Free Bradley Manning rally. Photo by mar is sea Y
I must apologize for my dereliction of blogger duties. I’m writing an article for the Leader on the WikiLeaks thing. To get the human story behind it all, I do recommend a few reading items. First is Raffi Khatchadourian deeply reported profile of Julian Assange in the New Yorker. Very interesting tidbits there, including how WikiLeaks came across their first tranche of documents. It was from the Chinese, who were using a common underground server. The second piece is a transcript of a recent interview with Time magazine. In it Assange speaks about his philosophy regarding the political impact of these leaks. One money quote, among many:
The U.S. saw the French Revolution and it also saw the behavior of the U.K. and the other kings and dictatorships, so it intentionally produced a very weak President. The President was, however, given a lot of power for external relations, so as time has gone by, the presidency has managed to exercise its power through its foreign affairs function. If we look at what happened with Obama and health care reform, we see this extraordinary situation where Obama [indecipherable] can order strikes against U.S. citizens overseas but is not able to pass, at least not easily and not in the form that he wanted, a health reform bill domestically. And that seems to be … the very good idea, which was to try and keep the country free from dictatorship by keeping the presidency weak. But as the United States has grown economically, that has led to a situation where the foreign affairs power is latched on to by central government to increase the power of the government, as opposed to state government. The U.S. is, I don’t think by world standards, an exception, rather it is a very interesting case both for its abuses and for some of its founding principles.
Finally, the Boing Boing transcript of chats with the likely source of the leak – Pfc Bradley Manning is absolutely stunning reading for the human drama and emotion and the center of what has become a global storm.