Thursday, December 9, 2010

Julian and the Wiki-Nauts

OK. there is no Golden Fleece in this story but you have to admit that it is as entertaining and the first battles are thankfully being waged in cyberspace. There is no need to summarise what has been happening with “Cable-gate”, because it would be outdated before I complete the paragraph. But, I have some opinions on this saga and unlike people in the US who are being advised that commenting on this issue in social media would not be in the best interests of their career, I have the freedom to express them.

When I first heard that the Police were looking for Julian Assange on sex related charges, I was not surprised. Were you? You have to agree that the guy always seemed a bit weird although I thought the service being provided to the global community by Wiki-leaks was admirable. It is only when insiders are allowed to become whistle-blowers that there can be any meaningful change as history has illustrated most recently with the smoking industry. As far as I am aware, Wikileaks don't fabricate stories or provide an opinion on circumstantial evidence. They merely expose the hidden by providing proof, and sometimes that information is useful i.e. the recent leak of US Army documents confirming the number of civilian deaths in Iraq. People against the occupation of Iraq were often accused of exaggerating civilian casualty numbers but now they can use the numbers tallied by the US Army themselves. But the nature of these sex charges!

His accusers (both of them) have essentially said that consensual sexual encounters have became non-consensual when condoms were no longer in use. If that confuses you, let me attempt to explain further. It is alleged that Mr Assange had unprotected sex with one of the women, while she was sleeping! Why the other lady was upset by this act, is unclear but I am going to stop here and let Glenn Beck of Fox News, with the aid of a chalkboard and barbie pictures try and explain the events of Mr Assange's one night stand. He does it so much better!

The decision by Amazon to stop hosting Wikileaks was a brave move for the retailer, especially considering that it is Christmas time and that they have a completely online business model which may now be the target of hackers sympathetic to the Wikileaks cause. The move by PayPal and Mastercard to stop the transfer of funds to the organisation however, was a bit excessive. Wikileaks is not a terrorist organistaion and their was no legal reason why one should not be allowed to contribute to it. Since the hackers and I share a common viewpoint on this, I assume my blog is safe for now.

However this situation plays out, I am fascinated with the emergence of Superpower - ed individuals in the global landscape. The media etc. still refuse to acknowledge China as a superpower so I suspect that in the absence of another superpower, America is forced to wage war on these Superpower-ed individuals. And these individuals and their supporters are compelled to fight back. Regardless, it makes for interesting reading. I am going to conclude in support of a statement issued by a Pakistani judge on Friday when he was asked to rule on whether Wikileaks should be banned. He said,

We must bear the truth, no matter how harmful it is.”

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