Quote of the Week - Assange is 'Smart-arse'
The saga of Wikileaks.ch spilling the beans on US Embassy secret cables took a welcome turn for the hilarious on Monday after UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer called Wikileak's owner Julian Assange a 'public relations smart-arse' in a Herald Sun article.
Since Wikileaks started leaking the American cables, there has been a flood of self-righteous recrimination, drama, disapproval and disappointment from politicians, and frankly, it gets a bit repetitive after a while. So it's refreshing when someone comes out with a fresh twist while it's open season on Assange. Of course, one can't help thinking what names Downer might have for our own Cypriot politicians, and would imagine that the term 'smart-arse' might be the mildest of them...and vice-versa, of course.
The second prize for quote of the week goes to Wikileaks itself, which posted the following: "Cablegate: Boy, the last time there was a leak like this, Noah built himself a boat."
And: "Sarah Palin says Julian should be hunted down like Osama bin Laden - so he should be safe for at least a decade."
Wikileaks reported that - after it was banned by EveryDNS and Amazon.com and went offline - it is now up and running on 355 mirror sites, thanks to its supporters.
Diplomats are slowly learning about the power of the Internet to force transparency; and need to take it into account. If we really think about it, the same way that Wikileaks is helped by Internet users who sympathise with its goals could be the same way that diplomats are helped with their own goals online.
One could imagine a network on the worldwideweb to help US diplomats get the crucial information they need to fight terrorists. But to do that, they have to open up to the possibilities.
Wikileak's owner Assange may be a 'smart-arse' but he has just introduced governments to the true power of the Internet. Hopefully they will take a positive lesson from the whole affair.