Wikileaks and Accountability

And now my attention turns to Wikileaks. Being a great believer in freedom of thought and freedom of speech, I like the idea of something like Wikileaks rampaging through the world: a loose cannon but an educated one, taking pot-shots at those who would prefer to keep their behaviours hidden from the common man, and revealing said behaviours for all to see.

After all, if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear from Wikileaks-style investigations of your behaviour.

I am not a great follower of the Wikileaks site: I have other interests that take up a great deal of online time, and by the time I mgiht be free to peruse it, it’s usually past my bedtime. However, I am a great follower not of commercial news, but of public-broadcaster news which has a greater chance of giving you both sides of a story and less “news” about fictitious weddings in soap operas.

Several years ago, before I moved to Western Australia, I made an online but offhand comment that a certain Australian journalist (whom I will not name here because s/he threatened me with legal action if I mentioned him/her again and I quite believe s/he will follow through on that threat), was a serious, hard, confronting journalist and interviewer, prepared to ask the hard questions of people in power … right up until they had their stroke, whereupon they turned gelatinous-soft, and since then their personal version of journalism has deteriorated to the point where it resembles everyone else’s.

They were a limited, one-wo/man Australian version of Wikileaks, calling politicians on their lies and the inconsistencies between their words and their deeds right back to and through the halcyon days of John Howard’s mendacious regime. And after a health event and a short absence fropm our screens, suddenly the politicians sitting across the table from this individual were no longer quaking in their boots, sadly.

My point in mentioning this while being very careful not to mention names? The person in question had their spirit crushed. It was only too obvious – they stopped doing diamond-hard journalism, and started doing mere pumice-hard journalism like everyone else at the public broadcaster. They started fitting in. It bacame possible for a strong-minded politician to side-step their questions or to have the questions not asked at all. It was a great loss to Australian TV in particular, and to journalism in general.

Wikileaks still flies that flag of holding public figures and public bodies accountable for their actions and their lies. Being made up of a panel of people rather than a lone individual, and obviously with considerable funding from whatever source or sources, Wikileaks is not as easily crushed or defeated as one outspoken journalist standing on their own, by either pressure from the powers that be or from the pressures of their own ill-health.

What kind of a world do we want to live in? Do we want to live in a world where American police beat people breaking the speed limit up on camera calling it “resisting arrest” when they try to cover their faces with their forearms? Do we want to live in a world with security cameras everywhere, facial recognition software on every security camera linked to databases that contain even the softest of crimes such as thoughtless juvenile shoplifting?

Do we want to live in a world where we dare not say what we think in public, in case the bored-looking individual nearby has recording equipment in their pocket, in an office in case it has been bugged, or on our own blogs in case the entire server is taken down just to silence one outspoken ratbag who might have gotten a little close to the truth and therefore forfeit their right to freedom of speech?

Why is it that I can accuse Julia Gillard, prime minster of Australia, of spending her spare time torturing kittens and blowing up nuclear reactors because she likes the pretty blue glow of Cherenkov radiation, which is a patently false accusation, yet if Wikileaks, who have a vastly better research capacity than I do, were to make an accurate accusation against the American government of something that government has done and does not deny after the fact but merely seeks to say that revealing it is wrong, they try to close them down?

Does not the American Constitution and in fact the International Bill of Rights have a clause or clauses concerning the inalienable rights of all people to freedom of speech?

Yes, it is ethically and in some jurisdictions legally wrong to defame someone or a body or an administration, but defamation is falsely accusing someone of something they demonstrably did not do. Calling someone to account for something they did do and do not deny, is not defamation. It also does not “destabilise” or endanger the population in any way. A country and its people are most endangered, in fact, by having a government that is not transparent and does not consider itself accountable.

By showing up the American government’s failings, Wikileaks is doing the whole world in general and America in particular a great service, and thus can be seen to be radically pro-America. They are pointing the American government’s way to improving their performance, improving their ethics, improving their accountability, and becoming the pure, honest and incorruptible government that I’m sure every patriotic citizen would love to believe they were being governed by.

I call on America, Americans and American politicians to take respectful note of Wikipedia, to become the shining knights of goodness, and improve America’s modus operandi until it is so pure and so perfect that Wikileaks can expose nothing wrong not because it is well-hidden or because they have been disabled, but because America and its administrators are at least doing the right thing in every possible situation!

