Friday, December 10, 2010

Wikileaks and Freedom of Speech

These are early days, but I am very impressed with America's handling of Wikileaks. That Mr. Assange is doing well (albeit imprisoned), and that the leaks have not stopped coming out. This augurs well.

This is in stark contrast with the current Nobel Peace prize winner, Chinese dissident Mr. Liu Xiaobo who is currently languishing in a prison in North China.

The west certainly bestows upon those who can express themselves the freedom of expression. Prof. Noam Chomsky comes to mind (who seldom has a good thing to say about any power structure). As does Julian Assange. As also do the usual suspects(the KKK, the Neo Nazis et al.).

The problem with this freedom of expression is that it is selective. The rights of, say, the Iraqis who have been killed for no fault of their own have certainly been trampled upon.

The plight of silent victims is often ignored by the western system -- often with explicit knowledge of American authorities. This is what the Wikileaks cables are revealing.

And this is where I believe transparency is important. And this is where I think Mr. Assange has done the right thing. If the American people know how their government is exploiting people in the third world to "protect their freedom", certainly, they will vote differently. Maybe I am too naive, but I think this has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the way America (and the west) votes.

Mr. Assange will go into the history books as a hero. Of that I have no doubt.

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