Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wicked Leaks

Any one with even a passing interest in the Julian Assange/WikiLeaks drama as it plays out should read Giovanni Tiso's take on it and, particularly, a brilliant article he links to which examines two essays written by Assange in 2006:

There's little to say about Julian Assange's arrest today sexual assault charges. It'd be naive to assume these are trumped charges, despite their convenience to the authoritarian regimes who'd like to eradicate WikiLeaks from the planet and resume business as usual with regards to state secrecy. Assange, like anyone, is fully capable of doing what he has been accused of and all one can really hope for in this instance is a fair and unbiased trial where justice is ultimately served, be he guilty or not.

The question then is not whether the UK is right in cooperating with extradition, but whether the UK would have extradited just anybody on rape allegations? What about Roman Polanski? Would they arrest and extradite others, such as Henry Kissinger, wanted for War Crimes in several countries?

One could never uneqivocally proclaim that the charges filed against Assange, the Manchurian Candidate, have political timing, but come on, could it be any more bleeding obvious? The U.S. and the other world powers being scrutinized by the leaks know the rape charges have exactly zero to do with WikiLeaks the organization. Furthermore, so does the media. But both institutions also know that the public's faith in ad hominem arguments guarantees that all it takes to discredit an ideology (here, Wikileaks) is to deface the public persona of said ideas.

With Assange out of the picture, Visa and Mastercard acted quickly to cut off the site's source of revenue, online donations, establishing that the old order is still in charge. It may just be a matter of weeks before the site is cut off completely, having spent the last week or so swapping servers until being discovered. These governments are quite naive though if they think this is the end of information leaks. It's only a matter of time before something else replaces it. They've got a million different mirrors and a million different names for it. You can't shut up everyone.

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