Apropos of your cover story, Hark, The Neo World Order (Dec 20), the irony of Julian Assange’s spy machinery lies in the fact that it closely resembles espionage systems so far adopted by rulers and governments—from Chandragupta Maurya, Queen Elizabeth I to Adolf Hitler; from the world wars, the Cold War to the war on terror. What he is doing has been done earlier by a Francis Walsingham or a Fritz Joubert Duquesne. Even today, the US government uses elaborate systems to track the whereabouts of the American people, both officially and unofficially.
Padmini Raghvendra, Secunderabad
The netnapped WikiLeaks stuff defines diplomatese for what it is: the public language of deception artistes. A dictionary of ‘unvarnished diplomatese’ may well be in the offing so that we can all make sense of the gobbledygook wired out of US missions. It’s not the number of leaked cables that should shock us but the mediocre presumptions rife in those “secret” missives used so casually to describe people and elected leaders. These observations were supposed to be from the best and brightest of our time. Really? The simplistic and naive generalisations in the leaks must shock even the most dim-witted editorial writer in small-town US. I do have two suggestions. One to the US government: use the tax dollars you’re wasting now to chase Assange to retrain your diplomats in better report writing and usage. And two, to my buddy Assange. I, too along with the NYT, support your right to “publish and perish”. But I must ask you, ‘Why are you holding on to other missives?’ Come, let us fair to be all.
WikiLeaks is an example of how the internet has truly empowered the people. One man could dare to defy the might of the most powerful government in the world. The masses were privy to information meant for a very small group of very powerful individuals. Not that it surprised the world at large, it was only confirmation of what was suspected all along: that few governments practise what they preach. Democracy, liberty, human rights—all sound fine from the pulpit, but when it comes to making decisions, only self-interest matters.
D.L. Narayan, Visakhapatnam
WikiLeaks, which has rattled Washington, shows how even the most classified information is no longer safe. Julian Assange might have been instrumental in launching the first internet war in cyberspace and has shown that in a fast-changing technological world, wars can be started even by unarmed non-state players. While one cannot but appreciate his audacity, the wisdom of putting so much confidential information in the public domain is questionable. Since democratic and liberal governments are faced with so many threats, such leaks can only be to the benefit of totalitarian governments. They will most likely lead to increased curbs on individual freedoms in democratic countries too.
G. Vijayaraghavan, Chennai
A strange name to most of us till some time ago, Julian Assange is now in the headlines! Whatever may be the motives behind this, the reactions of the ‘victims’ affirm the veracity of the leaked cables. One thing one can glean from the leaks is that no conflict ends with the reporting and analyses. The leaks should also educate other countries about the importance of retaining sensitive information and its safekeeping.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman
A man charged with murder is released on bail within hours of his arrest. One charged with rape is, at least initially, refused bail. held in solitary confinement and denied access to his lawyers. Is this the British idea of fair play and justice?
I have huge respect for your magazine, I also admire the values and ethics you uphold. But you definitely mislead the general public by equating Assange with Osama. How could a man who believes in exposing the truth to the public be compared to someone who is just his opposite?
Afsal Khan, on e-mail
It’s quite a shock to find the number of people without values and ethics in this world. Given Assange’s quest for truth, perhaps your headline should have read Cyber Gandhi instead of Cyber Obama. The only difference is that Gandhi fought for truth and Assange is fighting for a more transparent system. Of course diplomacy is important, but not to the extent that it becomes manipulation.
Sumit Shah, Pune
Is Outlook joking by comparing Assange with Osama? Assange has revealed US state secrets but not done any harm to the world at large. Osama, on the other hand, wants to destroy secular democracies and impose his Wahabi Islamic order. He hates countries like India and targets them.
The developed world has committed immeasurable atrocities and countless murders all over the world. The West has, in fact, spearheaded, justified these and created a model for other countries to follow without shame or guilt. So even as it rages on Assange’s leaks, the US is answerable on leaks which have been employed to bring down non-cooperative governments/individuals in its old scheme to plunder developing nations. For example, the exposure of Natwar Singh and Mani Shankar Aiyar by CIA-maintained websites is well-known, though Natwar was exonerated by the courts. Now that nemesis has caught up with them , the US government cannot tolerate it. Assange must be supported for bringing them down to their knees.
Nasar Ahmed, Karikkudi
The very fact that the people voted Assange "Person of the year" and Time chose the Facebook man for the honour, smacks of established institutions wilting under relentless pressure from the Power. Alvin Toffler was right in telling us that Information is the real power! Lay people (self included) do feel empowered by these leaks - be it Wikileaks or radia tapes. It just proves that the icons of the world do possess feet of clay.
