Have You Seen Me?

Julian Assange, from Wikileaks, at the SKUP conference for investigative journalism, Norway, March 2010.
Julian Assange, from Wikileaks, at the SKUP conference for investigative journalism, Norway, March 2010.

He is wanted by the Swedish police and Interpol. His Swiss bank accounts have just been frozen, Sarah Palin wants to have him hunted like Bin Laden1, American politicians would prefer to have him executed and American companies won’t touch him with a six-foot pole.

Of course I’m talking about Wikileaks’ found and editor in chief Julian Paul Assange. Very few people know exactly where he is hiding these days, and that’s probably a good thing.

Right now, Wikileaks is slowly releasing 251,287 secret US embassy cables. With only 926 of them out in the wild so far, they’ve got a long way to go. Today’s most interesting document was the 2008 Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative (CFDI) list, a list of locations around the world that are of key value to the US. On the list are assets like mines, undersea cable landing sites and oil processing plants.

So Wikileaks has this list and they publish it on the internet. And I ask myself: “Why?”

Some of the information Wikileaks has published is important, like the “Collateral Murder” video. But the CFDI list is of absolutely no interest to anyone - except for the people who probably shouldn’t have access to that kind of information.

There might be something interesting among the two hundred and fifty thousand cables Wikileaks will publish in the coming weeks and months. But so far the information in the cables has mostly been gossip and chatter. To me it looks like they are simply publishing these documents because they can, not because it’s important that the public gets to see it.

  1. Which means he’s safe for the next decade, at least. Yeah, I know it’s an old joke by now, but it’s still good ↩︎


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