I’ve been a huge fan of WikiLeaks since its inception. The idea of a renegade website revealing all of the documents that we as citizens aren’t “supposed” to know is exactly what this country needs. We’ve lived in an era of stonewalling and secrecy (no one’s exempt), and I applaud Julian Assange for doing his part to fix it.
Over the past few years, the ‘Leaks has popped out a few interesting stories. One that springs to mind was of pictures of Guantanamo inmates with their jaws wired shut. Nothing, however, compares to what’s happened over the weekend.
The explosion of information has caused something that could be described as “a full-on shitstorm” in the media, in Washington, and possibly worldwide. We’ve got Rep Peter King trying to get them labeled a terrorist group, Lieberman wants them shut down, the shady DDoS attack, every media outlet is losing their shit and trying to decide whether or not they support the notion of giving citizens unfettered access to thousands upon thousands of pages of classified-ish documents.
As Will said to me, we’ve gone from strange intelligence leak to James Bond movie plot.
Remember that founder Julian Assange already had a warrant out for him in Sweden, now he’s having to dart around American authorities as well, and keep his website bouncing from host to host just so it doesn’t get shut down. He’s like some shady film character, be it villain or hero, living underground while he tries to get the truth out. Actually, the hell with movies, I’m starting to think X-Files.
Strangely enough, we have correspondence between Assange and the US Embassy to the UK in which he attempts to get help in redacting potentially harmful information in the documents, which is promptly refused on the grounds of “not helping people with illegally obtained documents”. It makes sense in a strange way, but at the same time the guy already had the documents and was going to release them, not even making an attempt to get harmful information sealed away does in fact just prove the worst assumptions.
Assange is treading on some dangerous ground, here. There’s a reason the concept of “classified information” exists, and to just throw it all out there could potentially make life very, very difficult for the military and intelligence communities.
By the way, my vote for weirdest story? The Red Crescent (Red Cross) apparently helped Iran smuggle weapons into Lebanon back in 2006. What?