Monday, December 06, 2010


The Guardian's WikiLeaks coverage.

A must-read from Reporters Without Borders.

WikiLeaks current site.

Incidentally, I've read several articles which quote Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell, Sarah Palin and others all state or strongly hint that what WikiLeaks did was illegal, and furthermore have read more than one reference in news wire stories to Assange and some of his colleagues as computer hackers. And corporations such as Amazon and Paypal have repeated the illegal activities accusation when justifying their hostile actions toward WikiLeaks. But I've yet to read an article that answers the simple question: were the American diplomatic cables the result of a leak? If so, where precisely was the illegality?


  1. PFC Bradley Manning is in custody for having leaked the documents. Receiving stolen goods is thought to be a crime, though how that applies in an international context is problematic. Manning is charged with breaking U.S. law and the prima facie case seems sound. As for Assange, there are certainly enough laws out there for authorities to be able find something to charge him with. Whether any of it can be made to stick is another question entirely.

  2. I'm really glad you've mentioned WikiLeaks. Most of the litblogs I read have ignored the whole issue. I wonder what the problem is: fear? disinterest?

  3. Frank and Lee, thanks for your comments.

    Frank: My understanding is Manning was arrested for leaking Iraq War-linked documents. He was an employee of the military, and ergo broke the law in that regard. WikiLeaks did not break the law by publishing any documents he may have leaked. When you refer to "receiving stolen goods", please clarify which party you're referring to.

    Lee: I've noticed the same apolitical phenomenon, and not just relating to this issue -- for example, the wars in Southern Lebanon and Gaza between Israel and Hezbollah and Hamas respectively, as well as the fizzled revolts in Iran and Myanmar. I understand that some people just don't feel sufficiently knowledgeable about the events to comment (or feel their opinions would not be popular, and don't have the emotional energy to deal with the consequent comments tussles). But the current WikiLeaks scandal is clearly a freedom of speech issue. One would think more lit-bloggers would recognize it as such, and at least express solidarity with the website.

    Re: the possibility some of this silence is motivated by fear -- I hope not, but have to admit that whenever I post on topics like this I feel a queasy sensation in my guts, as if I'm doing something very, very bad in class. Where does that primal anxiety come from, that feeling that by simply standing up for our rights we're somehow Pissing Off Teacher?
    6:04 PM