As you may have noticed, I’ve been writing extensively about WikiLeaks the last month. A month is certainly long enough for improved reflection on what was said 4 weeks ago. For instance, you can safely say that this person at the Globe and Mail got things entirely wrong. Cablegate has not amounted to a pile of gossip with no substance – unless you ignore the revealed crimes as the people recording them in secret documents did.
We saw peoples perceptions shaken. The United States, Sweden, and other democratic countries are not as incorruptible as assumed by average people who’ve watched the news for years.
Maddow doesn’t seem to realize, in the last seconds of the second part video on her blog, that leaks are used maliciously all the time. Assange makes a strong case that the Swedish government is using its power to smear him, likely to endear themselves to their American allies.
This whole news story is remarkably distant from Saskatchewan, and most of Canada, yet it affects my life more than many humans because I’ve been a political blogger for years. The Supreme Court of Canada has recently given bloggers some defense against civil legal challenges (responsible communication), but we’re particularly susceptible to criminal charges for political ends. Our accredited media peers are also at increasing risk, and Assange accuses them of selling him out even though he’s an accredited journalist too.
It’s not surprising that the only mention of western Canada, thus far, in Cablegate has been the Tar Sands. Even more surprising to me is that a Conservative cabinet minister was set to increase restrictions on oil production because he was concerned about the environmental impact. That could be just what he was telling the US officials, or maybe he really does have some good sense. Unfortunately Prentice’s sense didn’t extend to copyright issues when he was a minister partly in charge of that Act.