Thoughts on Wikileaks
It comes from an article by Christian Caryl in The New York Review of Books January 13:
“…it seems to boil down to a policy of disclosure for disclosure’s sake. This is what the technology allows, and Assange has merely followed its lead. I don’t see coherently articulated morality, or immorality, at work here at all ; what I see is an amoral technocratic void.”
The story of Wikileaks, the author argues, has little in common with that of the Pentagon papers of the 1970s. Daniel Ellsberg did not breach secrecy for its own sake. He was acutely conscious of the risks of disclosure and did not circulate documents betraying live diplomatic efforts to end the fighting. The Wikileaks dumped on the Web allow endless mischief. They can be data-mined and pattern-mined by the Chinese and private companies. Amoral – nothing in common with Ellsberg’s intervention aimed at exposing US lies about Vietnam and ending the killing.
But my sympathies for Assange rise as I hear about this “trial”. How did Swedes come to define rape as including consensual sex ? To construct a trial behind closed doors? With several public servants sitting on the bench? The prosecutor cosy with the plaintiff?
What a way to turn Assange into a martyr.
And, as it happens, all under the European Charter of Rights and Freedoms which Michael Kirby, David Marr, Susan Ryan and others say has to be duplicated here if we are ever to taste true freedom. I’d advise sticking to the Australian court system and living without the joys of charter law.