Aristocrats Fight Back

Mostly got that right:

The WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, who is wanted in Sweden over claims he sexually assaulted two women, was in Wandsworth prison tonight after a judge refused him bail at an extradition hearing in London.

In the short term the plan seems to be:

– count on the public’s ability to ignore the story when presented with titillation. Never under-estimate the stupidity of society! When faced with a choice between thinking about the implications of finding out that your democratic institutions are self-serving, and lying to you, or thinking about someone else’s genitals, it’s genitals every time.

– limit Wikileaks access to funds. Rely on the self-interest of financial institutions to keep them from maintaining a relationship with an entity about which completely un-proven accusations have been made. It’s obvious at this point that Wikileaks, as an organisation, has not broken any laws. The fact that it has uncovered the US government using diplomats for espionage, and breaking conventions on the treatment of the UN is also irrelevant – nobody is even talking about bringing charges.

In the medium term, it looks like idiot senators like Lieberman can be relied upon to hound the traditional press into restricting the material they publish. If Wikileaks can be silenced, or at least the public distracted from its fate, keeping the traditional press in line will become much easier.

The big prize is in the long term: using shock at being exposed within the system as momentum to get new legislation passed to improve the press protections afforded to the government. If everything is going to plan, we should start to see this being floated pretty soon… if it isn’t already.

Several big mistakes in the previous entry:

– obviously hadn’t thought through the implications of maintaining a focus on Assange, and how easily the public would be distracted from the real issues by the mention of genitalia.

– although i understood that releasing the insurance file wouldn’t affect the eventual outcome for Assange, i’d under-estimated the systems ability to convince people that this isn’t about them, this about Assange.

If there is a lesson to be learned here it is that if you plan on taking on the system you need to keep your cock in your pocket. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it’s still working…

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4 thoughts on “Aristocrats Fight Back

  1. I’m of the mind that the important story is how governments respond to Wikileaks with regards to shutting it down, rather than the actual content of the leaks. I think the important outcome will be more/less government transparency from here on, and how that battle plays out.

    What the US or other governments have been exposed as going is of transient importance, while progress towards (or regression away from) more transparent government in general is the big win or lose for humanity’s future.

    • Yep, that makes sense. In this world of ‘never letting a crisis go to waste’ the only outcome i can see right now is a distinct decrease in government transparency. Having been caught doing and saying things that obviously don’t conform to the will of the people, the reaction is to make sure that they don’t get caught again.

      Nothing i’ve seen makes me think they are in any way remorseful about anything but having been found out.

      • The question in my mind is can they stop it. The general public have both failed to stop the erosion of their personal privacy on the internet and willingly given it up. My expectation is that governments will make strong attempts to stop the same happening in their realm, but will equally fail in the long term, leading to a normalisation of greater transparency – the public sphere mirroring the transitions taken in the private sphere.

        Of course, governments will put up a much stronger fight than have private citizens. But I think ultimately they can’t beat the internet and within a few political generations the fight will be either conceded or forgotten, with new norms of greater transparency established.

        At least, that’s my optimistic perspective 🙂

        • Optimistic indeed! I’m really not against the idea of there being a need for privacy, in the both the public and private spheres.

          What really pisses me off is the total indifference. When politicians have obviously misrepresented themselves to the people, and have been shown to be knowingly so doing, there really has to be a some form of redress.

          It all sounds rather idealistic to be hoping that the US government wouldn’t be lying to the american people, sending their young off to die in what they clearly know are un-winnable wars, violating the rights of UN representatives while insisting on rights, etc.

          Perhaps this really only can be resolved with a complete loss of privacy for the executive, but that some what implies that if we distrust the fuckers that much we shouldn’t be giving the job of governing!

Wise words...

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