

I'm not sure how Ecuador's system works, but in parliamentary systems (UK, Canada, Australia), a Prime Minister with a majority government who doesn't have a grip on Parliament has really screwed up.


#4

"The South American country has been in the news recently for providing shelter to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at its embassy in London, and for offering a travel document to NSA leaker Edward Snowden."

This is very confusing. Did the same president who wants to make publishing classified documents illegal also responsible for the actions in the above paragraph?


#5

That's the million-dollar question. The book on Correa for a long time was that he was a kinder and gentler socialist than Hugo Chavez, with similar economic views but a greater appreciation for civil liberties and freedom of the press. Of course, all we know now is that the head of Ecuador's intelligence agency asked for this law. We don't know whether Correa is on board with this or if the intelligence director went rogue. Not being intimately familiar with the Correa administration, I don't know about the internal dynamics there.


#6

I'd just assume ALL heads of intelligence services everywhere ask for batshit stuff like this all the time. Hopefully Correa's job is to say, 'Are you fucking kidding me? No, of course not. Now get the hell out of here'.


#7

I think most BB readers would dismiss the Heritage Foundations views on a lot of the world. Human Rights Watch, not so much, though you may feel it's biased. It's not impossible that Correa won't abuse the powers requested, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.


#8

If he doesn't abuse these powers, his successor will, or someone lower in the hierarchy will abuse them and not be held accountable (because they were acting within the law) while their superiors aren't to blame either (because they can plausibly deny knowing about it).

This ALWAYS happens, without exception. If a law can be abused, it surely will be.


#9

If that's true then why write it? Also, Ecuador doesn't have a parliamentary system. And I would argue that its a facile argument anyway, because there are opposition parties in parliaments. I wouldn't describe Cameron as having a grip on the UK parliament, though I might describe Putin's control that way.

It clearly written to paint Correa as some sort of many-tentacled despot.


#10

Here is an interesting portion of the letter to the press I linked in my original comment:

Even José Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch – a fierce critic of Venezuela – has said that "lack of renewal of the contract[broadcast license in Ecuador], per se, is not a free speech issue." Also rarely mentioned in U.S. reporting on the RCTV case is that the channel and its owner actively and openly supported the short-
lived coup d’etat against the democratically-elected government in 2002.

I think that ANY US-based organization can be corrupted or biased on certain issues. Human Rights Watch may be great on certain topics and certain regions, while not being so great on others. And many may receive favors, donations or access for favored causes by performing hit jobs on specific targets. I'm not saying HRW is doing this, but really, why is HRW a "fierce" critic of Venezuela while giving the US a pass for its mass surveillance?

The southern socialist experiments are very sensitive and fragile -- the US, over the past hundred years or so, has systematically robbed these people of their right to self-determination under the guise of "dollar diplomacy" and making these nations "safe" for United Fruit and other American conglomerates to basically own these nations by installing a tiny, corrupt oligarchy at the top and training and equipping the oligarch's armies to violently suppress the democratic/socialist aspirations of the people. If you haven't read the history of the "School of the Americas" then you can't know what goes on in Central and South America, to this day. So nations like Ecuador are basically under non-stop attack, both via threats of direct military coup as well as constant propaganda assault both from inside and outside the countries. This includes Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and now also Argentina (because they defaulted on the western loans that were given to prior, corrupt military governments). When you watch this space you have to read EVERYTHING coming from the US media, including NGO's like HRW, with wary skepticism.

I'm not trying to claim these nations are perfect specimens of social democracy, but who the hell is? Oh, and this law that the intelligence service wants passed in Ecuador -- the UK already has such a law, so why isn't Buzzfeed reporting on that?


#11

Of course it's written that way. Ecuador is the enemy now. Everything they do is to be interpreted in the worst light possible.


#12

President Correa of Ecuador did not propose the legislation that is the subject of the Buzzfeed piece. And yes, Ecuador has been giving asylum in its London embassy to Julian Assange.


#13

HRW didn't give the US a pass on surveillance, they met with Snowden and have been supportive of whistleblowers, and condemned the NSA program:


USSR, Communist China and Reign of Terror era France also used the "sensivitive/fragile new superior form of government opposed by enemies" excuse to carry out severe repression, several orders of magnitude worse than anything that I'm aware of in Ecuador. Not comparing the regimes, just saying it's "sensitive and fragile" is not a legit excuse.

" think that ANY human organization can be corrupted or biased on certain issues."

Fixed that for you.


#14

Thanks for the info!


#15

Parliamentary systems usually have greater party discipline than presidential-congressional systems. Of course, Cameron has less of an iron grip than the typical British PM these days because his party is in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. If the LibDems get pissed off and leave the coalition, they could force a whole new elections (since I'm assuming Labor has no interest in forming a coalition with the Conservatives).


#16