Posted: February 1st, 2011 by Militant Libertarian
Former WikiLeaks spokesman launches new secret-spilling site.
Let me say up-from that I am not saying that what OpenLeaks seeks to do is right. However, I am saying that actions have consequences — and the actions of far too many in Washington today are irresponsible, politically motivated, and ultimately harmful for the very people that they claim to want to help.
The new site is called OpenLeaks; and you can view it at www.openleaks.org. They aim to be more open than Wikileaks was, and also to be faster at moving the information along. It sounds like, to me, that they are placing the burden of responsibility on the shoulders of whomever seeks to publish information received via OpenLeaks. However, this opens up a few areas of concern — which I’ll bring up in a moment.
From an article at The Washington Post:
A former WikiLeaks spokesman launched a rival website Friday, saying he planned to give whistleblowers more control over the secrets they spill.
The new platform, called OpenLeaks, will allow sources to choose specifically who they want to submit documents to anonymously, such as to a particular news outlet, said Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
“We’d like to work with media outlets that have an interest in informing the public,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting of top business and political leaders in the Swiss resort of Davos.
The difference between his group and WikiLeaks, he said, would be that his group leaves reviewing the material up to the publication or advocacy group chosen by the source to receive the information.
WikiLeaks has struggled to wade through the vast amounts of material it received – particularly the hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables – and been criticized for sharing the data with only a handful of media outlets around the world.
Domscheit-Berg said giving more professional journalists and analysts the opportunity to receive and sift through documents would speed up the process while making OpenLeaks less of a target, as it would not be publishing any of the material itself.
“We are not going to get under the same kind of scrutiny from governments and big corporations as WikiLeaks is currently,” he said.
WikiLeaks and its 39-year-old Australian founder Julian Assange have come under increasing pressure since beginning to publish some 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables in November.
Domscheit-Berg, a former spokesman for WikiLeaks who fell out with Assange, said the two websites and others soon to be launched could complement each other, helping to “decentralize” the whistleblowing process.
Wouldn’t this process actually make OpenLeaks more of a target? Maybe not.
It’s difficult to be more demonized than Wikileaks was … and Wikileaks was careful about the information they passed along. The consequence of being careful was that it made them slow and inefficient — and they were treated like the worse criminals in the world by the U.S. Government anyway.
Remember, Wikileaks isn’t under fire for getting people killed. They didn’t blow any on-going or future missions. Assange had said in interviews that any information about ongoing U.S. missions was set aside — they went out of their way not to leak anything that would compromise active military operations. Even U.S. officials had said that Wikileaks was “embarrassing” but caused little lasting damage.
Wikileaks was targeted by the U.S. Govt for making members of the political class look bad. Making people in Washington look like a bunch of asses is apparently worse than attempted genocide. Think I’m kidding? Look at how Saddam Hussain was treated while under U.S. custody, and then look at how Bradley Manning is being treated. The difference is telling.
For being one of many who passed along embarrassing information along to Wikileaks, Manning spends “23 out of every 24 hours in that cell by himself. He’s not allowed to exercise in the cell. He’s not allowed to arbitrarily just write letters. He has to specifically ask for anything more than, say, one book at a time.”
Yes, I know that Manning is being accused of some serious things; but heisn’t accused of “crimes against humanity.”
Saddam was accused of that. He spent years filling mass graves with the bodies of his own people, and a nearly wiping out all of the Kurdish people. Genocide gets you coffee, cigars, recreation, regular conversation, and even a small garden while in prison. Making the president look like an ass and a liar gets you a prison cell where you are treated much like how Saddam probably should have been treated.
While the U.S. didn’t kill Saddam (rather, the Iraqi people put him on trial and them had the former dictator hanged), members of the American political class have actually called for Assange and others associated with Wikileaks to be murdered.
SEE RELATED: People OK With Murdering Assange: The Website
The priorities of most of the American political class are this: protecting Americans isn’t as big a deal as protecting themselves. Ego and greed come first.
But I digress … you get my drift.
My (intended) point is this: I think that passing the burden of responsibility to the news outlets is not going to help shield OpenLeaks from the wrath of the U.S. Govt at all. But then again, they will probably be treated the same either way.
The United States government has created an environment where you are going to be treated like a terrorist regardless — simply for exposing the lies and the cover-ups. If you even openly question the status quo, it “terrorizes” the so-called powers that be these days. That’s probably why everyone from Libertarian Party candidates to members of Catholic Workers groups are being labeled “terrorist” by various U.S. Government agencies.
The U.S. political class is actually incentivizing a system where efficiency brings better rewards to groups like OpenLeaks than, well, the careful system that Assange had in place with Wikileaks.
The U.S. government, with its ridiculous authoritarianism, may have created a monster.