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Leaking democracy
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-12-02 09:12:14
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The last sixty years especially after the WWII and definitely the last thirty years that I’m fully aware of the situation there is no chance where a western leader met with any leader from any place around the globe and didn’t mention the issue of freedom of speech. That was the first thing Ronald Reagan mentioned to Gorbachev in their first meeting and the last thing Cameron mentioned in his meeting with the Chinese leadership and don’t forget how often the western leaders have made angry Vladimir Putin with their obsession to remind him all the time his problems with the press.

Freedom of speech which most often is rhapsodized with the freedom of press seems to be the first prove for democracy western leaders’ check in any country. The access to information and the checking over the authority that governs through transparency. And suddenly all that sounds so pompous when you check the news the last few days, the reports from and about “Wikileaks” and the whole attack against “Wikileaks” founder Australian Julian Assange.

Democracy to work has to be transparent in every single aspect and freedom of speech is perhaps one of the most important tools of democracy guarantying the freedom of opinion among the people and to form this opinion you need information otherwise you have a dictatorial system with full control of information and the people’s minds and actions. And the results of the later we have seen them countless times the last five thousands years. Stating the above then it doesn’t make sense all the anger with the leaks of the documents in the “wikileaks”. We got to the point where American and European politicians believe that Julian Assange is more dangerous than Bin Laden and “Wikileaks” as dangerous as al-Qaeda and they express that publicly apparently endangering the lives of the team behind the internet site exactly the same way they accuse “Wikileaks” endangering the lives of the American – for example – soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When the documents about the events in Afghanistan and Iraq that included civilian casualties leaked nobody was really shocked. Everybody knew and everybody knew that Pakistan plays games with al-Qaeda and I don’t understand why everybody is surprised if Hillary Clinton asked from the American ambassadors all around the world to do a bit of James Bond as part time thing. Don’t they do the same all the governments? Isn’t information collection part of the embassy’s job description? Any embassies? So Hillary asked them to do it better and please don’t tell me that the Iranian ambassador is London is there to promote the Persian cultural heritage only and nothing else!

And since when it became a problem the opinion some bureaucrats have about foreign leaders? Do the Russians think that all the American politicians are angels with good aims? I suppose the word “bitch” next to Sarah Palin’s name is common in every report of every ambassador in Washington. Is this a reason for a diplomatic episode? And who doesn’t know that prince Andrew is an obnoxious brat? If that was a top secret then the UK services are doing really bad job!

If the Americans, the British or the Iraqis didn’t want to be screwed with those documents they shouldn’t have screwed up before, it’s simple as that and the people have the right to know because this is what democracy is about. Again is simple as that. And by going after “Wikileaks” and their leader with international warrants they just raise curiosity on what they want really to hide. Except that they motivate more to leak or create their own leak-sites and in the end they are making Julian Assange a hero and a martyr the same time.

Now Julian Assange is wanted in many countries mainly for a rape case in Sweden but with all this fuss they are doing it makes you suspect that the whole thing is made to trap the man and shut his mouth and before his case stand in the court, before hear the proves or anything connected with the actual case they have create a conspiracy theory that in the end most likely free Julian Assange even if he’s guilty. And this “if” is huge since all the “democratic countries forget that everybody is innocent until proven guilty! They can not use and manipulate the press to convict somebody before stating and proving that he is guilty and most of all before giving him the chance to defend himself. Actually all the above show lack of democracy in those who preach democracy and freedom of the speech.

Wikileaks is accused that is mainly targeting USA and her allies but again this raises more questions, so if Julian Assange was targeting the Iranian and the north Korean regimes for example hew would have been a good guy but going after Americans and Europeans he is worst than Bin Laden? And if the New York Times or Washington Post for example could have access to all those documents they wouldn’t publish them? So why the New Yorker for example is not considered worst than al-Qaeda since it is the magazine that published what happens in the Iraqi jails and it continues publishing?

With all these things I have the feeling that the western democracies have a serious problem, their democracy is leaking and is leaking badly and dangerously!

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