Balanced Perspective


During my hiatus here I have obviously missed a lot of opportunities to talk about WikiLeaks. Thankfully, Lenin's Tomb has written about what is, in some sense, the most important aspect of this whole story, the rape allegations and how they are treated in relation to the rest of the story.

Why the most important? After reading about WikiLeaks for months now, I feel that, at least on the Left, most could agree on the following: what has been leaked is of varying importance, but there is an inherent value in having access to primary source as a means of being able to come to our own conclusions about the veracity of stories we read in the mainstream media. And as much as these leaks may cause the tightening of the security state, it is difficult to argue that it would be better for us not to know anything about what our government is up to in order that such tightening doesn't occur.

But what still needs more examination, and what Richard is inviting us to examine, is not the corruption of others, but our own. Are we looking for heroes? Are we willing to make those that we like, or those that we view as being responsible for good acts, less responsible for the bad acts they may have committed? It is this kind of thinking that leads to despotism, regardless of whether the despot in question purports to represent the Left or the Right.

That two ultimately unrelated issues, the rape allegations and the manhunt for WikiLeaks, which calls into question the future viability of the project, have become linked with each other may be convenient for some, whether the goal is to tarnish Assange or to tarnish the state, but, ultimately, any critique that leaves the two issues connected is doomed to failure. Either you deny the emancipatory potential of WikiLeaks due to the charges or you deny the possiblity of justice for some ideal of Justice that becomes mutually exclusive from its universal application.
It's not that I disagree that the charges could be specious nor that I discount the fact that there is political motive in how assiduously they are now being prosecuted after being dropped, but neither are absolute proof of innocence or guilt, just factors that should be taken into account should a case come to trial. That there may never be one because of either resistance to extradition by Americans or because of it is a significant issue but, I think, ultimately beside the point of my "essay". Thanks.

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