Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 29, 2010
I suppose it’s a sign of a sort of twisted progress that men’s sexual activity is (as least when politically helpful to the powers that be) questioned the way women’s sexual activity is and has always been questioned. Still, I would rather that nobody be slut-shamed in this day and age, particularly as a way from distracting from the issues at hand:
Assange was asked in a BBC interview questions such as “how many women have you slept with?” When Assange refused to answer, many WikiLeaks critics pointed to this as hypocrisy — oh, see, he doesn’t believe in transparency for himself — and my tweet pointed out the obvious fallacy of that claim: there is nothing inconsistent about demanding transparency for governments while insisting upon personal privacy.
Moreover, the question Assange refused to answer — “how many women have you slept with?” — is relevant to absolutely nothing of public interest, including the rape accusation. By stark contrast, the information Wired is concealing — whether Lamo is telling the truth about his various claims — goes to the heart of one of the most significant political controversies in the world.
If this had been about a Julia Assange who was just some random person and was accused of raping two of her lovers, you can bet there’d be a huge (and justly so!) hue and cry about how this was unfair to imply that the number of sexual encounters a person had somehow any bearing on their guilt or innocence of a particular crime. But since this is about a man who various people, including several prominent US politicians, want dead because he and his group released information that pulled back the curtain on how the powerful people operate (and more importantly showed them to be utter hypocrites), only someone like Glenn Greenwald notices, much less complains.
By the way: The rest of Greenwald’s piece is well worth reading, particularly in his utter demolishment of Evan Hansen and Kevin Poulsen, and Poulsen’s efforts to mischaracterize his connection with Adrian Lamo.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Adrian Lamo, Cablegate, evan hansen, glenn greenwald, Julian Assange, kevin poulsen, Wikileaks, wired | Comments Off on Glenn Greenwald, Evan Hansen, And Slut-Shaming
Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 5, 2010
Let’s see them try to shut down over 200 WikiLeaks mirror sites around the globe. And if anything bad happens to Assange, expect that number to mushroom.
Here’s the list of mirror sites (“Spiegel” is German for “mirror”): http://www.twitlonger.com/show/79s9r1
Oh, and if anything bad does happen to Assange or to WikiLeaks, their supporters are ready, willing and able to unleash the “history insurance” option, all two gigabytes of it.
Posted in speaking truth to power | Tagged: Cablegate, Wikileaks | 3 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 4, 2010
Julian Assange did a live Q&A session at the Guardian yesterday. The transcript is right here.
Here’s a key sample therefrom:
Western governments lay claim to moral authority in part from having legal guarantees for a free press. Threats of legal sanction against Wikileaks and yourself seem to weaken this claim.
(What press needs to be protected except that which is unpopular to the State? If being state-sanctioned is the test for being a media organization, and therefore able to claim rights to press freedom, the situation appears to be the same in authoritarian regimes and the west.)
Do you agree that western governments risk losing moral authority by attacking Wikileaks? Do you believe western goverments have any moral authority to begin with?
A. Julian Assange:
The west has fiscalised its basic power relationships through a web of contracts, loans, shareholdings, bank holdings and so on. In such an environment it is easy for speech to be “free” because a change in political will rarely leads to any change in these basic instruments. Western speech, as something that rarely has any effect on power, is, like badgers and birds, free.
In states like China, there is pervasive censorship, because speech still has power and power is scared of it. We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction. The attacks against us by the US point to a great hope, speech powerful enough to break the fiscal blockade.
Posted in abuse of power, big money, corruption, crimes | Tagged: Cablegate, Wikileaks | 1 Comment »