05 December, 2010

Wikileaks 2 – or Give ’em Enough Rope

As previously mentioned, I am neither for nor against Wikileaks. I think the organisation has the potential to do both good and harm. However, the gratuitously messianic tone of this latest tweet implies that they might be a bit more interested in their own notoriety than the potential good or harm of what they do.

One of the whole points of Wikileaks is to remind us that power corrupts – however, they might be doing so by example as well as in what they publish. There’s no denying Wikileaks has become very powerful this year.

One of the more shocking revelations to come out of the Wikileaks saga has nothing to do with anything the site has published. Instead, it’s come from the reaction and calls for the assassination or execution of Julian Assange by many in the US media. (And I thought Bill O’Reilly was supposed to be against the death penalty.) If that’s the case, why hasn’t anyone arrested Geraldo Rivera and Fox News for revealing troop positions in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq? Whether Assange is a crusader for freedom of information or a very naughty boy is an open question but the idea of killing anyone who embarrasses the government is something we expect from countries that the US usually lobbies (or more) against.

Perhaps the most telling revelations will come not from what Wikileaks publishes, but from the reactions to them.  Perhaps its value lies not in revealing governments’ true colours, but by provoking the the powerful into revealing them themselves.  The most disturbing discovery from Wikileaks so far, is the chorus of “Kill, kill, kill!” from those who would usually claim to defend freedom.

1 comment:

  1. What did Shakespeare say about shooting the messenger? And that was 400 years ago.