Who is Julian Assange and why he does not matter
i have a huge crush on Julian Assange. While i was with Spiderman this last weekend he connected me to some of the wikileaks founders earlier blog writings while the world was not paying much attention to him in 2007. They are the type of radical poetry you find in the better CrimeThinc pages.
He is brilliant, charismatic, innovative and changing the world with his long lever tools. And he does not matter.
The powers that think that they be (US govt, most of the media, the corporations soon to be targets of wikileaks) all want you to believe that Assange is a super villain: Endangering soldiers lives, jeopardizing the war effort and generally threatening all that is good a true. This is of course nonsense. What is really happening is that Wikileaks is pointing out that soldiers are gunning down Reuters reporters and under reported innocent civilians killed in Iraq. The effect of wikileaks is to make reckless bureaucrats and sloppy soldiers and generals more careful, some may be held accountable – some might even lose their jobs. And this would actually be just and fair. It is worth pointing out that had wikileaks been more active we might not even have gone to Iraq, since the war was a known sham from the beginning. It is hard for me to get excited about soldiers being endangered by these leaks, when none should be there in the first place.
And what they really want you to believe, is that the sex crimes he has been accused of makes his moral character questionable and thus the type of person who should be stopped. Frankly, with the CIA and other police state operations so desperate to get him, i find it hard to believe anyone who is testifying against him. [And charismatic leaders are often jerks on a personal level]
As for Assange, despite my crush, he is expendable. He may get convicted, the charges maybe trumped-up. Which would be tragic for him and his friends and associates, but the important piece is that the genie is out of the bottle. Every general who is about to launch some reckless campaign with high civilian casualties or dubious objectives must now pause and wonder? Did that upset underling just send my confidential cables to wikileaks? Every diplomat thinking assassination might be a convenient solution to their annoying foreign leader problem, has to wonder a bit harder if they might get caught and if there is another way.
Assange is a legitimate hero and i certainly hope he beats this rap. But the man is not the organization and someone else will step up into the fray should he fall. What he succeeded in is changing the power balance and should we lose him, there are other heroes in the making.