Saturday, December 04, 2010
Wikileaks One Week On!
It is almost a week since the release, by Wikileaks, of around 251,000 ‘top secret’ US cables and I am feeling distinctly underwhelmed.
No wars have started, no foreign diplomats have been spotted fighting in the streets of foreign capitals and more importantly, nothing we did not already suspect goes on, has been going on.
Interestingly, the only violent reaction to the ‘revelations’, has originated from Canada and the US. The former seemingly advocating the assassination of anyone who has ever heard of the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the latter calling for the death penalty, once the person who handed over the files in the first place is finally caught.
Of course, there has been pressure to close the Wikileaks site down using a denial of service attack from hackers, removal of hosting facilities from Amazon (it is now being hosted from Switzerland) and a termination of the Paypal account used to process donations from the site’s supporters around the world.
Oh yes and with rather fortuitous timing, Julian Assange has been accused of a serious sexual misdemeanor in Sweden. A formal request for his immediate arrest has been issued using the EU’s legal protocols. Interestingly enough, he has not been officially charged with anything and attempts by his lawyers to discuss the matter with the Swedish prosecutor have been refused. Hmmm…could this be attempted character assassination? So far, the UK police have not proceeded in carrying out the warrant.
Taken together, all of the above has done more to keep me interested than the actual files themselves. I have tried to read them from the many new Wikileaks locations this week, but have found they have a similar effect to Valium.
Perhaps the US would have been better advised to bite its tongue rather than appearing to declare open warfare against freedom of information.
God only knows how they would react over something serious - although we are never likely to find out with their communications being so protected - Not!!
Update: More details can be found on the backgound to the Swedish accusations against Assange here.