Internal Memo: Julian Assange

While confined here in Ellingham Hall, I came across recent statements calling my present activities “unwise and untimely,” plus “unscrupulous,”

While confined here in Ellingham Hall, I came across recent statements calling my present activities “unwise and untimely,” plus “unscrupulous,” “thuggish,” “criminal” and “megalomaniacal.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that enter my in-box, I would have to undertake a volume of correspondence dwarfing that of the entire United States government, and I would have no time to leak the entirety of the United States government’s correspondence.

I think I should indicate why I am here on bail in a Georgian mansion in Bungay, England. I am in Bungay because injustice is here. Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states, via both lying, corrupt and murderous leaderships from Bahrain to Brazil and liberating global electronic communication systems. I cannot sit idly by in Melbourne with a Commodore 64 and a modem and not be concerned about what happens in Baghdad. Secrecy anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable wireless network of mutuality, tied in a single World Wide Web of destiny. Whatever secrets affect one directly, affect all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “confidential cable” idea. Any information that lives inside the classified documents of the United States can never be considered confidential anywhere within the endless bounds of WikiLeaks.

In any anti-secrecy campaign there are four basic steps: collection of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables; leaking them in a trickle to news organizations; becoming an international celebrity; and being accused of sex crimes. I have gone through all these steps on the way to this mansion in Bungay.

I have just received a letter from a journalist in New York. He writes: “All reporters know that confidential documents will be released eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a journalistic hurry. It has taken journalism almost one hundred years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Mencken take time to come to earth.” There was a time when journalism was very powerful–in the time when the early newspapermen rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer low salaries and marginal social status for what they believed. In those days the media was not merely a stat counter that recorded the clicks and page views of the consensusphere; it was a remote control that transformed the consciousness of society. Whenever the early journalists entered a capital, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the journalists for being “disturbers of the peace” and “drunks.” But the reporters pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a fraternity of ink,” called to obey truth rather than Joe Lieberman.

If today’s media does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early newspapermen, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions and be dismissed as an irrelevant club of food bloggers with no meaning for the 21st century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the media has turned into outright disgust.

Is the established media too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our world? But again I am thankful that some noble souls from the ranks of the MSM have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us to tell the tale of Muammar Qaddafi’s “voluptuous blonde” Ukrainian nurse; the “flabby old chap” Kim Jong Il; “the crazy old man” Robert Mugabe; Nicholas Sarkozy’s “thin-skinned and authoritarian personal style”; Hillary Clinton’s preoccupation with Cristina Kirchner’s prescription medications; and how Dmitri Medvedev “plays Robin to Putin’s Batman.” Let us all hope that the dark clouds of secrecy will soon pass away and in some not too distant tomorrow, the transparent star of total information will shine over our world with all its titillating beauty. Internal Memo: Julian Assange