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Re: <nettime> Questions concerning Wikileaks
Maja van der Velden on Sun, 6 Mar 2011 22:40:30 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Questions concerning Wikileaks


On Mar 5, 2011, at 21:16 , almost {AT} riseup.net wrote:

>>> Why does noone discuss whether it wouldn't be safer for
>>> whistleblowers to directly contact a news medium like The Guardian
>>> instead of using an intermediary? (Credits to Dmytri again.)
>>
>> Safer than what? And safer to whom? So far, WikiLeaks has been very
>> successful in protecting its sources. The fact that Manning was
>> arrested is most definitely not related to any security breach by
>> Wikileaks. Manning chatted with Adrian Lamo who called the FBI.
>
> The setup should have been such that nobody, including Lamo, had any
> idea who submitted the material.
>
> Certainly the Guardian has a bad record, e.g., Katharine Gun was
> quickly discovered.

Le Monde Diplomatique (Norwegian issue) has an article on how the EU
Data Retention Directive has been used explicitly, in Poland, Germany
and the Netherlands, to disclose journalists' anonymous sources:

http://www.lmd.no/index.php?article=12347

Google translate to English:
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=no&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lmd.no%2Findex.php%3Farticle%3D12347

> 
> Other little issue about wikileaks - there's a chance, which many on
> the left-liberal side wish to ignore, that Assange is actually guilty
> of rape.  People don't seem to want to consider the possibility,
> however unlikely, that the accusations are true.  This has no direct
> bearing on wikileaks, except that Assange is becoming a guru - in the
> worst sense of the word - and it's going to do a lot of damage to
> those blindly believing him if/when he falls.  A service like this
> should not be so dependent on one person.  If Assange had any control
> of his ego, he would have resigned as spokesperson until he cleared
> his name.

I agree with that point entirely. His decision not to do so was a
clear sign of his political immaturity (see the latest row over his
"jewish conspiracy" remarks). Similarly, his big mistake was not
"submitting" to Swedish investigation in the first place. Assange has
taken all of his supporters on a long journey into conspiracy for
which there was very little evidence (yes, lots of smoke about the
prosecutor in Sweden but I have yet to see any actual evidence of a
Swedish attempt to work on behalf of the US - there are alternative
explanations for the Swedish prosecutors behaviour). If we can believe
the leaked police reports, it is possible that the accusations are
true. It is, however, not clear yet if the prosecutor will decide to
prosecute on the basis of this evidence. That is another issue all
together. If he ever is convicted of rape after all of this, he will
be seriously tarnished as untrustworthy (and WL along with him?):
that is the damage of his cover up (it always makes it worse). It is
possible that his admirers will dismiss the evidence and a conviction
in court, if it comes. We have already seen the massive condemnation
of Swedish law and EU extradition law and the horrible harassment and
character assassination of the two women involved.

Personally. I refuses to choose between the struggle over the control
over my body and struggle over the control over information. I think
it is the height of political naivite to force us into a position of
making this kind of choice. Assange's position at the head of this
movement (de facto) has already done enough damage. His ego-driven
libertarian neoliberalism (!) should be fought instead of cherished.

Yes, if Assange had any control over his ego, he would have resigned
a long time ago. But he will not do it now, thanks to the help of his
admirers and blind followers.

Maja





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