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Man with a Mission
He's out of the bottle.
Julian Assange is a man with a mission. From his early years on Magnetic Island to his stint as a hacktivist in Melbourne to his position today as the leader of the world's only viable whistleblower conduit, he's had one purpose in mind, a purpose refined over years of experience in dealing with corruption.
Crush the bastards.
The bastards: it's about injustice. It's about some people cheating other people. It's about some people stealing from other people. About some people oppressing other people. It's about injustice. Julian Assange doesn't like injustice. Then again, who does - except the bastards that stand to profit by it?
Julian Assange is all about the 99%. He could have been in the 1%. He could have elbowed and squirmed and wiggled his way up through the cronyism hierarchy that runs our democracies, got his nice estate in Coffs Harbour, driven his Mercedes to work every day in the big city, taken home a fat paycheque. He might even have gone into politics like some of that 1% do. But that would have been offensive to him.
Julian Assange doesn't think much about himself. He's there for all of humanity. Julian Assange is the most significant political individual on this planet and for our race since Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He too is a spokesman for non-violence and he too has the capability of transforming the planet. But his objective is not a mere subcontinent of a quarter of a billion people. His objective is the whole thing - all of us. And with himself as a part of it.
Give credit to the Internet if you want. The Internet: that vestige of what once was ARPAnet, a US military experiment in redundancy built at the most feverish peak of the Cold War, and later turned over to academia when the boys with toys grew tired of it. And as many an IT guru has observed, all the big breakthroughs in technology seem to come from groups commissioned to find new ways to murder their fellow human beings. So it was with the Internet too.
But the Internet, to paraphrase that forgotten spokesman for file sharing in Sweden, gives us human beings the opportunity to share information in a way we've never been able to do before. The Internet - and in particular Sir Tim Berners-Lee's invention of the 'WorldWideWeb' - has meant people don't have to wait and beg for a trickle of what possibly might be the truth and genuine knowledge from the powers that be. They can now go out and get it for themselves.
European villagers of old used to go to their prelates and ask naively if they could please be taught to read.
'Read what?' the coy prelates would ask.
'Well - well read anything!'
'But why?' the prelates would counter cheekily.
'Uh - because we - because we want to know things!'
'Oh no problem', the prelates would say. 'Ask me anything and I'll tell you!'
Then came the printing press. And friends of the inventor took printed copies of the christian bible to Paris to peddle. And were almost burned at the stake. People were so freaked out - they couldn't understand what was going on.
The distribution of information is no longer pyramidal, Rick Falkvinge proposed. It's lateral. People no longer have to rely on someone from on high to tell them what they want to know. The concept of copyright didn't establish ownership - it very literally granted (and limited and controlled) the right to copy - to use things like the printing press to share information. But the powers that be still had the dissemination of truth and information in a vise-like grip. The World Wide Web would finally blow that away.
From Twitter to Facebook to blogs to sub-mainstream news sites, people of today are sharing information laterally. A great percentage of tweets on Twitter are simply links to articles with further information. People are exhibiting a great thirst for information. They want to know the facts, the truth. They want to know the story behind the story. They don't trust mainstream media anymore.
Secrets & Lies
Julian Assange is at the 'ground zero' of this cultural watershed and he knows it. His WikiLeaks isn't so much about exposing secrets as it's about exposing lies. When we try to believe we're living in democracies where we have people representing us in the day to day business of our own governments, and when we find out those representatives have been doing things they're not supposed to be doing, we're not pleased.
'No taxation without representation' was once a wildfire motto. Today one might say instead 'no representation without transparency'. We pay those people to go to our capital cities to represent us. Except they don't. They get our votes and then turn their backs on us. They meet up with lobbyists, they enter into an exclusive club, they have their champagne dinners and endless cocktail parties, get shuffled around in fancy limousines, get perks all over the place from people with real capital who want them to vote a bit different from what we expect. And so on. It's the role of the whistleblower to expose such crime, and it's the fortuitous emergence of the technologically safe 'mere conduit' that's been WikiLeaks to give those brave whistleblowers the opportunity to expose that crime with a minimum of risk for their personal safety and integrity.
They're All Naked
Now Julian Assange's WikiLeaks put everything from the past six years online all at once. The new website, registered only 29 August this year, has hundreds of gigabytes of data in raw and torrent format. Currently (at time of writing) it's being mirrored all over the planet. Thousand of sites will have those hundreds of gigabytes of information within a few more hours. There's literally no way to stop it.
This game of Whack-A-Mole is one the bad guys never expected, one they can never win. All that's left for them now is admit it and move on - perhaps start planning new strategies and conspiracies. Which may or may not work this time around. But this game is one they've definitely lost. At last. Totally.
There's enough in the WikiLeaks Storage files to fill a library many times over, there's enough material there to form the basis of countless doctoral research projects, there are more scoops in those files than there've been for all of mainstream media for all their publishing history. It's a cornucopia, a treasure trove, and it's the informal but not so quiet announcement that one era has come to an end and a new one is finally beginning.
There's no way to turn back now. For starting now, corrupt potentates everywhere stand naked. Hillary Clinton standing at a podium and proselytising about the need for freedom of information? She's naked. Look closely. Glenn Greenwald did. So did the millions who read his article. And that's but one example.
Now look at Barack Obama. Barack Obama might think he looks cool in his Air Force One jacket, but he's not wearing any Air Force One jacket. He's not wearing any jacket at all. He's totally naked.
They're all naked - they're totally naked. David Cameron, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Fredrik Reinfeldt, Marianne Ny, Claes Borgström, Thomas Bodström, Robert Gates, Tony Bliar, George Bush, the other George Bush, the judges, the magistrates, the medium size dogs, the cabinet ministers of countries ranging from Indonesia away in the far east to the EU, the UK, and the US in the west.
The corporate leaders of companies like Levi Strauss and Hanes with their factories in Haiti, the emboffs with their stealth agendas. Those strange political winds in Australia with the likes of Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett and that McClelland character - they're naked. Julia Gillard in particular is outrageously naked.
Naked. All of them. Our duly elected democratic representatives. We can see what they're doing. They now know it, and they are now starting to realise we know they know it. And so forth. They can no longer hide, they can no longer conceal the truth.
The 99% win. The Julian's out of the bottle. For good.
I was an ordinary person when I got involved in this campaign but people have to realise that this case is pivotal for democracy in this country, and around the world, because we all share the Internet. The technology of the Internet has brought free information to the people of the world. We now have a voice - we don't have to go through the mainstream media - and we can talk to each other across borders, across ages and occupations, and we can share information for the benefit of the planet. This is a very important issue, not just for me personally because Julian is my son, but for the future of democracy.
- Christine Assange