WikiLike
09 December, 2010
WikiLike

I know very little about Mr. Julian Assange of the WikiLeaks fame. I know he is famous for publishing secret cables from US diplomats. He is wanted in Sweden on charges of a sexual assault or two and he is talking about surrendering to the police in England. Or so his lawyer hopes, if only to get him to Times Magazine in time for his photo shot. 
Mr. Assange is not a revolutionist, nor is he a very good journalist.

He is not a terrorist, but something much less sinister. He is a sensationalist. He had started out as a journalist, but somewhere along the way he forgot what it is that makes a journalist. I believe a journalist has to do more than just publish a previously written cable, he has to write an actual story, a narrative if you will, that ties all the leaked information together. And in that sense Mr. Assange is not a journalist. He leaks information. Nay kind of information it seems. There is no filter, no system. If there is, someone please point it out to me.
The latest leak I had the privilege of reading before turning this article in was the leak about NATO and US joint secret plan to protect the Baltic countries from Russia. Why would anyone want to print a cable about NATO and US protecting Baltic states from Russia? The only reason, and excuse me it’s definitely not for transparency and honesty, is to agitate the counties involved. What is the purpose of printing a cable that includes undersea cables, key communications, ports, mineral resources and firms of strategic importance in the countries all over the world? What is the purpose of printing cables about Berlusconi’s ‘ineffectiveness’, or Medvedev’s Robin to Putin’s Batman? What is Mr. Assange’s goal in all this?
If a journalist really has a scoop he will make it important, he will not bury it in thousand other gossip tweets. Why not do the homework, read through all the cables and publish them in a coherent book? Better yet, do some legwork and follow up. Time would have to be spent on following the story up. Time, effort and money would have to be spent. But who has time, when fame is knocking on the door now? Time (at least the magazine) waits for no man.
Getting a little more creative, WikiLeaks promised to post some damaging facts about a certain bank, and people in the States assumed, since the cables were targeting US, it was Bank of America. But honestly folks, did Mr. Assange think we don’t already know that bankers are slime? This is also something Mr. Assange should know. His Swiss bank account was closed down on charges that his address was uncorroborated.
Now if this anonymous Bank’s CEO is a real gangster or if the Bank is a smoke screen for serious illegal activities, something out of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy novel, then I am all ears, or in this case, I am all eyes. But so far, I’ve had to settle for a Cold War bunker, inside a Swedish mountain, that’s been described as fit for a “James Bond” movie. This is where the company Bahnhof is hosting the WikiLeaks site from a literal cave inside White Mountain, near Stockholm, Sweden, according to the news reports from Forbes, The Associated Press, and the Norwegian news website VG Nett.
Could it be that Mr. Assange really wants just to have no secrets? If so, could he be the one to lead by example? Swiss bank account, anyone?
WikiLeaks had promised that ‘The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into US Government’s foreign activities.’ It can’t be that Mr. Assange believes that the cables leaked so far will provide new knowledge about the diplomacy of the US to the US citizens, or to the people outside the States. Just recently Russian President Medvedev (a.k.a. Robin) had commented that WikiLeaks leaks were nothing. He insinuated, or as Foreign Minister Lavrov’s rapidly coloring face showed, blatantly stated that compared to what We (Russia) said about Them (USA), WikiLeaks leak was not a big deal. They (Russians) also really don’t like their journalists alive. Seriously - they don’t do freedom. If Mr. Assange had tried to leak any documents from Russian state, he would definitely not live long enough to grace any cover of any magazine. But USA is a different story; it is a country that prides itself on freedom of speech.
Perhaps that’s why Mr. Assange seems to have taken the duplicity of the US government to heart. In the statement about US Embassy leaks WikiLeaks writes that ‘Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington – the country’s first President – could not tell a lie.’ Well, if you are going to say the whole truth then don’t forget to mention Mr. Washington owned other human beings as salves and took one (maybe more) for his lover. Would it have been in the young nation’s best interest to print the name of the said slave or what Mrs. Washington thought of her? Can’t imagine it would have been flattering, but we will never know.
School’s out for the holidays and I am cautiously optimistic about new leaks that will be coming out. Somewhere deep inside the thousand tweets, a real story is brewing. I’ll just have to wait for New York Time to dig it up.

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