Julian Assange has been arrested in the UK and being held without bail awaiting extradition to Sweden.
My take on Assange and Wikileaks:
- The rape and molestation charges are quite clearly bogus. There is significant proof that his sexual relations with the complainants was completely consensual. They are just angry that he was sleeping around. That is pretty scummy behaviour on his part but far from illegal.
- Like most, my initial instinct was to wonder how the NSA had managed to get rape charges laid against Assange. But I don’t think one can point the finger at the US Govt. At least one of the complainants is a left-wing politician, who is a most unlikely front for the US military-industrial complex. Her motivations seem personal, not political. She has actually written before about getting revenge on people etc.
- Wikileaks in its early days exposed significant wrong doing in multiple countries and was a force for good.
- It seems to have become obsessed with the United States, and has somewhat lost the plot.
- Exposing the footage of civilian killings in Iraq is arguably justifiable, but publishing tens of thousands of diplomatic cables is not. Revealing what Kevin Rudd said to Hillary Clinton on China could have a disastrous impact on stability in the region.
- The nature of the Internet means that Wikileaks will not be closed down. It has hundreds of mirrors.
- However it is entirely predictable that companies such as Amazon, Paypal will choose not to provides services to Wikileaks. They have every right to decide not to do so based on their disapproval of what Wikileaks does. Actions have consequences and Wikileaks is no different.