Posted by: jkirkby8712 | December 22, 2010

Tuesday, 21 December 2010 – WikiLeaks and their ‘protection’ of democratic freedom!

A few days ago, I agreed in broad terms to a ‘Statement ‘that the ‘Get Up’ pro-active organisation here in Australia, wanted to send to ‘America’ as a kind of protest against that nation’s perceived persecution of the Wikileaks promoter, Julian Assange, and the organisation itself that he was heading. Apparently that ‘statement’ appeared as a full page ad in New York times last Thursday – I haven’t read, I think GetUp want $15 from me for that privilege, or at least, all my personal postal contact details – no doubt so that I can be bombarded with a lot more material than I already get through email from GetUp.

I did willingly sign up with them of course, because I felt that some of the causes that they have promoted over the past year or so, of a political nature had some value to them, and were important issues. But along the way, like other pro-active organisations I’ve become interested in, I have at times felt their actions and motives over stepped the line a bit, and occasionally used tactics that my more conservative [careful if you like] approach did not want to go along with. Example prior to the Federal election, I felt the tactic of ‘pulling out’ isolated statements made by Opposition leader Tony Abbott, usually in a totally different context to the way they were used against him, in really poor taste, and an unnecessary use of a typical negative attack.

So while the ‘statement’ to the USA, was in broad terms aimed at standing up to safeguard freedom of information and the rule of law, and as a so-called ‘sober and poignant appeal to Australia’s ally, the United States’  –  in GetUp’s opinion, a continuation of the ‘fight for free speech, a free press and freedom of information in a global, modern and interconnected world’ and their desire to ‘continue to stand up for the rules of law, due process, and the democratic values that are often threatened in times of uncertainty’ –  all of this in broad terms I have no real concerns about.  But I do maintain that in certain circumstances, individuals should expect to be able to become involved in private conversations about issues of concern to them as individuals without those conversations been assumed to be ‘public property’ – which is far as I can see is what WikiLeaks is doing –  ‘everything’ in their view is ‘public property’ and if we want to talk about democratic values, that attitude to me seems to be negating such a philosophy!  I’m not sure what the broad opinion on all this is  – it ‘appears’ to be on the side of WikiLeaks, indicating the view that that ‘machine’ is doing no wrong in any situation. If that’s the case, it seems I’m in opposition to the main stream view. Perhaps if there is a threat to international relations and/or security [though we don’t need to rely on WikiLeaks for such threats to occur]  there is probably a case, but in view, some of the reports that we have been reading over recent weeks, well their release for world wide consumption is a total over-reaction, and a ‘cruel’ indictment on many innocent people.

I guess I would like to actually ‘see’ what the Statement in the New York Times said but that means releasing my personal  information to GetUp – probably perfectly harmless, but it’s my democratic freedom to make that choice, and I’m sure if I’m really desperate to read the statement,  the NYT is on the web!

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Responses

  1. This article may contain the first sensible argument against what Wikileaks is doing that I’ve heard since the story broke. Are people entitled to a private conversation? It is a complicated question. Generally I am on the side of freedom of the press and the idea that a democracy can only function if the electorate is an informed one, but this article does present an interesting point about the freedom of privacy. Certainly is food for thought.

    • Jaminism, as you suggest, a difficult question. My point was coming from a feeling of discomfort at the way this was all heading, in terms of the question of privacy, and just where you draw the line! Thankyou for your input, appreciated!


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