WikiLeaks • 8 December 2010 • The SnowBlog
So then. What about all this WikiLeaks stuff? As a news story it's got everything I want. And ideologically, I have to say that it feels like poetic justice for all the lies we've had to swallow about wars and what-have-you over the last ten years. Lies give you an edge when they're undetected but backfire when they're exposed. There's been so much lying that it's inevitable the truth will make a lot of people look bad but I think that's their fault and not Julian Assange's.
I feel like the US and UK governments now consider it their right to lie to us and won't stand for any interference. I have a tiny smidgeon of sympathy for the idea that you can't broker a deal if you can't explore unpopular options and change your mind occasionally (as Clay Shirky notes) - and all of that is tricky if there's no privacy. But don't these leaks show that misrepresenting the situation has not been a stepping stone on the way to an acceptable truth; it's been a way of life.
The WikiLeaks sites have been attacked repeatedly and someone has persuaded hosting sites, DNS providers, PayPal, etc; to drop them. Swiss banks, notorious for keeping dodgy money secret, want nothing to do with Assange's cash. And Sweden asked Interpol to help them track Assange down over a rape allegation which, I'm quite certain, would not normally trigger an international man-hunt. (I'm assuming he didn't do it, but I'll revise my opinions of course if evidence emerges that the charge is solid.)
What I'm wondering is, is it just me who's pleased with what WikiLeaks has done, believes it's in the public interest and thinks it's horrible to go after the whistleblower and not the war criminals, madmen and buffoons he exposes? Or am I missing the public mood, here, which sees WikiLeaks as treasonous and criminal?
[cartoon from Macleod]