If the poor students have been stymied in their research, as the UK gentleman wrote (and as this commenter understood it) maybe they need to worlk afresh at their attempts to factor in these inputs to maybe hypothesise differently.
In the name of nationalism and security nations have committed immeasurable atrocities and countless murders all over the world.West has spearheaded justified and modeled which is being followed by other countries without any shame or guilt.While US and its cohorts enrage on the leaks they are answerable to the selective leaks that has brought down the non cooperative Govts in their schemes to plunder the developing nations.In recent times the exposure of Natwar Singh and Mani Shankar Aiyer by CIA maintained websites are well known albeit Natwar exonerated in courts.The nemesis catches up and the west cannot tolerate.They want absolute obedience.Assange must be supported for bringing them to their knees though he would be hounded till he is finished or contained.
>>> The International court should try him in a Neutral Country
Why?? What laws did he break ,that other newspapers that published the same information have not broken? If that is case why not try the people made public the information on Iranian nuclear enrichment facility on the same charges, after all they did endanger the security of Iran.
WikiLeaks and Assange's criminal charges have to be treated differently.The International court should try him in a Neutral Country.
Wikileaks should continue restrained exposure of Scams
Is OUTLOOK joking by comparing Assange with Osama? Assange has revealed US state secrets but not done any harm to the world at large. While OSma wants to destroy secular democracies and impose his Talobani Islamic order. He hates countries like India and targets them.
So how dare you compare the evil unlimited with Assange?
Just when OUTLOOK won my heart by leaking the Radia tapes to reveal dirty sectets to all of us, this stupid comparison stinks of shallow reporting....
So far Assange or Wikileaks did not leak anything which is earthshasking. What it reveals is the abismal quality of the US diplomatic service. They reveal themselves as bunch of uncouth, ill-informed , uncultured , illiterate mafioci who do not have it in them to look themselves in the mirror. A gang of stupit gossip-mongers. And on what friviloties game changing policies are made!
>am better informed than you will ever be.
That may well be so. A tall claim which does not prove Assange indulged in hacking or creating virus or spreadinng the same.
>It happened to many of my students because of this Criminal and Terrorist.
Do you have poof that Assange attcked your students' computers? You are indulging in brazenning it out.
And you vouch for him
I did not vouch for anybody. Just stated the facts.
>shame on you and your logic.
I am perpetually in a state of shame ; for capacity to be ashamed of perfidy of humans is what makes the difference between humans & the other specis. As regards logic, how logical it is to indulge in disinformation instead of facing distasteful facts?
>>>> He makes his living by sending a virus to a poor student's notebook
>>> He was not getting so-called "Donations" from PayPal and Amazon, he was getting his Ransom Money, like criminals in India and Pakistan get ransom by kdnapping somebody's child.
That is total crap. If he was a hacker before does not mean he is a hacker now. More over none of his acts are criminal as he has never been convicted of hacking activities in the court of Law. Therefore he is not a criminal. As far as his acts are concerned I may not support everything that he leaks, but the very same western countries who harp about Human rights when some in other countries leak something are now crying hoarse about the damage it does to their security.
Mr. Banerjee - Hold your horses. I am better informed than you will ever be. It happened to many of my students because of this Criminal and Terrorist. And you vouch for him, shame on you and your logic.
> What is Julian Assanje?
Julian Assange is founder of the news portal Wikileaks.
> What is his profession?
It's jounalism , may not be the corporate type.
What is his occupation?
Same as above.
He is a "Hacker".
He is not. His opponents & supporters are.
He makes his living by sending a virus to a poor student's notebook
You don't know what are you talking about. Try to be better informed.
Let us come to the "Basics"! What is Julian Assanje? What is his profession? What is his occupation? He is a "Hacker". He makes his living by sending a virus to a poor student's notebook and destroying his/her thesis/desertation and ruining his/her career! What does he get out of it? Bleeding Hearts, who support him including her mother are bereft of common sense and logic. Computers have become part of the furniture and part of every day life. What does he as a hacker, or a hacker mostly from a muslim country, or China or an East European Country get by sending a virus to a housewife's computer and completely destroying her way of life, as she can not afford a new one!! He was not getting so-called "Donations" from PayPal and Amazon, he was getting his Ransom Money, like criminals in India and Pakistan get ransom by kdnapping somebody's child. His mother should appologise to the World at large to produce such a child, who has destroyed so many lives. Julian Assange deserves "limitless" punishment!!!!
