WikiLeaks for the rest of us
When someone's bold enough to speak the truth and nothing but the truth - what should be done? Hunt down Julian Assange like Osama Bin-Laden, says Sarah Palin, the self-declared queen of the free world. Let's freeze his group's bank account, says the Swiss Banks, Mastercard and PayPal.com. We'll shut down their website, says Amazon.com. Give us a warrant and we'll do the rest says the British and Australian governments.
There are clear indications that he is being victimized on ridiculous charges of having unprotected, consensual sex on. As John Naughton says, in his piece in The Guardian
What WikiLeaks is really exposing is the extent to which the western democratic system has been hollowed out. In the last decade its political elites have been shown to be incompetent (Ireland, the US and UK in not regulating banks); corrupt (all governments in relation to the arms trade); or recklessly militaristic (the US and UK in Iraq). And yet nowhere have they been called to account in any effective way. Instead they have obfuscated, lied or blustered their way through. And when, finally, the veil of secrecy is lifted, their reflex reaction is to kill the messenger.
When information leaks out of institutions of power, out into the commons, real democracy prospers. It's only natural that those in power cannot handle that. Turns out that a leaked condom is a perfect weapon in their hands to suppress free speech as anything else.
[UPDATE: Dec 8, 1140 hrs IST]
This is a fast moving story. Nothing beats this challenge from Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com to "get through this State Department Press Release without repeatedly cackling aloud". Even that can't possibly prepare you for what comes next. PTI is reporting that Shashi Tharoor has denounced WikiLeaks as "unethical, wrong and anti-peace". Yes, that's right. Anti-Peace. What a fine United Nations Secretary General he would've made!