Tuesday, December 7, 2010


WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange was arrested at New Scotland Yard this morning on Swedish sex-assault charges. Meanwhile, his editorial in The Australian: Don’t Shoot the Messenger.

Informed Society?

“According to a three-part investigative series by Dana Priest and William Arkin published earlier this year in The Washington Post, an estimated 854,000 people now hold top secret clearance—more than 1.5 times the population of Washington, D.C. ‘The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.’

“The result of this classification mania is the division of the public into two distinct groups: those who are privy to the actual conduct of American policy, but are forbidden to write or talk about it, and the uninformed public, which becomes easy prey for the official lies exposed in the Wikileaks documents . . .

“It is a fact of the current media landscape that the chilling effect of threatened legal action routinely stops reporters and editors from pursuing stories that might serve the public interest—and anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or lying.”

—David Samuels, writer, “The Shameful Attack on Julian Assange,”
The Atlantic, Dec. 3, 2010

Editorial Comment: Hear no evil?

PeezPix: Whooo? Great Horned Owl



  1. This whole saga presents a very interesting “ethical” dilemma. On one hand, there are first amendment implications. On the other hand, there are real and potential national security implications. There are also questions about who or what is REALLY responsible for disseminating what could be described as information that “belongs” to the American people and, perhaps, people of the world. Makes my head spin to contemplate all of the legal maneuvering that will certainly take place. And, the guy’s an alleged rapist! And we’re just trying to get through the holidays. Sigh.


  2. Thanks for noting the Atlantic article. At least one place of sanity. It's like journalists have forgotten what they're supposed to do. Hope the young ones are having some thoughtful discussions.

  3. Maybe it was a typo and should have read "Julian Assange's Shameful Attack on ___________". Not sure if the blank needs the alleged rape victim's name or the average GI Joe.

  4. Time to recall what Justice Stevens said in his opinion in Pentagon Papers: "When everything is classified, nothing is classified."

  5. Sorry, Sean, I don't agree. We don't know what the full effect of the leaks will be, but I can't see how the leaks are more damaging than what our government has been able to do in secrecy because of claims of national security. Seems to me the fallout from these leaks would have to be pretty incredible to overtake what we paid and continue to pay for our invasion of Iraq.

  6. It will be interesting to see how the "top secret agency" bounces back from this and what will be the fate of Julian. The word privacy means nothing anymore. If you are a hermit and you do not touch technology, then you have a better shot with privacy. During this time, we will see a variety of journalist's works and how they present Julian and the Wikileaks. Let the games begin!

    Romina Nedakovic

  7. A little historical perspective: Back in 1971 after the publication of the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked them to the press, was hunted down by authorities, vilified as a traitor, cursed by the president and charged with criminal activity. But what he did undoubtedly hastened the end of a terribly destructive and ill-advised war. Now most consider him a heroic man of conscience.

    See any parallel with Julian Assange?