There’s so much to be read and said about the unraveling stories and analysis of the Wikileaked Embassy Cables. The coverage by the Guardian, the New York Times’ Lede Blog and Kevin Poulsen and friends at Wired.com have been my main sources.
I cannot recommend highly enough David Campbell’s analysis – Wikileaks: From the personal to the Political.
Here’s some important snippets:
Wikileaks does publish the cables with the redactions made by media partners. (The Guardian explains how it does this here). So at the time of writing, Wikileaks has released only 1,203 of the 251,287 cables contained in the leak. This makes the coverage of the cables a prime example of networked journalism from which all partners, including the public, win.
In 2009, Wikileaks and Julian Assange won the prestigious Amnesty International New Media Award for exposing hundreds of alleged murders by the Kenyan police, an act which led to a United Nations investigation.
Assange is holding up a copy of The Guardian displaying a front-page story on the earlier release of the Afghan war logs. He is standing with his laptop. In the background is Don McCullin’s famous 1968 photograph of a shell-shocked marine from Hue in Vietnam. Signifying, first, the relationship between Wikileaks and its media partners, second, the role of the Internet, and third, the historical memory of the Vietnam War that hangs over current American military operations…
And just two more things from me.
1. If Julian Assange and his employees were Chinese they’d be lauded in the US as heroic dissidents and champions of free speech.
2. When was the last time rape was the headline story across the globe for a 48 hour period? Rarely? Never? Ever? Unfortunately, in this instance, I think the topic of rape will merely serve as a prop in the distraction techniques of mass media as existing powers attempt to divert the issue – from the global cultural sea change upon us – to the witch-hunt of America’s newest most-wanted. Dialogue about women’s rights, societal violence, machismo and misogyny is vitally important, but again it is diluted, set aside. The discussions that are occurring are, for the most part, not the right ones.