Thoughts on Wikileaks

December 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

This just in:  Bank of America is refusing to process payments to Wikileaks.  It’s not surprising since Wikileaks has been threatening to embarrass BofA by releasing the juicy parts of several gigabytes of data obtained from a BofA executive’s hard drive.  Since the whistleblower website relies on donations, I wonder how this will affect their operations.  Mastercard, Visa and Paypal had all decided not to process payments to Wikileaks prior to the BofA announcement.  Well, those are pretty much all of the major players for sending money electronically around the world.  I wonder if Wikileaks can keep running as an organization without resorting to selling tubesocks on the street corner for cash.  Perhaps Wikileaks can just set up agents to collect donations on its behalf and it won’t end up being a big deal after all. 

There have been allegations of impropriety on the part of the U.S. government in strong arming these companies to stop payments to W.  If that is indeed true, then that does seem Orwellian.  To complicate matters, Daniel Ellsberg has been a vocal supporter of Julian Assange, drawing parallels to the circumstances surrounding the Pentagon Papers. 

That said, why is Assange only interested in targeting the United States?  (Yes, let’s set aside the minor exceptions for now)  Speaking out against the United States made sense in the year 2000, when it was the clear hegemonic power.  In 2010, not so much. 

Russia is no longer committed to becoming a democracy. 
China tells the U.S. to piss off regarding the former’s currency manipulation. 
North Korea just showed off a technologically advanced nuclear reactor; and we suspect there are several others.  
Afghanistan is bleeding America dry.  

I don’t have any problem with criticizing government.  In fact, it’s not only part of our rights as citizens, but it is our patriotic duty to do so.   That said, couldn’t we start in the order of egregiousness?  Specifically, how about we start with the government that doesn’t let Liu Xiaobo pick up his Nobel Peace Prize for starters? 

If Julian Assange is committed in bringing down the United States, there’s no need to worry.  Most economists predict that China will surpass the U.S. in aggregate GDP at some point in the future, if not within 30 years.  What’s the rush? 


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