Firstly….who came up with the word ’dump’ to describe Wikileaks massive release of secret government memos? Shouldn’t it be more of a flood? Since the website is called Wiki-leaks….not man-rushing-to-get-to-toilet-after-a-few-to-many-vindaloos. Not only that but the layout that greets when you open the site…..well…..check it out for yourself:
For a minute there I had to double-take before realising that no I had not stumbled upon a James bond-esque fan page but was actually on the Wikileaks page with the added grace of Julian’s Assange’s most thought-provoking pose….It’s like he is staring straight at me no matter where I position myself….Mona Lisa, you seem to have a contender vying for your throne of creepyness.
That of course is beside the point of this post. I’m going to avoid discussing Julian Assange himself and focus instead on the website. The topic has of course died off recently but has solicited polarised reactions in the public upon its release, dividing people generally between the camps of oh-no-he-didn’t and the oh-yes-he-did. Personally I think the issue resides somewhere in between though leaning more towards beneficial then a downright affront ….but first…lets touch upon the argument’s.
So one of the issues critics have with the Wikileaks ‘dump’ of information is that it basically hinders the working of diplomacy. They argue some things need to be kept secret because if they aren’t then diplomats will avoid voicing their true concerns through memos in fear of them being released and therefore them being exposed. It’s a simple case of if diplomats in foreign countries can’t rely the true facts of what’s going on in the grounds to their own governments it will obviously hamper state relations. And as we all know, what governments say to other governments publicly isn’t necessarily what they say about them privately. And its not something alien, it’s something we do as people on a day-to-day basis, e.g. Iv heard Paul is a right old prick who dabbles in drugs on the side but because I happen to work with Paul whenever I greet him it’s all sugar and spice and everything nice. The aspect of states being two-faced to each other isn’t necessarily an issue when it revolves around petty matters i.e. how Sensitive and temperamental Nicolas Sarkozy is.
But it does of course matter with big issues, but that isn’t really a point worth discussing as much of the info revealed was generally low down in the secrecy stakes. Which then brings me on to my next point, the whole drama about how shocking and revealing the leaks where and how they need to be stopped as a matter of US state security. Calls where made that Julian Assange *public figurehead of Wikileaks* should be hunted down like Osama bin laden, jailed, assasinated etc. point is Boy should be stopped one way or another. This argument is in itself absurd, because lets face it, the only person genuinely shocked by the Wikileaks revelations was probably Sarah Palin…..and to be honest, the same shock and awe could have been attained if you’d handed her a map:
Mama Grizzly herself aka Sarah Palin: Africa ain’t a country? it’s a continent? Well ill be damned
Please do be damned if it gets you to stop wasting our time with your constant drivel…. I digress, point is, Anyone who knows anything about politics will know that most of the revelations where already known. But what the leaks did do was solidify the fact that this info was also known by the governments and by their diplomats….if anything…it strengthened slightly the faith in diplomats as it actually meant that the lack of public commentary by the government officially wasn’t due to lack of info from the ground. So in a sense the leaks where helpful to that affect as well as to alerting the general public of info known by a select few groups.
But another strong argument levied against the Wikileaks revelations was that the diplomats or people mentioned in the memo would be in danger off repercussions for simply voicing their opinion….this is of course a valid point …and it’s one of the issues I do feel that actually bare weight, names should be omitted because if its simply the information we seek who imparts it should be of no concern. I of course do acknowledge that Wikileaks did attempt to contact the US state department to attain their take on which names should be omitted but where rebutted….but nevertheless, some names are shown to be omitted though not all…which I think if addressed would help stem that aspect of the criticism.
Generally….the existence of Wikileaks or something similar to that effect is here to stay, this is something that cannot be stopped once it has started. And that should be viewed generally as more of a good thing then a bad as transparency is of course a vital aspect of democracy and if not applied leads the governments actions to go unchecked by the public and media…..well….I say media… but truly…the media in this day generally, not in all cases, is becoming more and more complacent and less and less intrusive…this is an affect we see more starkly in the US where Fox news is seen by the public to be the most ‘trustworthy’ source of news even though recent findings emerged to show that fox viewers, compared to any other US network, where more likely to be misinformed. Anyone outside the US *and even informed groups within the US* can clearly see that Fox is as trustworthy as a banker-with-anyone-else’s-money…..I don’t even need to expand on that analogy….you get the point….so with the advent of internet sites like Wikileaks it’s an interesting twist on how news and checks on government activity will occur in the future….the internet will no doubt wrangle as many chains in the Journalistic world as it has in the music and film world.
Till Next time