Analysis: Understanding WikiLeaks



The WikiLeaks cablegate revelations appear to be subsiding in the new year, and so is the public debate about their meaning and consequences. And yet, as calmer moods prevail, now is the appropriate time to probe the WikiLeaks phenomenon. To do so constructively, it is necessary to move beyond a mere political assessment of WikiLeaks. The question of whether the website, its founder, and its hundreds of volunteers, are criminals, heroes, terrorists, or dissidents, cannot even begin to be answered until WikiLeaks is understood, first and foremost. By ‘understood’, I don’t mean empathize. I mean comprehending WikiLeaks as an ideological paradigm, a technological vehicle reflective of the personal philosophies of its members, but also representative of a much wider sociotechnical trend. Click here to read my analysis brief published today by the Research Institute for European and American Studies.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

8 Responses to Analysis: Understanding WikiLeaks

  1. Greg Lipka says:

    Without getting into ethical considerations of the Wikileaks phenomenon, I believe it is safe to state that had Wikileaks been in existence would it be possible for stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt to condemn millions across central and eastern Europe to over half a century of life in oppression. In fact would it be possible for hitler to make a move had all the facts about Ribentrop – Molotov agreement been known? Would it be possible for stalin to orchestrate the first genocide of WW2 in the Katyn forest and than maintain “plausible denial” for decades afterwards?

    I tend to agree with the general content direction of the brief re the paradigm of Wikileaks. But thinking about major events in our history, and what we have managed to find out re these events decades later, in the context of the Wikileaks age is an interesting exercise.

  2. fred lapides says:

    You mention in your analysis that some pundits wanted or believed Assange assassinated. What pundits? A few conservative congressmen, and perhaps Glen Beck…but pundits?

    Assange, on tv, said a terrorist was one who killed for political reasons. That he stated meant he was not a terrorist but those who wanted him killed were!

  3. Sarah says:

    But it would be reasonable to suggest that the broader operational principles of the website fit within the conceptual framework of crypto-anarchism.
    Crypto-anarchists espouse the use of strong encryption to enhance individual privacy, while at the same time opposing its use by state and corporate entities, which they consider inherently oppressive and conspiratorial.

    I know of no instance where Assange opposes the use of strong encryption by state OR corporate entities.

    I think it is rather the over-classification of information by the government, and the use of secrecy to cover up collusion between government and businesses, a relationship in which it’s very essence conspiratorial.

    He is also not an anti-statist, the definition of the ideology of an anarchist. He appreciates democratic structures and institutions.

    What of democracy? We’re talking about fascism here. Consent of the governed doesn’t apply if it’s done in secret and for the benefit of the few, not the many — from which they derive their power.
    I guess Marx got the last word.

  4. WikiLeaks ‘subsiding in the new year’?

    Given that the only new reports are coming from the aftenposten site in Norway it seems that the US powers-that-be are being successful in suppressing other media outlets.


  5. intelNews says:

    Yes, it would appear so. On the other hand, Norwegian reports suggest that Aftenposten has access to all 250,000 WikiLeaks cables. [JF]

  6. I rarely drop responses, but i did some searching and wound up here Analysis: Understanding WikiLeaks | And I do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind. Is it just me or does it look like some of the comments look like they are left by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting on additional online social sites, I’d like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list of all of your social pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  7. intelNews says:

    For a list of our social networking sites, see here. [IA]

We welcome informed comments and corrections. Comments attacking or deriding the author(s), instead of addressing the content of articles, will NOT be approved for publication.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: