The significance of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks can be measured by the hysterical and panicked response of the powerful to it. Wikileaks’ ongoing release of thousands of secret US government cables and other secret documents is being met with outrage, assassination threats, censorship, a corporate boycott and legal action. Much of this has centred on Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange. The allegations of sex crimes (for which no charges have yet been laid) have been used to hound him through the courts.
“WikiLeaks has had more scoops in three years than the Washington Post has had in 30.” — Clay Shirky It is for this reason that Wikileaks has become an incredibly important news source, with its commitment to provide the public with information that is deliberately withheld by governments and corporations, and to expose corruption. Its recent release of classified diplomatic cables revealing what our governments are really talking about behind closed doors has created a great divide in public opinion about just how much we, the people, really have a right to know.
The message below from ABC broadcaster and journalist Phillip Adams was read out at the January 15 Defend Wikileaks rally in Sydney. * * * First right-wing bloggers called for Julian Assange's assasination. Now voices in Washington want “the death penalty on the table” if they can get him into a US court. I'm proposing we put him up for sainthood — but after Wikileaks’ leaks on the Vatican that may be out of the question.
Acting Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has argued that bullets, explosives and other munitions no longer constitute “lethal military hardware” as long as they are to be used for “training and other related works”. MK Nepal was seeking to justify the decision to allow India to resume arms supplies to Nepal. He has never been elected and came to power after the Maoist-led government was brought down by a soft military coup in 2009.
When it comes to rape, the left “still doesn’t get it”, so says Katha Pollitt writing recently in the London Guardian on the defence of Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who is currently being held in Britain facing allegations of sex crimes in Sweden.
December 14, 2010 -- Julian Assange, a man known only to a very few in the world some months ago, is demonstrating that the most powerful empire to have existed in history can be challenged. The daring challenge did not come from a rival superpower; from a state with more than 100 nuclear weapons; from a country with millions of inhabitants; from a group of nations with vast natural resources which the United States could not do without; or from a revolutionary doctrine capable of shaking to its foundations the empire based on plunder and exploitation of the world.
Socialist Alliance statement, December 7. Defend Wikileaks and Julian Assange! Australia should break the military alliance with US! “The Australian government should defend and support Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, and their efforts to expose the lies, duplicities and outright crimes of the US government and its allies”, said Peter Boyle, national convener of the Socialist Alliance. “We condemn the Australian government for collaborating with the American government in hunting Julian Assange down.
• The 251,287 leaked cables cover from December 28, 1966 to February 28 2010 and originate from 274 US embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions. • 15,652 are classified secret. • 101,748 are confidential. • 133,887 are unclassified. • Iraq was the most discussed country, named in 15,365 cables. • There are 8017 cables from the office of the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
“Mum’s dead”. The gloomy faced Sujendran Gunesekaram greeted me, as we met in person for the first time. His mother died of a heart attack on September 5, after suffering for three years. Sujendran is a 27-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil originally from Muttur in Trincomalee, the war-hit town in the east. He was one of 254 asylum seekers on the Australia-bound boat Jeya Lestari that moored off at the port in Merak, Indonesia in October 2009.