I do not condone what Julian Assange and Wikileaks have done by releasing classified US diplomatic cables, but I do not condemn it either.
Diplomacy is a sensitive area and sometimes sensitive issues, especially where there is huge difference between both sides, or are controversial, need to be discussed quietly outside the public eye. For example, meeting with a belligerent force to negotiate a ceasefire, surrender or peace treaty.
But where is the accountability? When is it okay for our politicians and bureaucrats to tell lies, and when does it cross the line? How does the voting public know? How can the public judge the effectiveness and competence of our government without knowing the truth.
When Scotland released the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, I knew that something was amiss. Although he reportedly was dying of prostate cancer and only had months to live, prisons do not usually hesitate to let someone die in prison, especially one convicted of mass murder.
It was clear that the West wanted to benefit from Libya’s petrol money (they have nothing else to offer), which is controlled by the whim of madman Muammar Gadhafi. Now, thanks to Wikileaks, we have some insight into the matter.
Other matters of interest are the fact that Arab countries wanted military action against Iran, Saudi Arabian royalty enjoy parties with liquor and prostitutes whilst ordinary folk get lashed or stoned to death.
Julian Assange is only responsible for publishing, but not the actual leaking. It is the people who are leaking the information that are deciding for themselves whether something should be leaked. The only controversy that Julian Assange could be legitimately questions about is if he is releasing some information but not others, then he could be proven to have an agenda. Kind of like when CNN admitted that they had kept quiet about the most brutal actions taken by the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Also, isn’t it amazing how VISA, Mastercard, Paypal, Amazon and other organisations quickly stopped handling money transfers (or web hosting). Never before have I seen this kind of action by these symbols of capitalist freedom in any other matter, be it terrorism or child pornography.
Malcolm Turnbull had something interesting to say about making a martyr out of Julian Assange as well.