>>> 'Why're you holding on other missions
Wikileaks did publish documents related to corruption in some african countries, Not many paid any attention to it. As far as wikileaks is concerened they can only publish documents that they have in their possession, so unless some one from other countries leak the documents to them, they will not be able to publish that. Anyway, If wikileaks had indeed published any secret documents from Russia, China, North Korea or Iran and if these countries had gone after them they way the US goverment if doing now, they the very same western government would have shed copious amount of crocodile tears lamenting the way in which voices of freedom and dissent was being crushed.
The netnapped (spell my name right when crediting, okay?) WikiLeaks stuff defines diplomats for what they're - deception artists par excellence. A 'diplomatese' dictionary maybe in the offing so we all can make sense of the semi-literate gobbledegook wired out of the US missions. It's not the number of the leaked cables that should shock us, but, the mediocre presumptions rife in those "secret" missives used so casually to describe people and elected leaders. These observations were supposed to be from the best and the brightest of our time. Really? I think the leaked stuff's too-simplistic and naive generalizations must shock even the most dim-witted editorial writer in small-town US.
I do have two suggestions. One to the US government: Use the tax dollars you're wasting now to chase Assange to retrain your diplomats in better report writing and word usage. Second suggestion is to my buddy, Julian Assange: I, too, along with the NYT, support your right to "publish and perish." But, I must ask you 'Why're you holding on other missions?' Come, let us be fair to all.
Every affair of the state cannot be conducted out in the open. Granted. But transparency is the only safeguard against abuse of state power. An egalitarian democratic soceity is the one which runs its affairs upfront as far as practacable.
What, of late, throughout the democratic worldis increasingly there is tendency to curtail partcipatory democratic norms & highhanded & secretaive descision making processes which are essentially in favor of a few who has access to power centres.The citizen is being more & more excluded from governance.
The Wikileaks & Radiagates are inevitable as those who feel left out are sure to hit back. Information Technology is boon & bane . Because excluded majority will use the same tool to get back at governments.
Contents Wikileaks cables leaked so far are diappointing. But one may well be sure, going forward, this kind of leaks will continue happen more & more & contents will be lethal. Cyber security is a myth. Only security for democratic government is transparent descision making process.
The RTI Act here was considered a game-changer. Having found out that RTI is a road block in opaque governance attempt were made to amend RTI to make it toothless. Thankfuly these efforts mainly by entrenched bureaucracy for the time being has been stymied.
Mr Assange is, of course, a prisoner of conscience (his status as the Evil Empire's Public Enemy No 1 reinforces the fact), and should be so regarded by any sane individual (the very fact of his being denied bail proves how hollow and motivated the charges are). He is a political prisoner, and like most political prisoners, his current troubles are a badge of courage and not a mark of shame.
What I actually am enjoying about this imbroglio is, first, the attitude of the Empire, which has finally and beyond all doubt revealed itself to be utterly evil, down to its very chromosomes. Wasn’t this the same Evil Empire, along with its vassals, most notably Contemptible Albion, which used to lecture us lesser breeds without the law about human rights and freedom of expression?
The other thing I've noted is the signal fact that Osama bin Laden has won, lock, stock, and smoking AK 47 barrel. Remember those rants about how the Evil One was against “our” (read Imperial) freedoms and way of life? Well, how much of that “freedom”, that “way of life” is left now?
Wikileaks is an example of how the Internet has truly empowered the masses. A man could dare to defy the might of the most powerful Government the world has ever seen. The masses were privy to information that was meant for a very small group of very powerful individuals. Not that it surprised the world at large, it was only confirmation of what it suspected all along; that few Governments practice what they preach. Democracy, liberty, human rights - all sound fine from the pulpit, but when it comes to making decision, the only thing that matters is self-interest.
“The post-arrest Assange thriller will clarify everything one needs to know about the state of Western democracy as embodied by three of its supposed icons - Britain, Sweden and the United States. Imagine if the roller-coaster narrative so far - including a manhunt merging into a Burn the Witch! (pirate) hysterics among the establishment - was taking place in China, Russia or, ayatollahs forbid, Iran” [Or India]
I have had enough of your ‘truth’ and don’t pester me anymore with it but I am willing to listen to your opinion so long as you don’t insist it to be the truth ,the only truth and nothing but the truth.
“I would call him Assange – ‘The AMOEBA’, who replicates itself if disintegrated and causes even bigger damage like Assange caused AMOEBIASIS to the haughtiest FOODIE of the world.”
