12.19.2010

Assange/Wikileaks News

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Julian Assange a 'high-tech terrorist' today on Meet The Press. This is the strongest condemnation of Assange by any US official to date.

As the United States scrambles to find a law to charge Assange, I predict they will eventually invent some sort of conspiracy related charge in an attempt to shut him up. I also predict massive failure on the part of the United States government in doing it.


Saturday, in a move that surprised many Assange supporters, The Guardian newspaper published previously unseen police documents that accused Assange in graphic detail of sexually assaulting two Swedish women. 

Elsewhere, Margaret Wente writing in the Canadian right-wing newspaper, The Globe & Mail compared Assange to the homegrown US terrorist known as the Unibomber; Ted Kaczynski. 

In another editorial the paper inappropriately compares the threat of as yet unleaked information coming out to a threat of blowing something up. Talk about fear mongering.

They pulled that tidbit right out of Fox New's playbook when they wrote;
He is not alone among journalists who court danger – 42 have been killed this year and 145 are in prison worldwide – but he is probably the only one who threatens to detonate an explosion in return.
The Globe says that Assange is doing what conventional media does everyday. 

Mr. Assange is a difficult figure to come to terms with, especially for the established news media, because WikiLeaks does something like, in an extreme form, what the conventional media do every day: It spills secrets.  
I disagree. 

If 'conventional media' was doing a decent job of staying out of governments back pocket and was actually as free and unbiased as they should be we wouldn't need people like Assange. 

Anyone simply has to look at the news media in the United States for the most extreme example, but here in Canada we aren't much better off when it comes to media conglomerates controlling what is deemed newsworthy. 

A truly free press is an essential element of democracy. We don't have a true free press anymore, therefore people like Julian Assange are needed to balance the scales of democracy. 

As technology evolves and the internet unites the people of the world, the governments of the world simply have to learn to accept that they don't have full control. I suspect they will try to tip the scales back by controlling the internet. 

We'll have to wait and see how that turns out.

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