“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Here is a link to various WikiLeaks Mirrors if you are having trouble getting to the main site.
The Elite’s response to the existence of WikiLeaks and the specific revelations of the last few weeks (Dec 2010) tell us everything we need to know about the nature of our so-called democracy.
Our ruling elite seem to find it outrageous that they can be held to account by the people who elected them and pay their wages for “private” conversations they had while working for our democratically elected governments.
The first idea I would challenge is that official, paid, representatives of a democratic government can have “private” conversations with other government officials. For instrumental reasons It is reasonable to argue that sensitive negotiations and conversations between governments are kept out of the public domain while they are taking place, but beyond that what can diplomats and politicians possibly mean by “private” conversations.
The objection seems to be that if the public can view the written communications of diplomats, civil servants and politicians, then those public officials will have to take into account how their statements will look to the public. Well, God forbid that our ruling elite would have to acknowledge that their authority to rule comes entirely from us and they in fact have a duty to speak and behave in ways they could justify to us.
The justification for the hypocrisy and deceit of diplomats, civil servants and politicians whenever it is revealed is the “Realpolitik” defence. “It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.” The implication is that “our” government would behave decently and honestly if only they could, that “we” are the good guys, but that bribery, corruption and hypocrisy are endemic in the rest of the world and to succeed instrumentally we have to engage in the world as it really is, not as “moral idealists” would like it to be.
But whenever there are revelations of the machinations of Western diplomats, civil servants and politicians it becomes evident that there is no justification whatsoever for the moral high ground the Western Democracies seek to take in the International political discourse. Some may say “So what? Did you really think it was different!?” But this disconnect between the public rhetoric of freedom, justice and democracy and the cynical private discourse of brute power and realpolitiks is what gives rise to the furious indignation of revolutionaries and terrorists the world over. One could make a strong case for example that 9/11 was a direct result of this hypocrisy. The USA talks about freedom, justice and democracy but all over the world follows its own interests with a cynical ruthlessness that ignores all concepts of freedom, justice and democracy. The USA has no hesitation in bombing and murdering enemy civilians all over the world (Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nicaragua etc, etc) but is outraged if a single US soldier or civilian is harmed.
And now a journalist, (Julian Assange, creator of WikiLeaks), who tries to put the activities of our public servants into the public domain is being hounded and in fear of his life! He has been accused of rape in Sweden despite the fact that in September the Swedish Director Of Prosecutions stated clearly that there was no case for him to answer and Sarah Palin has called for his assassination by the US Secret services. I thought Sarah Palin and the Tea Party were against Big Government and suspicious of the coercive power of the state? It appears that is only so when the coercive power of the state is being used to set up universal healthcare for all; it seems Sarah Palin is more than happy for the coercive power of the state to be used secretly against poor people in the Third World and believes in the murder of anyone who challenges that idea.
The worldwide ruling elite do not believe they should be accountable to the rest of us and would if they could keep all their dealings from us. WikiLeaks is an important vehicle for breaking down the walls of secrecy that surround the machinations of our supposedly democratic government and as such must be supported by all those who question the motives and tactics of the ruling elite.
I Am Not A Number
Political and Philosophical Dispatches From An Individual Living In A Society