The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 29th October 2010
THE BOURGEOIS media constantly remind us of the wonders of the internet and information technology that has allegedly transformed our lives for the better.
Twitter and other social networking services are hailed as forces for individual freedom of expression and valuable tools of “democracy” when they’re used to ferment reactionary trouble in Iran, Belarus and Ukraine. People’s China is denounced for imposing restrictions on Web access and Democratic Korea is labelled backward and repressive for only allowing a limited mobile phone network to operate in its territory.
But it’s a different tune when the boot is on the other foot. When anonymous email is used to leak embarrassing documents; when the crimes of imperialism are exposed for all the world to see the internet becomes “irresponsible” and the most craven bourgeois pundits start calling for censorship, government control and the prosecution of those who have dared to break the ruling class consensus.
Last week the WikiLeaks website lived up to its name again by releasing a treasure trove of leaked secret US field reports from American-occupied Iraq.
Wikileaks published around 400,000 files from an electronic archive detailing the torture and abuse of civilians and summary executions and distributed them to the world’s press. The files reveal that the US high command in Iraq failed to investigate hundreds of reports of detainees being abused, tortured, raped and even murdered by puppet police and soldiers, whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.
When WikiLeaks was established in 2007 it said its “primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East”. It verifies all the documents it receives, protects its sources and claims it is “an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking”.
WikiLeaks founders included Chinese dissidents, journalists, computer specialists and technologists from all over the world and it was looked on kindly by imperialism. That all changed when the group started to look at the unethical and oppressive behaviour of imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now the hidden hand of imperialism works to put WikiLeaks out of business.
Its editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, an Australian citizen and former internet hacker, has been subjected to a vicious smear campaign designed to discredit him and the website he helped to set up. Assange believes US intelligence is behind the recent departure of some members of his staff and he’s been forced to leave Sweden and come to Britain following rape allegations that he strenuously denies.
The Pentagon has made no attempt to deny the validity of these documents. US imperialism has confined itself to bleating that their release threatens the lives of American troops dutifully echoed by imperialism’s tame “human-rights” gurus who only last month were hailing the gift of the Nobel Peace Prize to a jailed anti-communist criminal in China.
Assange says his group is preparing to publish another 15,000 documents — believed to be even more controversial than the first batch it released earlier in the year. Good. Anyone and any organisation that makes the truth available to the public and exposes the criminal war conspiracies of imperialism deserves all our support.