Even the big blow of WikiLeaks — the small David that makes the gigantic American Goliath tremble — as with everything in life, has its shadow. The severity of this blow explains the intensity with which it protects its shadow from us. A human being has perpetrated it, surrounded by human beings and limited by their virtues and defects, their biography and biology. We have already started to know its profile — too human — as well as the leaks of documents, their content and the meaning of all of this digital paperwork. For months this man, Julian Assange, and his organization, WikiLeaks, have become the enemy to bring down. Now we know little, but one need not worry. We will know all. Hopefully all will become clear. Hopefully all will not end as it does in a black novel, complete with dead bodies.
The important thing is to know, above all, what has happened. We are talking about the truth of the facts, not opinions and interpretations. What has happened in Iraq is of extreme gravity that requires the action of justice. This is the second most important issue: The leaks confirm all of the criminal errors by Bush and also those of Obama, including his attempt to sweep the past under the rug. He was not able. It is not possible: The bodies end up returning to the beach. Thus we arrive at the third element: This super-technological military — the most powerful in the world, aided by expensive private armies and supported by a spectacular propaganda apparatus — has been as stunned and naked as the king from the story by the action of digital information snipers that have managed to reach where traditional media was unable.
Now we will talk about Assange. We will put in doubt his role and that of the mysterious and conspiratory character that has been created, his ambition and star quality, the authoritarianism that is revealed in his interviews and the pathological lying that comes from some of his most pompous statements. We will accompany each critical observation with a short prayer, a paragraph, the latest from the Israeli daily Haaretz from yesterday. It reads as follows: “Democracy has one hand tied behind its back,” said the retired president of the (Israeli) Supreme Tribunal Aaron Barack. “And this is how it should be. The circulation of information reinforces democracy.”*
Assange is part of a principle that is more than doubtful — one which has served many communication media, ultimately more conservative than progressive, more of the right than the left, consistent in placing transparency at the pinnacle in the pyramid of virtue as an absolute good. As everyone knows, the most remote and darkest corners of public life are brought to light — why not those of private life? Without established intermediaries — the journalists — and without control of officials or judges, all is in the hands of the personality chosen by the virtue of transparency in order that the focus is entirely on the reality that one wants to reveal. From subduing power that frequently deals with transparency will soon come a diabolical investment, in the form of a more mob-like, despicable journalism, disposed to manipulating and lying to achieve its inquisitive objective. Assange is not in this absolutely, at least not yet, but his exhibition of absolute power in his organization to decide what to publish or not, his disdain for traditional journalism and the messianic aura that lights his phrases obliges one to raise his or her guard. And with this said, we repeat: “Democracy has one hand tied behind its back,” said the retired president of the (Israeli) Supreme Tribunal Aaron Barack. “And that is how it should be. The circulation of information reinforces democracy.”*
Assange manages an enormous quantity of information, and thanks to this information that he manages, he has also received enormous notoriety and extraordinary power. But he has not yet given us the only relevant information that those of us who want his work to stay perfectly credible and guaranteed now await. We need to know everything about WikiLeaks. Who finances it? Who makes the decisions, and how are they made? How does it function, and how does it justify each of its recent actions to date? The interviews granted by Assange are not enough for us. We also don’t like his fictional attitudes that accompany his scarce disposition to apply transparency to himself. We neither want legends nor his intrepid and incorruptible saviors, but democratic institutions, the only ones that guarantee us liberty and the right to know the truth about things. Who guarantees us that behind WikiLeaks there is not the secret service of a large power such as Russia or China? But this being said, we must remember: “Democracy has one hand tied behind its back,” said the retired president of the (Israeli) Supreme Tribunal Aaron Barack. “And that is how it should be. The circulation of information reinforces democracy.”*
(As in old cartoons, it will continue. Of course it will continue. At the moment I recommend reading three texts that clearly illustrate the enigmatic personality of Assange: a profile from The New Yorker, a chronicle from The New York Times, the interview by Joseba Elola in El País, and furthermore, the editorial from Haaretz.)
*Editor’s Note: This quote, accurately translated, could not be verified.