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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The WikiLeaks Broo-haha

My friend Jerome and I have long conversations where we put the world to rights.  We even formed our own Anti-Apathy Party many years ago but once we got three members, we couldn't be bothered recruiting anymore. I emailed him  recently to find out his thoughts about the Wikileaks crackdown.  His response was:

Wikileaks is merely a link in the chain of information distribution.  The immediate problem is that the dominant paradigm (including national governments, media organisations, corporations etc) have not co-opted that link.  It is easy enough to control in the long run.  On the input end, a deluge of low quality, low impact info and on the output end, the media that are controlled by vested interests can simply release the stuff that won't harm them (ie stuff we already know - the Saudi's hate the Iranians and don't want them having nukes; UK and Oz went into Afghanistan to make the USA happy; Russia is a kleptocracy.  Or tabloid drivel  - Berlusconi is vain, Sarkozy loves the USA)


The thing which really is a danger to them is the size of the internet and the effort required to control the flow of information outside of the existing system.  It would exhaust them to do it properly, much like any police state is exhausted by monitoring its own citizens.  I think as a result, Wikileaks will always be effective in exposing the emperors new clothes, until the 'diplomats' become more sophisticated in the 'art  of diplomacy'. At the moment, theefforts by the worlds governments have been pretty clumsy in response to this.  There have been open calls ofr assasination or rendition from some US pollies.  Putin has suggested Assange be shot and Joolia [Oz prime minister] has called Wikileaks illegal.  Wikileaks does nothing different to any other journalistic body. They receive info, they publish it on the internet.  I personally think they are a whole lot more ethical than most journalists, but I do need to look more at the site itself.

Noam Chomsky. Possibly "Jeromes" dad in another life?



The charges of rape are interesting in themselves for a variety of reasons.  The things that grab me are the timing of the charges, the efforts that international justice organisations are putting into following up minor non-consensual sex charges and also the way the alleged victims are being portrayed in the media and by many Wikileaks supporters as conspirators.  Admittedly, they are allegations and should be treated as such, but I don't remember this much effort being put into the pursuit of Pinochet, Idi Amin, Pol Pot or even Nazi war criminals.  Sex without a condom is more heinous that genocide! (tell that to the Pope)


It is also worrying that the Polanski effect is generating with people arguing that Assange's freedom is more important that having jutsice done.  I suppose the obvious problem is that the Americans have made it clear that once Sweden has Assange, they won't wait for justice, even though it is unconstitutional for them to charge him.  They don't have that amount of power.  He was outside the USA when Wikileaks did its thing and he is not a US citizen.  Therein lies another issue.  The Oz govt is failing to offer any form of protection to him, if anything trying to assist the US.  No surprise really. David Hicks redux.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Which is why I didn't.  Thanks Jerome "Chomsky" France.

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