wikileaks 2 19-12-2010

there are now many many things to say about wikileaks, most of which have been said cogently and at great length elsewhere. from fidel castro’s unrequited love for barack obama to the astonishingly unprofessional behaviour of assange’s counsel publicly vilifying his client's accusers. one thing that i haven't seen mentioned, however, perhaps because the whole saga involves the suffering and / or endangerment of actual human beings, but which is striking me with increasing force, perhaps because i’m a writer, is that whoever wrote the script for this whole drama is an absolute genius. it started out as an elemental melodramatic stand-off between good and evil. or evil and good if your politics are that way inclined. and every subsequent twist has only served to increase the dramatic tension and complicate the morality of the whole thing. so many of the main players are deeply flawed, if not hypocritical. organisation sthemselves are riven by rivalry and in-fighting (wikileaks, the swedish prosecution service). there is out-and-out comedy and real tragedy on all scales (bradley manning; 15000 unreported civilian iraqi deaths). and the timing of events is so ironically spot-on that the american government is rubbing its hands while wikileaks supporters hang their heads and conspiracy theorist wave their arms in the air. in short, i can't help imagining some supernatural combination of dickens, de lillo and tolstoy looking down and wondering what they're going to do in the next chapter.


for the record, i still think the leaks are a fine thing. michael moore may not be right in detail when he says that if the leaks had happened earlier 9/11 might have been prevented (read this) but he is certainly right in principle. would deepwater horizon have happened, for example, if bp had not been able to keep its earlier accident in azerbaijan secret (read this).