J.A. Terranson on Mon, 20 Dec 2010 07:07:29 +0100 (CET)

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

On Sun, 19 Dec 2010, Karin Spaink wrote:

> 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. 

<huge snip of a well made argument>
> 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.

I've been reading John's complaints for several hundred years now, and it 
seems to me that he is making a serious argument, albeit in his own 
inimitable style.

I read his prose as arguing that Julian is *damaging* the causes you have 
enumerated, as well as muddying the waters of the questions you have 
raised, by deliberately making the current debate about Julian, rather 
than directing the debate towards the insanely important points you have 
[and have not] raised.  John's arguments can, as with the extant one, be 
made with his own uniquely oblique commentary, but it's never very far 
from his words to his meaning.

Personally, I agree with what I *think* John is saying.  And it seems that 
a large part of the WL team agreed as well, when they departed from "the 
original WL" to form their own "OpenLeaks" (or something similar?) site.  
By presenting a public face to the materials, the focus is forcibly 
removed from the content and refocussed on the messenger - this is 
orthogonal to the intent of leaking, is it not?


"Never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public
plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to
the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always
be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by
predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty."

Joseph Pulitzer, 1907 Speech

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