Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Julian Assange, defending our democracies (despite their owners' wishes)

Julian Assange, defending our democracies (despite their owners' wishes) - Charlie's Diary:

Julian Assange. Image via CNN.

Wikileaks is not attacking the US government; rather, it's acting to degrade the ability of pressure groups to manipulate the US government to their own ends. Those who benefit the most from their ability to manipulate the State Department are the most angry about this: autocratic middle eastern leaders, authoritarian right-wing politicians, royalty, corporate cartels. Those of us who are scratching our heads and going 'huh?' about the significance of Muammar Ghadaffi's botox habit are missing the point: it's not about the content, but about the implication that the powerful can no longer count on their ability to lie to the public without being called on it.
If Charlie's not careful, Sarah Palin, Bill O'Reilly, the Clintons, et al.will extend their fatwa to him.

A buddy of mine on f-book made an interesting point last night that I didn't have time to chew over as we were preparing out emergency (and thankfully not needed) tornado shelter ... diplomacy has always depended on secrecy and there is a substantive difference between leaking diplomatic as opposed to military or commercial secrets. My friend's concern, if I recall and understood correctly, was that this might drive diplomatic secrecy in exactly the wrong direction from the perspective of those advocating transparency and accountability.  Where secrecy with regard to say nuclear reactor development may be more of a hindrance than a help (see the Chomsky link in my post from last night), secrecy plays a different role in diplomacy, making it possible for diplomacy to proceed. Food for thought. 

Via Gerry Canavan.
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