And below is a Tarot reading I did thirteen or fourteen hours ago, long before I heard the news about the site being closed down.

The Spread

For this spread, once again I used the Tarot of the New Vision, as it is such a perfect conspiracy deck.

1. What is known – the World.
A naked woman with a dopatta loosely draped around her, dances away from us. A bull and lion look away from us at the bottom of the card: at the top a man and a lion took at each other in profile to us, with grim expressions on their faces.

What is known is that this situation has extreme ramifications for the whole world. No matter which way it plays out, it will have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences.

2. What is not known – The Eight Wands.
Behind eight wands angled down and to the left is an angel, holding one very small arrow angled to the right, in direct opposition to the wands.

What is not known is that what little opposition Wikileaks poses to the Powers That Be, is pretty much on the side of Right And Good: The tiny little arrow being crushed by the Eight Wands is Wikileaks being crushed by a consortium of corrupt governments. ANY opposition, even if it is fated to fail, is good opposition when the cause is just. And any oppression is bad, no matter what country’s government puts it in place. The moral high ground is not based on nationality or political power. There is also something in this card about the inevitability of defeat.

3. What is true – The Fool.
A young man sets sets off oblivious to a cliff at his feet and an erupting volcano nearby.

What is true is that Wikileaks and Assange personally are dealing with infinitely powerful enemies, that make them look like ants by comparison (consider the power of the Fool’s body as opposed to the power of a whole exploding mountain). He and they are walking into almost certain disaster, but do so willingly nonetheless, because *someone* has to stand up to that exploding mountain!

4. What is not true – The Six Wands.
What is not true is that Assange will come riding back into the community like the victor in this card, on horseback, to admiring adulation, carrying a victory wreath and flanked by a peace-dove giving him an airborne escort.

Sadly, those of us who realise what he is doing are in the minority, and he will be vilified for the rest of his days – and quite possibly they will not last long, as it seems to me he has a higher-than-usual chance of meeting with an unfortunate accident.

5. Additional insight(s) – The Devil.
We see the Devil from behind and in shadow, his two human-like minions looking really very pure, and the three of them are facing a wall of flame riddled with demons.

I am identifying Wikileaks in general and Assange in particular with the human figures here: healthy, passive, calm. They are not the Devil they are chained to, or the hoards of hate-filled demons facing them.

Assange and Wikileaks have been “chained to the devil” by all the misinformation about their motives. The bulk of the world’s population are the wall of flames and demons, spitting and hissing at them without bothering to find out the true facts.

6. Conclusion – The Ten Wands.
Assange and Wikileaks are struggling under a huge burden here: the burden of taking the moral high ground in the face of universal hatred, ridicule and contempt (to borrow a phrase!), and of doing so in a Mahatma Gandhi-like way, knowing that as individuals they will be defeated, but the only chance the world has of removing the taint of corruption is if their self-sacrifice inspires others to also hold governments to account for their corrupt and dishonest actions.

Note: I did this reading many hours ago when I was out of the house and photographed it then: it was only a couple of hours ago, long after the reading was done, that I heard the news about the Wikileaks site being closed down, which only goes to confirm everything I drew out of those cards when I first saw them.

I will light a candle of mourning for all whose lives the powers that be are trying to destroy.

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4 Responses to Wikileaks and Accountability

  1. Contemplative living says:

    From my somewhat limited position and knowledge I don’t see anything terribly wrong with Wikileaks either. There are always things wrong with Governments and the nature of politics seems to have great potential for corruption. The US does have a lot to answer for but so do many other Governments.

    The role of whistleblower is very hard and not many people can take it on, despite the legislative protection that currently exists in most states. Wikileaks is whistleblowing on a very grand scale.

    Critical journalism is different but alsoalso very hard and you have to be bright and secure in yourself to undertake it successfully. Kerry O’Brien does quite a good job, I think. He has the support of the ABC. I haven’t always thought he was right but I’m so glad he has been on the 7.30 Report.

  2. nisaba000 says:

    Yes, agreed. A free and fearless press is a crucial part of a functioning democracy, and Wikileaks is a free and fearless press taken to the Nth degree!

  3. Vance says:

    I’m trying to track down the cables, and what I’ve read so far is a lot of quid pro quo, deceit, and diplomats lobbying for American Defense companies. Yesterday I wrote a post on Wikileaks call “Transparency or Treason/Wikileaks and Foreign Policy” at http://roninsjourney.wordpress.com

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