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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why the world needs WikiLeaks !

I often blog about culture but partially global politics. I do care about injustice, but the global scale and systematic nature of it has left me stunned. There is so much attempt to curb our freedom, liberty and public information in the name of secrecy and security. This blog post is compiled in the span of 30 minutes as soon as I became aware of about Wikileak.

Wikileaks is an international organization, based in Sweden. It publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive documents while preserving the anonymity of sources. It has set a new standard in free information flow across the world. Afghanistan War Logs, Baghdad airstrike video, Guantánamo Bay procedures, 2008 Peru oil scandal and Toxic dumping in Africa: The Minton report are few important leaks of the secret government documents. You can read more about them in encyclopedia.

It is more productive to engage with, rather than censor. There is an intimate and indissoluble link between intellectual and political freedom. There will be no security for dissidents and their families as long as freedom of thought and freedom of political action are guaranteed by the law of the land. Now I will rest my case and will not write anything. Just watch this TED interview of Julian Assange, Editor in chief and spokesperson for Wikileaks.

Why the world needs WikiLeaks ! (MUST WATCH)


Afghanistan War Logs : More than 90,000 secret military records of the US war in Afghanistan were published online Sunday providing new evidence that Americans have been misled for years about the war in Afghanistan. And, The White House and its international partners today sharply condemned the action like all authorities do while undermining the new facts raised by the document. Check 'The Afghan War Diary'  for full details.

Baghdad airstrike video: A secret video showing US air crew falsely claiming to have encountered a firefight in Baghdad and then fired blindly. This footage of July 2007 attack made public as Pentagon identifies website as threat to national security. See yourself full version of this disturbing video.


An article in Guardian describes the video. To quote a few lines: "The lead helicopter, using the moniker Crazyhorse, opens fire. `Hahaha. I hit 'em," shouts one of the American crew. Another responds a little later: "Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards." The article goes on to say "The behaviour of the pilots is like a computer game." and that's absolutely true, as you'll see.

But, I am here for something more than that. I am here for Bradley Manning, the person who chooses his consciousness to  reveal these secrets to common public. Manning allegedly told journalist and former hacker Adrian Lamo via instant messenging that he had leaked the "Collateral Murder" video (of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike), in addition to a video of the Granai airstrike and around 260,000 diplomatic cables, to the whistleblower website Wikileaks. He is the whistle blower that we should be proud of and take inspiration in fight against injustice. Kudos to Wikileaks also for their endeavours !

In May 2010, a 22-year-old American Army intelligence analyst named Bradley Manning was arrested after telling Adrian Lamo he had leaked the airstrike video, along with a video of another airstrike and around 260 000 diplomatic cables, to Wikileaks. As of June 7, Manning had not yet been formally charged. Manning said that the diplomatic documents expose "almost criminal political back dealings" and that they explain "how the first world exploits the third, in detail".  Wikileaks said "allegations in Wired that we have been sent 260,000 classified US embassy cables are, as far as we can tell, incorrect". Wikileaks have said that they are unable as yet to confirm whether or not Manning was actually the source of the video, stating "we never collect personal information on our sources", but saying also that "if Brad Manning [is the] whistleblower then, without doubt, he's a national hero" and "we have taken steps to arrange for his protection and legal defence". (citing from wiki)

Julian Assange says that Wikileaks has released more classified documents than the rest of the world press combined:  That's not something I say as a way of saying how successful we are - rather, that shows you the parlous state of the rest of the media. How is it that a team of five people has managed to release to the public more suppressed information, at that level, than the rest of the world press combined? It's disgraceful. [Source]

4 comments:

  1. I'm proud of Wikileaks - as you said, the world really needs it. I'm not sure it's always good for sensitive information to be leaked, but sometimes it's nice for the authorities to know that anything might come out...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bhagwad, Transparency increases the chance of good governenace. In attempt to bring peace, there is more need of trust and trade than armies. Authorities should be more honest as they are mere representatives only !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Umesh for coming here. We are soft part of the crowd and will agree on liberty issue!

    ReplyDelete

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