Karin Spaink on Sun, 19 Dec 2010 20:07:30 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> [Fwd: [Goanet-News] Offtopic: Wikileaks and India]

On Dec 18, 2010, at 15:53 , John Young wrote:

> Five years ago Julian Assange was being stalked by Asian teens, [..]
> Six years ago Julian Assange had an idea for a leak site, [..]
> Seven years ago Julian Assange was at a loss about what to do [..]
> Eight years ago Julian Assange was completing a world travel trip [..]
> Nine years ago Julian assange was in the midst of a world travel  
> trip. [..]
> Ten years ago Julian Assange was fed up with online meandering [..]

... and right now, December 19, 2010, I am getting quite fed up with  
you. There are plenty of interesting, possibly urgent questions  
surrounding Wikileaks. How do we define transparency in politics and  
negatiations; is there no place for secrecy at all, not even in  
diplomacy; how do we protect documents that merit secrecy, in an age  
where too many people have access to too much; where does the  
traditional definition of freedom of information work and where does  
it fail; how  can whistleblowers be properly protected; how can  
anybody ascertain the authenticity of purported leaked documents; how  
can (should) we contextualize leaked documents; how can intermediaries  
cooperate with the press on behalf of whistleblowers; to what degree  
do we expect whistleblowing to affect policy; does the focus on 'real'  
documents that need to be unveiled perhaps, unwittingly, reinforce the  
existing trend towards paranoia and conspiracy thinking?

But what you're doing right now is pusillanimous. What's worse; it's  
utterly irrelevant. Because you're doggedly narrowing political things  
down to matters that are entirely on a personal level. Even _if_  
Julian Assange is a jerk, the above questions still stand and have  
been raised in a manner that renders any simple, pre-conceived answer  
void. You are insisting that the message can be discarded because you  
wish to pick a bone with its messenger. In the same gesture, you're  
thrashing content because of its form, and thereby you're also  
discarding your own previous efforts and stated goals.

For fuck's sake, John, stop focusing on Julian. The Wikileaks debate  
is _not_ about Julian Assange, and if you reduce political debate to  
somebody's personal history morals, you're not doing anybody a favour,  
not even yourself. You're actively damaging a debate that you yourself  
wish to contribute to.

- K -

Do not ask me who I am and do not ask me to remain the same. Leave it  
to the customs officials and the bureaucrats to make sure our papers  
are in order.
   - Michel Foucault: Archeology of Knowledge

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