"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Dec 20, 2010

Wikileaks Assange is leaked against

How ironic. Julian Assange, the Wikileaks head and erstwhile hero of free speech libertarians has found himself on the receiving end of leaking activity. Assange has been embroiled in strange case of alleged rape in Sweden that has been on again off again on again and which recently resulted in his appearance in a British court after Swedish attempts to have him arrested on the rape charges. The case has the wiff of expediency about it and of course many suspect that the Swedes are trying to get him to Sweden so that the US will find a way then to extradite him from there.

Assange of course has through Wikileaks been releasing swathes of secret and sensitive diplomatic which has stirred up various hornets nests among governments and rulers around the world. I have to admit that personally I have had very mixed feelings about Wikileaks recent activity.

On the one hand we all have a strong interest in knowing what our governments and leaders are really up to. On the other hand governments and their diplomatic staff need to be able to communicate and pass information securely. Speculating about the motives and actions of foreign governments and their agents is an important part of developing a governments position and influence in dilomatic affairs.

For free speech libertarians though the only thing that matters is that we the people should have access to any information that we want. All information is to this mind set fair game. Assange of course is a leading light of this way of thinking.

How ironic then that Assanges lawyers are now complaining that details of the police files in his case have been made public by the media. As a staunch defender of our right to know one would think that Assange would be the first to say a big hoorah that secret Swedish police files have been exposed. But of course this time it concerns his own affairs - and that isn't so comfortable. This time the boot sits squarely on the other foot and he is the one who will now be arguing that this information has only been released to damage him. Pots and kettles spring to mind here.

4 comments:

Looney said...

I have the same mixed feelings - the libertarian in me wants more info, and I certainly don't like anything corrupt being hidden under classification. On the other hand, there is the saying "loose lips sink ships", which is still true in certain modernized forms. There is also a large number of people in America and European governments who are legally bound to secrecy regarding personal information they have about others, as well as terror related info. For them, it must be demoralizing to see the media making a hero of someone who is a channel for those who break the law.

Bunc said...

Hi Looney - the wiff of hypocrisy I think hangs over Assange whatever any of us may think about either the wikileaks leaks or the Swedish investigation. It's a case of the biter bit.

There is also a fascinating parallel between stuff going on in the Sheridan trial - specifically the way the newspaper in that case the News of the World operates and the actions of Wikileaks.

Wikileaks has been lauded by many on the left for publishing secret information which was arguable illegally obtained. Yet those same folk decry the News of the World for allegedly taping the phones of people in order to obtain evidence of their misdemeanors.

The parallel is not absolutely exact but it's close enough to highlight an interesting paradox in peoples attitudes to the act of obtaining and publishing sensitive information.

rummuser said...

In India we have had similar hypocracy from various sources following the exposure by the media of various scams. This will give you a flavour of one of them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radia_tapes_controversy

Looney said...

Bunc, thanks for highlighting the consistency regarding leaking. I hadn't given that any consideration. It makes things look like the general principle for the morality of leaks is that if it annoys me, then it is wrong; but if it annoys people I don't like, then it is right!

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