2010-12-06 Cablegate: Journalists in defence of WikiLeaks, part 8

(If you missed the previous installments in this series, please click here.)

New Zealand Herald: Editorial: Red alert over WikiLeaks unnecessary

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has suggested the disclosure "puts people's lives in danger, threatens our national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems". Such language does not bode well for a cogent and calculated response. In fact, the intelligence information released so far contains nothing to substantiate Mrs Clinton's claims.[...]

Obviously, Washington is embarrassed. But, so far, that is all. There has, contrary to the Secretary of State's view, been no irresponsible naming and endangering of individual lives or national security.

Much of the credit for this must go to WikiLeaks' decision, as with military documents released this year, to rely on three major newspapers - the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel - for a reasoned analysis of the cables. This has been no anarchic exercise, based on a naive view that it is right and proper for all information to be in the public domain.[...]

The cork is out of the bottle. If WikiLeaks is silenced, others will pick up its ideas."
Read more

Paul Craig Roberts, CounterPunch: What the Wiki-Saga Teaches Us

"The reaction to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange tells us all we need to know about the total corruption of our “modern” world, which in fact is a throwback to the Dark Ages.

Some member of the United States government released to WikiLeaks the documents that are now controversial. The documents are controversial, because they are official US documents and show all too clearly that the US government is a duplicitous entity whose raison d’etre is to control every other government.

The media, not merely in the US but also throughout the English speaking world and Europe, has shown its hostility to WikiLeaks. The reason is obvious. WikiLeaks reveals truth, while the media covers up for the US government and its puppet states."
Read more

Guy Rundle, Crikey: Bob Brown supports WikiLeaks, is Phillip Adams in the frame?

"Greens leader Bob Brown has spoken out in support of WikiLeaks, following its Cablegate document release to major media that began last week. While urging the global whistleblowing website to be "diligent" in ensuring that its released documents do not put lives at risk, Brown told Crikey that "the documents have caused increased scrutiny on often controversial aspects of US foreign policy. Such scrutiny is a good thing."

Brown's statement comes as the Gillard Labor government, which remains in power with the support of Green MHR Adam Bandt, continues to explore ways in which it can prosecute Julian Assange. Attorney-General Robert McClelland stated yesterday that "... the Australian Federal Police are looking at whether any Australian laws have been breached," a repeat of earlier statements. However, he is yet to specify any crimes with which Assange might be charged.

McClelland has also raised the possibility of cancelling Assange's Australian passport, though again no grounds on which this might occur have been raised.[...] The move is reminiscent of actions by the Menzies government at the height of the Cold War, when passport cancellation or refusal to issue was one of several techniques of political censorship and repression."
Read more

Jeff Jarvis, The Huffington Post: Transparency: The New Source of Power

"Government should be transparent by default, secret by necessity. Of course, it is not. Too much of government is secret. Why? Because those who hold secrets hold power.

Now WikiLeaks has punctured that power. Whether or not it ever reveals another document -- and we can be certain that it will -- Wikileaks has made us all aware that no secret is safe. If something is known by one person, it can be known by the world.

But that has always been the case. The internet did not kill secrecy. It only makes copying and spreading information easier and faster. It weakens secrecy. Or as a friend of mine says, the internet democratizes leaking. It used to be, only the powerful could hold and uncover knowledge. Now many can.[...]

Now, in WikiLeaks, we see a new concern: that secrecy dies. It does not; secrecy lives. But it is wounded. And it should be. Let us use this episode to examine as citizens just how secret and how transparent our governments should be. For today, in the internet age, power shifts from those who hold secrets to those who create openness. That is our emerging reality."
Read more

Micah L. Sifry, Tech President: After Wikileaks: The Promise of Internet Freedom, For Real

"So, while I am not 100% sure I am for everything that Wikileaks has done is and is doing, I do know that I am anti-anti-Wikileaks. The Internet makes possible a freer and more democratic culture, but only if we fight for it. And that means standing up precisely when unpopular speakers test the boundaries of free speech, and would-be censors try to create thought-crimes and intimidate the rest of us into behaving like children or sheep.

And, as Mark Pesce argues brilliantly, it's not like we can make this all go away. The potential for a Wikileaks moment--where a dissenter with the genuine goods of how an imperial organization actually carries out its business leaks that information into the global communications grid--has been inherent for years; now it has arrived. We are all living in a new age. And it does feel like radical changes in how the world works may again be possible."
Read more

Chris O'Brien, Mercury News: Why we should applaud Wikileaks

"The reaction has been fierce. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, said this week that WikiLeaks should be labeled a terrorist organization. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the disclosures an "attack on America's foreign policy interests."

But the reaction is misguided. Our government is undermining its own credibility with this overheated rhetoric. And this lashing out says more about our politicians than it does about Assange or WikiLeaks.[...]

The proper response to WikiLeaks should be a national conversation about what material should be kept secret -- and to keep that at an absolute minimum. No one is arguing that there aren't some secrets the government needs to keep. Even WikiLeaks has held back some of the documents it received. But the circle around the stuff that falls into this category should be drawn as small as possible.[...]

But there should be no doubt that WikiLeaks' efforts to expose government secrets have done a great public service by puncturing a hole in the government's arguments that it needs to keep expanding its bubble of secrecy to keep us safe."
Read more

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer