An Editor for Wikileaks wrote a letter in the NY Times Today. She defended the actions of their organization in manipulating the US election. In true doublethink they note “WikiLeaks relies on our editor’s invention of a secure anonymous online submission system to protect sources’ identities. This technology has become a standard for many media outlets around the world. We prefer not to know who our sources are; we do not want to, and usually do not need to”. While proclaiming “WikiLeaks will continue publishing, enforcing transparency where secrecy is the norm.” I am discussing Wikileaks mainly on the leaked DNC and Podesta emails. Russia, the city on a hill of modern human rights, hacked them both. The bigfoot in the room being the hand off between the two.
While Wikileaks claimed corruption within the DNC, I disagree. Bernie is not a democrat besides the paperwork needed to claim the title for running a primary. He historically has spoken against the DNC and its fundraising methods. But by running under the party, he gained a better potential to be elected. The DNC in response did not welcome him as warmly as a long time ally, who raised money for other down ballot candidates. The nominee represents the unofficial leader of the party, a tide that raises all ships. Sanders did not rush to support the down ballot. In the end, it wasn’t the superdelegates, but the physical votes that mattered.
In the general election, more Clinton leaks occurred. Her opponent Trump, a man who still bucks all transparency precedents. From no tax returns and delayed and incomplete health records. Now he is the president-elect, he also ditching the press pool. His legal, but uncustomary secrecy considering his current IRS audit and legal scandals including misuse of his charity has been awarded. They enforced transparency on just the candidate who sought to charge Assange for his role in the release of classified military and state department documents. The release of the emails and the press reaction made Clinton to appear more secretive than Trump, which was never true. If to commit terrorism is to act in a way that creates fear and distrust then Wikileaks has engaged in digital terrorism against its perceived enemies.
It is no surprise that Assange and his organization who want to aid a man accused of sexual assault because Assange himself has been holed up in the the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 trying to dodge sexual assault and rape allegations of his own. This is the danger of the doxxing age. Information is no longer neutral, just a weapon ranging from a handgun to the bomb of bombs. Like Trump, Assange views himself as a guardian of truth hidden from us serfs by the systems of power. They both claim the accusations against them are a smear campaign. From their self appointed positions, they frame all dissent as lies, a conspiratorial deception to hide the Truth. The audience under the weight of the destruction of the community finds their words to confirm the feeling inside unaddressed by three administrations. The disconnect between soul and mind becomes the disconnect between us and Washington.
As leaks and hacks continue and will continue to occur, our one defense is to reject it. Self police ourselves from peering into private digital lives. We need to secure our right to privacy from both the government our own and foreign in addition to the non state actors. I do not suggest willful ignorance as that would be wrong and foolish. Rather ask what smoking gun revealed itself in the emails? They were another mirage that people squabbled over, our metaphorical cake.
To say that the source of the emails is immaterial is to say that intent and motive have no impact on the morality of the publishing. Compare the actions of Assange to Daniel Ellsberg. He revealed the deception of three administrations to the public through the pentagon papers. Then he surrendered himself to the justice system and prepared to face all legal consequences. In light of the criminal actions the Nixon Administration committed against him, the charges were dismissed. Assange instead fled from any possibility of justice.
It reminds me of Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Both Daniel and Darius did their duty and righteousness won out. Assange can rot in the prison of his own making. There should be better avenues for whistleblowers, those who risk so much should not have to rely on a spineless egomaniac and the zealots who worship him.