Socks vs. threats Reply to Topic

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
Many headlines deal with how many socks he carries in his bag, what was his father’s name and when exactly did he turn angry. What? Innocent people shot during war? Oh, I forgot. The story with the socks was so moving.

Witnessing a murder is a very unsettling experience. If you want to try it yourself watch the Collateral Murder video. The concern about the shot down people and even children will go deep; and stay somewhere near your stomach. It’s like this with many nasty facts. It’s easier to look away than to face the unpleasant. When people are touched by a bad truth they will want to change it. One becomes vegetarian after he realized how farm animals are tortured. Another defies legal rules for the calculation of veterinary treatments in order to enable socially weak to care for their pet’s health. A third person may support WikiLeaks because he cannot stand idly as people committed to the truth become threatened.

To determine one’s own viewpoint, every human must have the opportunity to form his opinion. It requires the knowledge of background information and facts, even if they are disturbing. Only then can a citizen, voter or customer form a view on things. One-sided information is not intended to freedom of opinion. It is patronizing and leads to dumbing down. WikiLeaks publishes information. The need to take a position is on the readers themselves.

Today there are many ways to obtain information. In the Internet age scandalous developments are often made known globally and at a rapid pace. It has never been easier to view news. Different media illuminate facts from different perspectives. If readers have free access to the reports, they can form an opinion. Independent and (fearless, therefore:) free publication of facts is a cornerstone of democracy. The disastrous effects of unilateral state propaganda and repression of dissidents are taught in detail to each child at German schools.

In addition to the currently known published documents on the WikiLeakls website, there is a very recent revelation particularly sinister. Source: the U.S. government. High U.S. officials call to paralyze and silence WikiLeaks and its employees. Discussed is an indictment of Julian Assange for espionage. A large part of the press hastily distancing themselves from the publisher of the revelations, who is now verbally thrown into a pot with terrorists.

This disproportionate response is alarming. Like a sword of Damocles is now a threat of condemnation hanging over the heads of those who stand up for freedom of information. Whoever makes facts that are inconvenient to governments accessible to the public may be punished like a spy or terrorist. This applies to citizens of any nationality – Julian Assange is not an American. But suppression of the truth does not fit in democracy. It is a notorious means of despots. Was it not Bill Clinton who once warned, we should not forget that tyranny begins with the destruction of truth? And for good reason, the U.S. government condemns elsewhere the restriction of freedom of expression and freedom of information, for example during the recent demonstrations in Egypt. The freedom to tell others what they do not want to hear must remain legal.

Other leading politicians are trying to pull themselves off the hook. For example, the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard just missed the chance to speak up for the right of Australian citizen Assange.

Early next week the court proceedings take place for Julian Assange. It is feared that he and possibly other employees of WikiLeaks could later be extradited to the United States.

None of the people looking away now can claim later they had known nothing about it.


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