Be it resolved that in 2011 I shall do shorter posts more often; failing that i shall post at least once a week on a matter of global/regional/local/site-specific interest without being parochial or provincial.
I think the single most important thing to have happened globally last year was Wikileaks.
On the matter of Julian Assange’s culpability as a rape-accused I respectfully maintain that it has nothing to do with the sensational success of Wikileaks as a groundbreaking phenomenon. Assange may or may not be a rapist, but that is a parallel matter that does not impinge on the systematic publishing of leaked documents or whistleblowing and their effects. If we were to discover that Albert Einstein was really a Jekyll and Hyde personality and a mass murderer by night would it have affected the theory of relativity one way or the other? Not at all. E = mc2 would still be E = mc2. Scientific discourse would still have been completely reformatted by the new knowledge Einstein contributed to it.
Similarly Wikileaks remains the revolutionary intervention it is and may prove to be just the shove needed to push us out of the undemocratic rut we’re all stuck in. No one can take that away from Assange, not now, not ever. Sorry Powers that Be, but that’s just the way the wiki leaks…US Press advocate Jay Rosen calls Wikileaks the first stateless news organization, and berates the American media for its reticence on the subject in a post titled From Judith Miller to Julian Assange. According to him:
It takes “the world’s first stateless news organization” http://jr.ly/5jnk to show our news organizations how statist they really are.
And in an excellent article titled “Why EL PAÍS chose to publish the leaks” editor Javier Moreno presents a lucid account of why Wikileaks is rocking the foundations of what Peter Tosh called the global ‘shitstem’:
The incompetence of Western governments, and their inability to deal with the economic crisis, climate change, corruption, or the illegal war in Iraq and other countries has been eloquently exposed in recent years. Now, thanks to WikiLeaks, we also know that our leaders are all too aware of their shameful fallibility, and that it is only thanks to the inertia of the machinery of power that they have been able to fulfill their democratic responsibility and answer to the electorate.
The powerful machinery of state is designed to suppress the flow of truth and to keep secrets secret. We have seen in recent weeks how that machine has been put into action to try to limit the damage caused by the WikiLeaks revelations.
Given the damage they have suffered at the hands of WikiLeaks, it is not hard to see why the United States and other Western governments have been unable to resist the temptation of focusing attention on Julian Assange. He seems an easy enough target, and so they have sought to question his motivation and the way that WikiLeaks works. They have also sought to question why five major news organizations with prestigious international reputations agreed to collaborate with Assange and his organization. These are reasonable questions, and they have all been answered satisfactorily over the last four weeks, despite the pressure put on us by government, and worse still, by many of our colleagues in the media.
If nothing else Wikileaks has generated a priceless stream of cartoons some of which can be seen in the video below.
Here’s to a leaky new year!