Leaks

D and I have been reading about Wikileaks for most of the evening, and to put it in his words, “this thing is going to make history”. Actually it IS making history, I would say. Now, my knowledge of politics and international affairs is infinitesimal, but in a democracy, and not just any democracy, but the one “for the people, by the people”, shouldn’t its members be aware of the politics the government is leading? After all, the government represents and should act for the benefit of the citizens…

So, I was appalled when I read this on Wikipedia:

An editorial in the Washington Times by Jeffrey T. Kuhner said Assange should be treated "the same way as other high-value terrorist targets" and be assassinated. Former Nixon aide and talk radio host G. Gordon Liddy has reportedly suggested that Assange’s name be added to the "kill list" of terrorists who can be assassinated without a trial. U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has called Assange "a high-tech terrorist".  

At the moment Assange is being held in custody in the UK, but if he is handed over to the US, well, all those politicians asking for his execution, that can’t be good, right? This whole situation reminds me a little bit of the Spanish Inquisition, with the censorship and the demand to execute people that step on high-placed toes in the hope that this will solve all problems…

Comments (4)

  • See, here’s where I disagree, pookie. Slightly. I mean, is the US Govnt’s reaction completely out of proportion? Yes. Are they using double standards? Yes. For one, where’s Dick Cheney’s indictment for leaking Valerie Plame’s identity? And how about the guy who leaked Prince Harry’s platoon’s location in Afghanistan? Their reclessness put people’s lives in clear and immediate danger and yet no action was taken against them. That being said, there are some things that govnts should be able to keep secret for obvious reasons. Preemptive attacks and proportional response strategies come to mind.
    The latest batch of leaks indeed highlight the level of corruption and dissension within that particular govnt, but anyone who’s followed the administration’s run cannot be surprised by it. The most promising American President in a while is being held down by his own nosepicking party. But I digress. I don’t think there are many people out there, regular people like you and me, who’ve actually read through all the hundred upon thousands of pages and can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is nothing there that could endanger people’s lives more than they previously were. I’m willing to bet on the contrary. There is a difference between transparency and confidentiality.
    Last but not least, the only thing I find amusing about this clusterfuck is that the people they’re outing, aka the CIA are the same people who would have poisoned him, shot him in the head and propped his arse at the steering wheel of a flaming car doing 100 mph on the edge of a cliff back in the good old days. So I’m going to go with: See, that’s progress, right there!

    Reply
  • This huge scandal only reminds me of the fact that movies like zeitgeist are pretty true. we, the ordinary people, are just puppets, and the powerful ones, leading and conducting this world are the puppeteers.

    Reply
  • Alex, have you seen The Wire? I’ve just made it past season 3 of the show, and I have to say that the show has—maybe not changed my life—but certainly changed the way I see institutions and politics. The show is mostly about institutions, and how for the individuals within these institutions, change is possible, but for the institutions themselves, change is never effected, nor desired. Change is possible on an individual level, but never on an institutional level.

    When I first saw the show, I saw parallels to what I was experiencing in academia. And then I realised that everybody experiences the sort of things depicted on The Wire.

    It’s not just me, and it’s not just my career. It’s a bitter, bitter reality.

    Reply
  • Alex, have you seen The Wire? I’ve just made it past season 3 of the show, and I have to say that the show has—maybe not changed my life—but certainly changed the way I see institutions and politics. The show is mostly about institutions, and how for the individuals within these institutions, change is possible, but for the institutions themselves, change is never effected, nor desired. Change is possible on an individual level, but never on an institutional level.

    When I first saw the show, I saw parallels to what I was experiencing in academia. And then I realised that everybody experiences the sort of things depicted on The Wire.

    It’s not just me, and it’s not just my career. It’s a bitter, bitter reality.

    Reply

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