CLINTON: 'A LITTLE
DIPLOMACY, FOR PITY'S SAKE'
[El País, Spain]
[Click here for jumbo version]
WikiLeaks: A War, But
What Kind of War?
a war that sets nation states - all nation states - and multinationals - all
multinationals - against a new opponent, for which there is, as yet, scarcely a
name. … However hard one looks, it is difficult to find a precedent. In the
battle raging right now, the smoke still swirls around the infantry."
Translated By Emily
December 13, 2010
France - Libération - Original Article
A strange irony! Julian
Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, champion of transparency in diplomatic
relations, leading opponent of the opacities imposed in the name of the "national
interest," now finds himself under the icy spotlight of transparency. He
is in prison in Great Britain, awaiting extradition to Sweden, where has been
accused of sexual assault by two women.
[Editor's Note: Since this article was
published, British authorities have released Assange on bail. Now he awaits a decision on whether to extradite
him to Sweden. His next extradition hearing is set for January 11, 2011. Swedish
authorities have yet to file charges against him.]
The exact nature of the sex
crimes imputed to Assange and the prior history of his accusers, have been the
subject of frenzied debate across the Web and international press. What exactly
was entailed in the "rapes" for which the Swedish judiciary wishes to
pursue him? Did he really refuse to put on a fresh condom when his partner
asked him to do so - after the first one had split? Did he really make love to
the second plaintiff whilst she slept? And if so, how many times? Is the
Swedish concept of female "consent" to sexual activity really so
different from the Latin one?
As indecent or trivial these
questions may seem, they are all in the public interest. It is of primary
importance to the worldwide rule of law that we know whether Assange is the
victim of particular judicial ferocity on Sweden's part, or whether the
procedure being followed is normal. Until such time as WikiLeaks (one day, perhaps)
discloses evidence of possible diplomatic interventions, either with the
Swedish government or judiciary, we will have to be content with the ordinary
sources of information: police leaks, lawyers' boasts, and revelations by those
"close" to the investigation.
Read a Personal Appeal from
Founder William Kern
The background of one of
Assange's accusers only underscores the need for total transparency. Anna
Ardin, a young Swedish academic, is, it seems, close to members of the Cuban
opposition in exile, and the official Cuban press has made scarcely veiled
accusations of CIA manipulation. As it happens, she was the person who arranged
Assange's visit to Sweden and invited him to stay at her home - with such well
publicized consequences. If Assange fell into a trap laid for him by a Swedish Mata Hari, we should know
The other front in the
cyberwar, which has opened up this week, is equally interesting. The U.S.
Department of State had barely expressed its fury at operation WikiLeaks, when
a number of Assange's internet partners broke off all relations with him: Visa,
Mastercard, Paypal and Amazon wanted nothing more to do with him. Paypal's vice
president even naively confessed to complying with a letter the company had
received from the State Department, before amending his comment a few hours
later: the letter had not been sent to PayPal directly, but to WikiLeaks.
Certainly, each of these
businesses had irreproachable reasons for their actions: Assange, believe it or
not, had failed to provide them with his exact address. But it is essential to
know whether the U.S. government - which has yet to find solid grounds for legal
proceedings against WikiLeaks - did, in some way, attempt to hit the
sacrilegious site financially, by putting pressure on its bankers.
That's not all. WikLeaks and
its supporters fought back on two fronts. First, WikiLeaks itself hastily
uploaded documents demonstrating that Visa and Mastercard have benefited from the
support of the American Embassy in Moscow. Then, anti-WikiLeaks sites were
attacked by hackers, which put them offline for several hours. In a
counter-counterattack, under obscure circumstances, the hackers' Twitter
account was deactivated by Twitter, before being reactivated once again.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
If this isn't a war, it
certainly looks like one. But what kind of war? This isn't a war setting world
powers against one another. Putin, who came vocally to Assange's defense when
the latter was imprisoned, will no doubt react differently when the site publishes Russian
memos, which is bound to happen one day.
