The recent developments on Wikileaks show the uneasiness of global leaders, citizens as well as the press itself, with ‘Freedom of Press’.
Now let’s stay away from the person of Julian Assange, the hunted founder of Wikileaks. Whether he did or did not sexually assault women, we cannot possibly know. We do know however, that no rapist has ever been hunted down so severally by authorities of different nations. Not even woman traffickers are chased after with such a force.
If Asssange did rape these women, he should account for it.
The force international governments use on this single man, proves they have a different, more probing motive to catch him. This motive is self-centred. Governments are genuinely afraid of Assange and his Wikileaks.
Wikileaks exposes the lies politicians use to manipulate the public. Lies that are usually covered under the blanket of the bed, where a great lot of the institutional press sleeps alongside the powerful.
Just how democratic is the democratic West? How free are we really? That is the question raised by Wikileaks.
The Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais, Der Spiegel and the New York Times seem to understand the importance.
So instead of focussing on the person Assange, or get carried away by fear that Al Qaida will bomb ‘vital locations’ (I for one think that every self respecting terrorist already knows where to find these locations), let us discuss Democracy, the accountability and transparency of governments and their officials and defend the Freedom of Press and Speech.
There will be more and different Wikileaks. We need them. To protect our freedom. That is one thing we can thank Julian Assange and his friends for.
Image: detail painting on newspaper, Joost Sicking, 1965