12.01.2010

the age of involuntary transparency: forbes interview with wikileaks founder julian assange

Forbes Magazine has a lengthy interview with WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange.
Admire him or revile him, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is the prophet of a coming age of involuntary transparency, the leader of an organization devoted to divulging the world’s secrets using technology unimagined a generation ago. Over the last year his information insurgency has dumped 76,000 secret Afghan war documents and another trove of 392,000 files from the Iraq war into the public domain–the largest classified military security breaches in history. Sunday, WikiLeaks made the first of 250,000 classified U.S. State Department cables public, offering an unprecedented view of how America’s top diplomats view enemies and friends alike.

But, as Assange explained to me earlier this month, the Pentagon and State Department leaks are just the start.

Read it here.

7 comments:

L-girl said...

Tom Flanagan - one of Stephen Harper's senior advisors - called for Assange to be assassinated. But now he regrets saying so.

Tom Flanagan: closet Vietnam draft dodger.

redsock said...

Sarah Palin has also implied Assange should be murdered, asking why the US does not go after him "with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders"?

Several US politicians are also calling for Wikileaks to be labelled as a terrorist organization, including Rick Santorum and Peter King.

These morans are also demanding that Assange be charged with treason and sedition.

(He is not a U.S. citizen.)

***

Wikileaks reportedly faced an intense distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Tuesday, but is functioning again after migrating its services to Amazon's cloud. This is a different attack that the one it was hit with two days earlier, on Sunday, when it posted the first of 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables.

What a coincidence!

L-girl said...

Yes, Flanagan was just the first Canadian to join the bandwagon.

These morans are also demanding that Assange be charged with treason and sedition.

(He is not a U.S. citizen.)


They just don't get it, do they?

* * * *

There's a shit ton of stuff online about the DDOS attacks. People are following the WikiLeaks story in a state of near-hysteria, or glee.

Supposedly lots of Cdn stuff tomorrow.

redsock said...

Glenn Greenwald, The Moral Standards of Wikileaks Critics:

Time's Joe Klein writes this about the WikiLeaks disclosures: "I am tremendously concernced [sic] about the puerile eruptions of Julian Assange. ...If a single foreign national is rounded up and put in jail because of a leaked cable, this entire, anarchic exercise in "freedom" stands as a human disaster. Assange is a criminal. He's the one who should be in jail."

Do you have that principle down? If "a single foreign national is rounded up and put in jail" because of the WikiLeaks disclosure -- even a "single one" -- then the entire WikiLeaks enterprise is proven to be a "disaster" and "Assange is a criminal" who "should be in jail." That's quite a rigorous moral standard. So let's apply it elsewhere:

What about the most destructive "anarchic exercise in 'freedom'" the planet has known for at least a generation: the "human disaster" known as the attack on Iraq, which Klein supported? That didn't result in the imprisonment of "a single foreign national," but rather the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent human beings, the displacement of millions more, and the destruction of a country of 26 million people. Are those who supported that "anarchic exercise in 'freedom'" -- or at least those responsible for its execution -- also "criminals who should be in jail"?

How about the multiple journalists and other human beings whom the U.S. Government imprisoned (and continues to imprison) for years without charges -- and tortured -- including many whom the Government knew were completely innocent, while Klein assured the world that wasn't happening? How about those responsible for the war in Afghanistan (which Klein supports) with its checkpoint shootings of an "amazing number" of innocent Afghans and civilian slaughtering air strikes, or the use of cluster bombs in Yemen, or the civilian killing drones in Pakistan? Are those responsible for the sky-high corpses of innocent people from these actions also "criminals who should be in jail"?

I'm not singling out Klein here; his commentary is merely illustrative of what I'm finding truly stunning about the increasingly bloodthirsty two-minute hate session aimed at Julian Assange, also known as the new Osama bin Laden. The ringleaders of this hate ritual are advocates of -- and in some cases directly responsible for -- the world's deadliest and most lawless actions of the last decade. And they're demanding Assange's imprisonment, or his blood, in service of a Government that has perpetrated all of these abuses and, more so, to preserve a Wall of Secrecy which has enabled them.

***

more much at salon; greenwald includes a ton of links, which i have omitted here

L-girl said...

Thanks. I will post the GG link on FB.

tim said...

Looking forward to reading the article and learning more about this wikileaks. I know very little about it, but from what I do know and from the comments in here about Flanagan and Palin (as well as the others calling for it to be a terrorist org) my initial response is: Tyranny.

In a completely theoretical sense (and clearly not reality but whatever):

Government exists "for the people"
They "work for us" because "we" elected them to "represent" us

Should they not be entirely transparent and obligated to share this information with the public as it comes out? Of course, but we the sheeple are completely content to live life and let this shit go down to the point where people are outraged that this information is coming out so late after the fact!

Calling a dude a fucking terrorist for publishing documents that should have been public in the first place sounds pretty terroristic to me.

redsock said...

Sarah Palin has also implied Assange should be murdered, asking why the US does not go after him "with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders"?

One Salon commenter:

"in other words, let him go"