SEE ALSO ON THIS:
Ten Days in Sweden - The Full Allegations Against Assange
Le Monde, France:
Le Monde Names Julian Assange Man of the Year
El Mundo, Spain:
Julian Assange: The 21st Century 'Mick Jagger' of Data
Novaya Gazeta, Russia:
An 'Assange' On Both Your Houses!
El País, Spain:
Cables: Brazil Warned Chavez 'Not to Play' with U.S. 'Fire'
El Heraldo, Honduras:
The Panic of 'America's Buffoon' Hugo Chavez
Jornal de Notícias, Portugal:
If West Persecutes Assange, it Will What it Deserves
Correio da Manhã, Portugal:
WikiLeaks: A 'Catastrophe' for Cyber-Dependent States
WikiLeaks Undermines Radical Left; Confirms American Competence
Le Figaro, France:
And the Winner of the Bout Over WikiLeaks is … America
Assange the Latest Fall Guy for
Crimes of World's Power Elite
Who Rules? Hackers, the Press and Our Leaders - in that Order
Tal Cual, Venezuela:
If Only WikiLeaks Would
Expose President Chavez
Berliner Zeitung, Germany:
Assault on Assange Betrays U.S. Founding Principles
El Universal, Mexico:
WikiLeaks Revelations a Devastating Shock to Mexico
L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon:
WikiLeaks Makes 'Mockery' of 'U.S. Colossus'
Jornal de Negócios, Portugal:
More than We
Wanted to Know. Or Maybe Not!
The WikiLeaks Disclosures: A Journalist's Ambivalence
Global Times, China:
WikiLeaks Poses Greater Risk to West's 'Enemies'
Ahmadinejad's Chief-of-Staff Calls WikiLeaks Cables 'Lies'
Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
Saudis Ask: Who Benefitted from WikiLeaks Disclosure?
Cables Portray Saudi Arabia as a Cash Machine for Terrorists
El País, Spain:
Nuance of U.S. Displeasure
with Spain Government
El País, Spain:
Thanks to WikiLeaks' Disclosure, Classical Diplomacy is Dead
Urges U.S. Attack on Iran
Erdogan Needs 'Anger Management' Over U.S. Cables
Saudi Gazette, Saudi Arabia:
WikiLeaks Reveals 'Feeling, Flawed' Human Beings
Frontier Post, Pakistan:
WikiLeaks Reveals 'America's Dark Face' to the World
WikiLeaks' Release: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy
Buenos Aires Herald, Argentina:
Would Be Chaos
WikiLeaks Release a 'U.S. Plot to Sow Discord'
El Universal, Mexico:
WikiLeaks and Mexico's Battle Against Drug Trafficking
Toronto Star, Canada:
WikiLeaks Dump Reveals
Seamy Side of Diplomacy
WikiLeaks Cables, Day 3: Summary of Today's Key Points
Leaked Cables Reveal China is
'Ready to Abandon' North Korea
American Cables Prove Turkish
Claims on Missile Defense False
The Nation, Pakistan:
WikiLeaks: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy
WikiLeaks Revelations a 'U.S. Intelligence Operation': Ahmadinejad
'Russia Will be Guided by
Actions, Not Leaked Secrets'
Job of Media is Not
to Protect Powerful
Neither is it a war between opposing
economic interests. WikLeaks isn't earning anything: it's not a for-profit
enterprise. At most, newspapers that have participated in its campaign may hope
for some increase in circulation, but they simply climbed on the bandwagon,
and money isn't their primary motivation.
This is a war that sets nation
states - all nation states - and multinationals - all multinationals - against
a new opponent, for which there is, as yet, scarcely a name. Global citizens'
opinion? The borderless republic of net-surfers? An ideal (transparency)? A
technology (the Internet)? However hard one looks, it is difficult to find a precedent.
In the battle raging right now, the smoke still swirls around the infantry.
CLICK HERE FOR FRENCH VERSION
by WORLDMEETS.US December 28, 2:36pm]