By Bob Row
The extradition of Julian Assange to be judged in Sweden sets the path to the end of what we can call the “romantic period” of cyber-activism. The dream of a perfectly transparent society, free from secretive diplomatic deals, where the people have ALL the data that can affect their lives is not a reachable one.
Since the Dreyfuss affair, the damage that secretive politics and deceptive information can do was exposed once and forever. Yet, attempts to end these practices have failed time and again.
When the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, they denounced the secret pacts accorded by the Tsarist’s allies they found. This brought to light the Sykes-Picot treaty between Great Britain and France to sort the territories taken from the Turkish Empire after the Great War ended. It was clear, then, that Great Britain wouldn’t abide the promises issued both to Arabs and Jews. They planned to manipulate the aspirations of both peoples instead; and so they did. To expose the truth didn’t prevent British Empire officials from going ahead with their plan. Worse than that, the same Bolsheviks resorted to secret pacts when in need to gain a better position after Czechoslovakia was given to Hitler. So, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact contained the division of Poland in its hidden agenda.
Fifty years later, the Glasnot (transparency) policy of Gorbachev brought the Soviet society to collapse. When reality is awful, transparency may prove insurmountable.
The other aspect of transparency experienced by Assange was the ambiguous position still held by traditional media. The hugh amount of boring embassy reports he held demanded selection and context editing work before delivering. This, in turn, brought him in conflict with the newspapers he honored with the task. Editing can’t avoid opacity since every news desk has its own agenda. Paranoia is the other name of Transparency.
The final paradox of Assange’s pending imprisonment is — for all his paranoid obsession — he was possibly easily framed by a CIA agent woman in a hard-to-believe accusation of rape in the middle of consensual intercourse. As the French say: cherchez la femme.
Also posted at Bob Row’s site, Gloria Mundi. Slight editing provided by Rady Ananda.