Monday, February 14, 2011

A CERTAIN LACK OF SELF AWARENESS

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
-George Orwell, Animal Farm

Assange
Effete radical Julian Assange may have great jazz hands and is a darling to the left, but he and his supporters are less than consistent. On the Australian TV show Dateline, for example, Mark Davis moaned:
''It's staggering how many people are writing books about him,'' Davis said. ''Nearly all these books are betrayals. Those Guardian journalists knew him very intimately and he shared all sorts of confidences with them. He feels totally betrayed.''
Its staggering to me that someone who has made their fame by betraying confidences and leaking secrets would remotely feel this way. Perhaps his hypocrisy meter is broken, or he believes himself above the concept. I can't help think of Google CEO Eric Schmidt who famously quipped "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." then sued and fired people who leaked private information about him and the company.

Meanwhile, Wikileaks keeps up its business, by publicizing private information the people who work there decide everyone ought to know. And, as a bonus, they try to take credit for everything that takes place. As Tim Blair notes, they falsely claimed credit for the Warmaquiddick leaks, and now they are taking credit for Mubarak being toppled from power. Danielle Magrane writes for the Daily Telegraph:
"And then there's no doubt that Tunisia was the example for Egypt and Yemen and Jordan, and all the protests that have happened there," he said.

WikiLeaks released cables showing that then Tunisian president Ben Ali would not necessarily have the backing of the United States, instead indicating that the army would have the support of the US.

Mr Assange said it was his "suspicion" that this information gave the army and people around the army in Tunisia "the confidence that they needed to attack the ruling political elite."
Assange himself seems incapable of understanding that governments may not just desire to keep certain secrets but need to in order to serve and protect their citizens. Either that, or he hopes you as a reader don't understand that and wants to play off it and portray himself as a heroic freedom fighter.

Meanwhile almost all of his work seems to be aimed not primarily at freedom of information but to harm certain western powers to the advantage of the Middle East and China.

Hat tip to Tim Blair for both the Wikileaks stories.

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