Well, there’s quite a bit about this one…
This is Julian Assange. As you may or may not know, he is the man behind Wikileaks. What is Wikileaks, you ask? Well, that depends mainly on who you ask.
Some people say its a massive plan to take down the American Government. Others say he’s a hero for pointing out what the US Government is doing.
In actuality, Wikileaks has been around since 2006, and no one has been credited as the actual founder. In fact, Julian Assange is on the advisory board for the group, and has served as the face of the organization. Its also worth pointing out that Assange is actually an Australian Journalist, so he can not accurately be called a traitor or someone committing treason in the US.
Within in the past 2 weeks, the site has exploded after exposing the US Diplomatic Cables. The single best thing to come out of it, the one thing that, more than anything, I’m glad to see come out of this was the fact that the US Government has, in fact, LIED about the threat North Korea posses.
When I created this piece, I didn’t have a fully-formed opinion about Julian Assange or Wikileaks. More than anything, I just had questions. Is he a hero or a villain? Is what he and Wikileaks doing truly the right thing? Does it cause more harm than good?
In the end, I still don’t know. What I do know is that this reminds me more than anything of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the State in George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four. The vilification, the charges against him… it doesn’t seem real.
This piece isn’t in support of him, nor is it really against him, either. Instead its just me trying to get my feelings out about this.
The one thing that makes me scared about this, about all of this, is the threat this may pose to free speech and dissent in America. During the Bush era, everyone was afraid of our freedoms being oppressed and of the government crushing dissent. Now, someone has released something showing the problems with the way the US does things… and they are trying to shut him up.
That, more than anything else, scares me.
The photo of Julian Assange comes from Flickr User espenmoe (Espen Moe), who I greatly appreciate for allowing everyone in the world to use: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20402566@N03/4466613035
The Wikileaks logo comes via Wikileaks themselves and is used under a Creative Commons license of free use with attribution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wikileaks_logo.svg
Also, as for use of this image: NO COMMERCIAL USE AT ALL WITHOUT PERMISSION. That’s about it. Otherwise, enjoy!