Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Julian Assange’s Revenge

Diversionary tactics are big in the intelligence community. Have the ‘mark’ look the other way while you pick his pockets. And while the international and diplomatic community cry foul over the latest WikiLeaks abomination, the rest of us should be breaking down the doors of governments asking how such ‘sensitive’ data was able to be let loose in the first place. You can bet plenty of bureaucrats are currently playing ‘Duck and Cover’. Isn’t the job of these people to keep secrets ‘secret’?

I can only guess that should be Rule 1 of the CIA, MI6, ASIO, MOSSAD and others’ Guide to Being a Good Spy. We might not like secrets being kept by our governments, it adds to our paranoia. But we can at least expect them to keep them secret, if that’s their department’s job. In an age of such deplorable terrorism, if a website represented by a ‘rogue’ Australian ex-pat can get their hands on this stuff, what hope can we have of our own real security? I guess the answer is “we can’t”. Time to give-up?

I wonder how much of this hoo-ha we would hear if WikiLeaks was a recognised news agency? I’m reminded of the impartial reporting philosophy of Al Jazeera when they first launched. Real news was presented (and still is) irrespective of the perspective. That philosophy subsequently raised the ire of western governments.

I don’t condone all the actions taken by WikiLeaks. Any type of ‘reporting’ requires discretion. But what is it that gives Julian Assange such bravado in the face of threats from so many governments? No doubt he is well advised legally, but given the man’s history, especially his early childhood, light is shed on his perspective of the world. At the age of 9, unfortunate circumstances found him indoctrinated into a cult in southern Australia, which was eventually uncovered to be undertaking the most horrendous treatment and torture of child members. Some survivors have committed suicide as adults. After an acrimonious split with his step-father, his mother, he and step-brother found themselves ‘one the run’ from the cult for many years. And here’s where Assange’s motivation may lay for ‘sticking-it’ to authority. Why would you be intimated by threats from governments, when those same authorities failed to protect you as a child?

Not convinced? Take a look at the Australian 60 Minutes report on the cult here: http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/stories/870619/the-family

And to learn more about how Julian Assange ticks, take a look at this frank and revealing interview from July this year, found here:   
 http://www.ted.com/talks/julian_assange_why_the_world_needs_wikileaks.html

My profile of Julian Assange as broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 can be heard here:

(http://www.timstackpool.com/Assange_RTE.mp3)
Copyright RTÉ Radio Ireland 2010