Julian Assange should be assassinated, or designated an enemy combatant, according to leading political figures around the world. And this rhetorical fervor has been matched by action. Interpol popped up all of a sudden and issued a global arrest warrant for Assange on a Swedish rape charge that was put together after the last leak, taken down, and then revived for this leak. And now, Amazon has decided to stop hosting Wikileaks.
Amazon has terminated the account of Wikileaks and apparently the site has been down most of the day. Joe Lieberman has issued a statement on Amazon’s decision. Amazon has not commented directly on what happened to Wikileaks account. But they appear to have told Lieberman — or that’s the clear import of Lieberman’s statement — that they unilaterally terminated the account.
Most consumers aren’t aware of this. But in addition to the Amazon retailer you know, Amazon has also become a big, big player in the ‘cloud’ web hosting market. I assume they’re the largest. But I do not know that last point for certain. Regardless, they’re a huge player in the market.
The site is now back up on its original Swedish host. I was just able to access it.
I think that Glenn Greenwald’s posts from yesterday and today on the what the reaction to the Wikileaks release says about the elites who rule the world and the discourse were incredibly perceptive. The man who exposes government secrets must be tried for treason and killed, extra-judicially if necessary; the horrors exposed by the secrets themselves must be studiously ignored. This is the overriding principle, accepting of government claims, passing them along without scrutiny, unable to fathom a world where the government may not be telling the truth. Greenwald flags this incredible segment between Bill Keller of the New York Times and Carne Ross, a former UN Ambassador for Britain:
KELLER: The charge the administration has made is directed at WikiLeaks: they’ve very carefully refrained from criticizing the press for the way we’ve handled this material . . . . We’ve redacted them to remove the names of confidential informants . . . and remove other material at the recommendation of the U.S. Government we were convinced could harm National Security . . .
HOST (incredulously): Just to be clear, Bill Keller, are you saying that you sort of go to the Government in advance and say: “What about this, that and the other, is it all right to do this and all right to do that,” and you get clearance, then?
KELLER: We are serially taking all of the cables we intend to post on our website to the administration, asking for their advice. We haven’t agreed with everything they suggested to us, but some of their recommendations we have agreed to: they convinced us that redacting certain information would be wise.
ROSS: One thing that Bill Keller just said makes me think that one shouldn’t go to The New York Times for these telegrams — one should go straight to the WikiLeaks site. It’s extraordinary that the New York Times is clearing what it says about this with the U.S. Government, but that says a lot about the politics here, where Left and Right have lined up to attack WikiLeaks – some have called it a “terrorist organization.”
You can hardly tell the journalists apart from the government anymore. And a corporation like Amazon, even law enforcement personnel like Interpol, did their part to maintain the natural order of things and the power of the state.
This zunguzungu post on Assange’s motives is extremely important. He isn’t interested in preserving any current system; he quite radically wants to fundamentally change the capacity of governments he considers authoritarian to conspire in secret. He wants to bring everything out into the light and degrade their systems, as it were.
“To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us, and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not. Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity. Finally must use these insights to inspire within us and others a course of ennobling, and effective action.”
Government is doing exactly what can be expected of it in reaction to this – forced to operate in secrecy, cut off from its fellow conspirators, it seeks to control the flow of information. That’s what’s at work in the attempt to arrest Assange and shut down his website. Governments need to be able to communicate with themselves, and Assange is breaking that down, or at least exposing it to scrutiny. So they want to crush the bug. The only entity that gets to have total information awareness is the state.
UPDATE: Assange laughs at the US.