The most misused law in the world has been cleverly used to trap Assange. By using these false accusations, the US has ensured that it will have the support of 99% of the worlds media which is anti-male and supports anti-male laws.
Legal experts have observed that rape complaints are often made by women who have been jilted, by minor girls who have had consensual relationships with older men, by commercial sex workers who have been shortchanged by their clients and by women who are just “caught in the act”. They have observed instances where women admitted to having consensual sex but claimed to have done it “out of fear”, thus, taking advantage of the loopholes in the law and the credibility they enjoy under the law. As the burden of proof is on the accused man, he has to produce evidence that he had consensual sex with the complainant woman.
Unfortunately, the sneering quips and serious observations by many legal experts and police officers have not been able to improve the situation with the rape law and its implementation.
The fact remains that there are hundreds, possibly thousands of innocents languishing in jails for the simple reason that no one will believe them - BECAUSE THEY ARE MALES.
Males must wake up to these injustices which might visit them one day too. It could just be YOU!
Its Quite a shock to find the volume of people without ethics and moral values. Julian Assange is a person who is fighting for truth. Instead of Cyber OSAMA the cover should have read CYBER GANDHI. The only difference is Gandhi fought for Freedom of Indians and Assange is fighting for a transparent System. I dont deny that Diplomacy is not important, It is but not the extent that it is called MANIPULATION. USA must realise that to make the world a better place Manipulation is certainly not the right way. This act of US to Negate Julian Assange is making them even more miserable. Somewhere they are missing the bigger picture. That to make the world a better place you have to follow moral and Ethical Values First.
I must correct my previous post (#4). Assange is not charged with rape. He is wanted for questioning. The case against him was dismissed by one prosecutor and he left sweden after he took permission.
Julian Assange has attained celebrety status which Julia Roberts will envy. But the unsung hero of this peice is the American soldier who stole the cables in the first place because he thought US being there in Iraq is indefensible , uploaded them on Wikileaks & now sweating out in an US prison.
Julian Assange has done no different than what Outlook did by publishing the Radia tapes. Did we see VM becoming an overt target of revanchist administrators?
It is shameful that Obama is persecuting this one man who has stood up and made the republic of internet proud. Before awarding Liu Xiaobo his Nobel, they should have retracted the one they gave to Obama.
A man charged with murder is released on bail within hours of his arrest. One charged with rape is refused bail, held in solitary confinement and denied access to his lawyers. Is this the British idea of fair play and justice?
The US is not covering itself in glory by pursuing Assange so fiercely. Democracy is government of , for and by the people. It is disingenuous then to say that there are some things the people do not need to know for their own good. It is ab initio wrong. By reacting disproportionately and vindictively victimising Assange they are exposing their own double standards. Liu should get the Nobel Prize, but Assange should be incarcerated?!
It is because the US speaks in many different tongues and practises hypocrisy and double standards everywhere in the world that it is in such a bind. An honest and consistent foreign policy would not have seen it in such hot water.
Assange has been arrested under the most misused ( and anti-male ) law in human history - a mere accusation of rape. Never mind the fact that nothing will ever happen to the false accusers - this is an unwritten - anti-male - law in anti-male countries like the west.
It is pertinent to point out, that 41% of rape convictions have been researched to be false. More than 4 out of 10 males in jail for rape, are innocent of the charge!
This alone should raise the hackles of male rights activists, if not the 'human' rights activists.
The US of A has proved yet again, how intolerant of freedom of speech it really is.
Accusing the Chinese of the same thing, and giving a Chinese dissident a Nobel Prize, is the heights of hypocrisy!
Whereas the USA has more secrets than most other countries ( assasinations of PMs who do not tread the golden line, the oil- Iraq nexus and '9/11', according to a few ), it is matched only by its self-proclaimed love of freedom and democracy.
The wikileaks reveal nothing actually, for all the false allegations it has rained on Assange to gain revenge on him.
Maybe the next Confucius Peace Award of the Chinese must go to Assange?
" ‘Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behaviour in their own governments and corporations’.”
Although Western governments refuse to consider Wikileaks a genuine journalistic endeavor, they have to be judged as zealot journalists, even if their methods are unconventional and their source illegitimate. As journalists they are pushing for maximum transparency in international affairs. On the other hand, governments feel entitled to a certain amount of secrecy in order to carry out their legitimate official tasks. It is a battle between right and right. It is a tug of war. It will probably change for ever how diplomats and journalists function and interact.
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