WikiLeaks A New Revolution In Journalism
WikiLeaks has created a new revolutionary sensation across the world and more particularly in the developed nations. These nations are finding it difficult to hide their embarrassment caused due to leaks. People across the world realise that these nations have been telling lies to retain their supremacy in all matters for several decades, if not centuries. Capitalist countries have been struggling to survive from the economic shocks caused by manipulative tactics in financial and economic matters. Scams, frauds, bankruptcy, unemployment, et al have panicked the citizens of these so-called developed countries. Earlier, individuals were declaring bankruptcies. Now companies, banks, states and also the nations as a whole are declaring bankruptcies. A queue is seen in declaring such bankruptcies. Greece, Portugal, Spain, Latvia, Italy, and even the USA are standing in this queue. On top of these problems, WikiLeaks is now pushing them to the walls.
What WikiLeaks wants?
The team wants the world to be freed of exploitation and be ruled as truthfully and transparently as possible. It wants the rulers who are playing with lives of innocent people by declaring war and looting other nations’ natural resources and personal properties must be exposed for their dual standards and, if possible, punished them adequately. The team also wants to create ‘alternative media’ to clear wrong impressions and perception created by the media fully controlled by the capitalists. Major control of world media is with just five MNCs and blessed by the respective local governments. They always give one-sided picture of the world affairs to meet their objective of controlling the world affairs. WikiLeaks wants to challenge this one-sided and manipulated reporting and also paid-news. It is also trying to create enough potential to expose all wrong doings of imperialistic ambitions of the developed nations. In an interview to New Yorker (as reported on July 7, 2010), Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, said: “Exposing secrets could potentially bring down many administrations (including the USA) that rely on concealing reality.” Someone has recently said that secrecy has become the refuse of unaccountability. Assange sees capitalist governance, particularly in developed countries, is a conspiracy of using their power against the governed from other countries, more particularly in developing and poor countries. And as such Assange wants WikiLeaks to undermine the ability of these governments of rich nations to communicate secretly and at the same time demolish their power by bringing transparency by using the electronic media tools. Assange once said that his papers would bring down these exploitative entities, including the USA.
Why is there cry about secrecy?
More the secrecy in governance, more will be the power in the hands of the rulers to manipulate the affairs. It is like what Henry Kissinger said in 1970s: “Control the oil and you control nations. Control food and you control people.” We can now add: “Control information and you control world affairs.” Secrecy has become a tool in the hands of imperialist forces under the guise of democracy. There is a competition to publish secret documents or information much ahead of other competitors. “Breaking News” is one such category. Some time leaks are even pervasive too. There cannot be any hide-and-seek attitude in any democratic setup. When the secrecy becomes a tool in the hands of rulers, it is then can be called a non-democratic setup. In that case, how could we then call the USA, or for that matter any country claiming democracy, as democracy and still hide the vital information for its citizens. The founder of WikiLeaks must have been mentally challenged by this kind of duplicity. In India too, we have been facing the problems about transparency in many matters. On consistent demands by some social activists, the government had finally agreed to approve the ‘Right to Information Act’ (RTI). This is exactly the issue Julian Assange has decided to take on the Western countries, especially the USA, for their duplicity in this matter. As per Assange, there is more danger about China as compared to the USA. There are more cables about China than the USA. This will be realised when all the cables get published.
Julian Assange has changed the dynamics of information system by making the secrets of those governments wide open to the people of the world. He is fighting to practice right to information as fundamental right of any citizen of the world when his country is concerned for any action of the overseas powers. This has created lot of upheavals and uncomfortable feelings among the Western countries. Many developing countries like India have been fooled consistently for the past several decades by the West for their own interest to dominate the world affairs. What Assange is doing was exactly expected from the ‘free’ press from those countries. He must have expected Watergate type exposure on the secrets of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since they have failed, Assange must have taken up this task in his own way.
Republican Congress member Ron Paul has recently expressed his disapproval by saying: “We should view WikiLeaks controversy in the larger context of American foreign policy. Rather than worry about the disclosure of embarrassing secrets, we should focus on our own delusional foreign policy. We are kidding ourselves when we believe spying, intrigue and outright military intervention can maintain our international status as a superpower while our domestic economy crumbles in an orgy of debt and monetary debasement.”
Chicago Tribune has gone one step ahead by saying on December 9, 2010: “Surely, WikiLeaks and the newspapers have redacted some details, but the clues are there. It is safe to assume that all those documents on the website have been downloaded by the intelligence services of every country on Earth. Not just enemy or rogue states, but friendly nations as well.” Then why create so much fuss and resistance?
Someone said, “The banks are too big to fail, and the media is too big to tell the truth.” Why so much fuss about secrecy then? Too much of any governance is secret. Why? It is very simple. Those who have secrets hold power as well. Same is the case of big businesses. Bureaucrats in business and government of any country have always known this. Secrecy is power in politics, inner circles, insiders and the elite class of society. In private sector, secrecy is a power. It confirms wealth, privileges, access to the political inner circles etc. Industrial lobby is privy of such government secrets. It is said by someone that lobbyists now run America and own America. It is questioned by some: Is Congress in the USA run America for the citizens? The answer is ‘No’. They are mere puppets, pawns for the huge conspiracy, an oligopoly, plutocracy, and monopoly all in one, a private club of America’s richest few on Wall Street. Lobbyists are everywhere. There are 13,740 registered lobbyists in Washington, a total of 42,000 de facto lobbyists and one expert estimates 2,61,000 in the “influence-lobbyists-complex throughout America, as per Paul B Ferrell, economist-Market Watch.
In an interview with Forbes (appeared on internet on 9.12.2010), Assange has said that the data of cables in possession of WikiLeaks is huge; and out of that above fifty per cent is related to corporate sector and banks. When these cables will be in open, and it is going to be very soon, huge attempts would be made to hunt the WikiLeaks people by those elite whose interests are jeopardised by spilling the beans in open. This will be a war against monopolists and the state protecting the same monopolists. This war is going to be a bigger blow to the capitalism when compared to imperialist power playing havoc in warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world.
In an answer to a question on ‘free market’, Assange says: “I am absolutely in favour of free market. I love market. In the USA, everything is vertically integrated and sewn up; so you don’t have a free market. To put it simply, in order for there to be a market, there has to be the information. A perfect market requires perfect competition. Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule, or good behaviour….so it is only the obvious that we want: Things concerning intelligence and war, and mass financial frauds. Because they affect so many people so severely.” The interviewer from Forbes has said rightly: “Julian Assange is the prophet of coming age in voluntary transparency, the leader of an organisation devoted to divulging the world’s secrets using technology unimagined a generation ago.”
Assange has recently voiced his concern about safety of his life as vested interests do not want him to continue his crusade to a logical end. The media has to come forward to protect him and his mission. This is the testing time for the world media, which is working under the monopoly blanket. Today Assange is a most hunted man when compared to even Osama bin Laden. Some time he is branded as anarchist or even an idealist or a pack of jackals. Some see him a man of our time whose arrival on global scene was in fact overdue. His arrival was expected in the background of present financial manipulations by few rich and greedy people and nations. Someone has to ‘correct’ and ‘balance’ the collapsing human society. The number of people supporting his cause is increasing every day. Silent spectators of exploitative world have now realised the game and want to revolt against the imperialistic powers and stand by with Assange.
By DG bokare