Recently, I posted about Wikileaks and about Mr. Assange in particular.
I have this awful fear that Julian is a far worse person than he appears to be. That terrible things will come to be done because of him – either for him or to hurt him. The fervor which grows around Wikileaks is terrifying – as a movement it could accomplish so much good. What if it manages to accomplish evil?
There is presently an international arrest warrant for Assange’s arrest. One of his close workers departed from him in October, citing political and methodological differences. Wikileaks was kicked off of Amazon’s EC2 and S3 services, wikileaks.org was kicked off of EveryDNS this morning. They’re being hosted out of a missile bunker in SwitzeSwedeDunno at the moment. There’s apparently a $50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Mr. Assange. Early this morning, John Perry Barlow tweeted,
The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops. #WikiLeaks
Things are getting downright crazy out there!
This comes after the release of 250,000 United States diplomatic cables, ranging a period of nearly 30 years. In those cables, diplomats are requested to act as spies, claims of corruption in places like Russia are bandied about, conflicting viewpoints and strategies are discussed, scandals are quieted, prisoners are bargained for, regimes warned or given reprieves.
The United States government sent diplomatic messages to its embassies in advance of the release, warning them that their international relations would be seriously harmed in the coming days and weeks.
Wikileaks has an established goal of making “unjust” actions by governments so costly that they are not feasible. A government which cannot make unjust plans becomes, by definition, a just government. This is an interesting idea, and it’s certainly causing governments to take a lot of notice of Mr. Assange and his group.
One thing that has been persistent throughout Wikileaks’ existence is the need for funding. The funding has apparently been very unstable, with the site going offline in 2009 due to a lack of funds and (allegedly) having raised over $1 million since the beginning of 2010. There are certainly costs, though, in keeping out of sight while collecting leaks, sorting through them, posting them in a usable format, and hosting them.
Then, there’s that awful pang of fear. Assange’s coworker said, when he departed from the organization, that Assange is intentionally ignoring smaller multinational and national leaks which are regularly being forwarded to the organization in favor of behemoth releases such as the cablegate release. This could be seen as an important political strategy, a misapplication of focus, or any number of things.
His coworker claimed that they reached disputes over blah quote him, and coupled with the outstanding warrant for Assange’s arrest, I have to question his character. In the book Underground, he comes across very reasonably. In interviews and videos, he sounds professional and reasonable. Perhaps he changes behind closed doors? The irony of a leaks organization needing secrecy is not lost on anyone, but it’s impossible to tell whether Assange is really a good guy or not.
At the very least, it’s beginning to look like a separate wikileaks should be made to combat smaller, national issues and to tend to them on a regular basis as they spring up, if these sort of mammotth releases are going to take the organization’s attention away from them.
Sorry, this is just a mess at the moment. I’m going to clean up the structure and add in the links to back thing’s I’ve said, and hey, maybe reach a conclusion – even at a personal level.
But I need to go to sleep.