Wikileaks Prepares Next Big Document Dump, While Media and Pentagon Continue Smear Campaign Against Its Founder
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It is left to online outlets like Wikileaks to not only reboot journalism by informing a vastly uninformed American public, but also fortify that public's homegrown First Amendment with every data dump. The fact that Wikileaks, and its inevitably replicating clones, might have to defend freedom of speech in front of Sotomayor and the Supreme Court is alarming when you consider that Assange isn't even American. He's Australian, and his affiliated transparency champions are a global group armed with information-stuffed servers stashed across the planet. Through their essential leaks and international makeup, they understand that safeguarding so-called national security at the expense of international truth and transparency is a loser's game in this still-new century.
Which is not to say that the Supreme Court might not disagree, given the chance. It's not radical to suggest that judges like Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and John Roberts might be partial to protecting national security at the expense of the First Amendment. Sotomayor can legally give no indication where she stands on the issue until it arises before the Supreme Court, and good luck getting anything out of Elena Kagan. Like the New York Times, the Supreme Court could side with the transitory powers-that-be over what should be immutable American constitutional rights. But for how long?
Millennia of human culture have weighed in on the issue and the verdict is pretty clear: Information is contagious, and cannot be contained with any credible strength for long. Mash in a globally networked Internet, whose design and purpose -- military in origin -- expressly mandates extensive information transmission. You're not going to stop data dumps by Wikileaks, or anyone else, from occurring forever. Unless of course, you shut everything down and pull the plug on democracy.
Like us, information wants to be free, and mostly because we need it to survive as a species. Without it today, we're drones on autopilot, until we're arbitrarily activated to wreak collateral damage on digital abstractions we once considered fellow humans. We shouldn't cross that technocultural line; we should reinscribe it. We can start by defending those, like Wikileaks, who are redefining both journalism and free speech in an internetworked age.