Access to wikileaks
The relentless exposing of ‘secrets’ by wikileaks only serves to
confirm the view held by many in both the global north and south: that
powerful western democracies and business interests continue to bully
and manipulate developing countries in order to maintain an unfair
And the frightening personal
attack on front man Julian Assange shows
how far governments and businesses will go to protect their
interests. Leaving aside the rape allegations, calls from US
politicians for Assange to be executed and by commentators for his
assassination leave you wondering whether you blinked and woke up
inside the Bourne trilogy.
Wikileaks has exposed corruption, torture and the obnoxious behaviour
of diplomats around the world. We now know, for the record, that Shell
have people in every Nigerian Government ministry.
How can it possibly not be in the public interest that these things
are now widely known?
The arguments against wikileaks just don’t cut it. There is no
evidence that the Afghanistan and Iraq war leaks of earlier this year
have increased risk to the lives of soldiers and personnel. The
objections of UK politicians that the leaks are damaging to national
security sound weak, vague and fearful.
Democracies should not have so much to hide that their exposure should
threaten world peace.
Campaign organisation Avaaz.org has called for ‘reasonable people’ to
be the judge of whether the wikileaks network were right to publish
the cables. If wikileaks had not published the cables how else would
we know whether what governments didn’t tell us that they were not
telling us about was not in the public interest?
Of course there are other mechanisms to get important information into
the public domain, but traditional journalism is often stifled by the
very interests it my be trying to
Sometimes people have to be enabled to think and judge for themselves,
and thanks to Julian Assange and the team of journalists and human
rights experts at wikileaks a wide debate has been opened about how
governments treat the confidence put in them by their electors and how
far they think their mandate allows them to go. Democracy should not
be about handing power over to the politicians and letting them get on
What with the daily exposures of cablegate and the increasing protest
activity on the streets of the UK it feels from this corner that the
world is in turmoil and surely, surely something good must come of
these challenges to the powers that be. But the last time things felt
this frantic was only a couple of years ago when the banks started
crashing left right and centre, and what good can we honestly say has
come out of the anger and frustration widely felt when taxpayers money
was used to bail out billionaire bankers?
Friends of the Earth Scotland are running a campaign for access to environmental justice that questions the premise that Government always knows best.
Sign the Avaaz petition now to stop the crackdown on wikileaks.