Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Post On Wikileaks: The End of Julian Assange

Well, everyone else seems to have an opinion about Wikileaks, so I figured I'd write about it as well. Even my mother, who is a step up from living in a cave when it comes to the news, asked me after this whole DoS cable dumb kicked off a couple weeks ago, "Hey Shaft, have you heard about this Wikileaks?" If my mother knows about it, then it is safe to assume Wikileaks has permeated every possible nook and cranny of our society without exception.

This whole Wikileaks affair makes for interesting reading, that's for sure. There are some really thoughtful pieces out there about Julian Assange's motivating political philosophies and world view. There's certainly plenty of talk about how damaging to US international diplomacy the latest document release has been. The vast majority of the articles have analyzed the actual documents themselves and dug into new revelations about US diplomacy. Most recently, there has been talk of the complexities of building a case against Assange.

After reading a number of articles and watching a couple interviews, I have made a preliminary conclusion: Julian Assange is, by nature, a prick. Whether you agree with what he has been doing via Wikileaks or not, you must conclude that he's a prick... or at least has prickish inclinations. While his dimenor is calm, he has an aire about him that says gently, "you know I'm better than you, right? You know I'm smarter than you. I'm doing this Wikileaks thing. It's me against the governments of the world. Ha ha ha." He's the kind of guy who wears a gold-trimmed robe and eats caviar whilst reading The New Yorker with The View on in the background. Classic prick. Of course, this is preliminary. I'll be sure to post if my impression becomes drastically more favorable for some unforeseen reason.

What's even more interesting about his whole Wikileaks deal is the apparent contradiction embedded in the process of leaking these documents. This is certainly the WikiLeaks paradox: As documents are revealed to the public for the cause of openness and transparency, it will actually lead to less of both as people become reluctant to share information for fear of being outed. This will lead to less dialogue, less understanding, less frankness, less meaningful exchange, all of which is essential to diplomacy and the international conversation. It will have the opposite affect those who support Wikileaks and its philosophy desire. So if not to fix the system this way, then my suggestion is to fix it from within. If you want more openness in government, then join the government, get the proper training and gain the knowledge of what goes on, then work your way into the proper department, and start confidentiality reform from the inside out. You have to learn the system before you can begin to fix the system.

As for the future of this whole mess, here are my predictions:

How all this will play out...
Julian Assange will be tied up in Swedish court for the next year, possibly get a harsher punishment for having sex in Sweden than he otherwise would have gotten (curtsy of some phone calls and maybe a letter from US leadership). He'll fall off the radar for a couple years as he regroups and then all at once jump back into the international news via the same methods and BS as before. We'll all be talking about this again in 2014. PFC Bradley Manning will go to trial and get 10-15 years if convicted of mishandling state secrets. US leadership will tout these happenings as a victory against a serious threat to national security and meanwhile, the US confidential system will not change or alter or amend itself in the least.

How all this should play out...
Julian Assange is tied up in Swedish court and put in jail for a couple years. Meanwhile, PFC Bradley Manning receives a fair trail and if convicted, is shot. Once released, Assange comes out swinging with new leaks to posts and is back to all his old tricks. Then one day he gets in his car, turns the key, and boom... Yes, this would seem convenient for the US, but your first thought is wrong. It wasn't the US. The real lesson here... don't mess around with Swedish women.

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