La pasión de Manning y la tele de Assange

Para algunos no hay duda de que Manning, encarcelado sin pruebas (sólo declaraciones de un ex-hacker)  desde hace dos años, es alguien comparable a insignes precedentes como Dan Ellsberg (el marine que filtró los papeles del Pentágono); o Ron Ridenhour, responsable de que se conociese la Masacre de My Lai; o los marineros que, en 1777, denunciaron la tortura de los cautivos británicos. A todos ellos también se les vilipendió en su tiempo. Se prepara un libro sobre Manning, erigiéndolo casi en mártir: La Pasión de Manning, lo ha titulado su autor. Es un reportero que podéis leer en… Al Jazeera.

Y para otros, Assange está a punto de convertirse en la super-estrella de la Tele del Kremlim, Russia Today. Su título-tema será «El mundo de mañana» o más bien, si este será una utopía o una distopía, un avance o una regresión. Sus invitados, diez «revolucionarios, pensadores y activistas» entre los que no estarán, seguro, los líderes de las movilizaciones contra el último pucherazo de Putin, ni los defensores de derechos humanos en Chechenia. No sé, no sé… Es la primera vez que encuentro motivos de desconfianza fundada con Assange. ¿Pretende sanear así las cuentas de una Wikileaks amordazada por el boicot financiero a sus donaciones? ¿Ha mudado en este programa televisivo la ronda de conferencias públicas que pretendía mantener al estilo de la que mantuvo con Zizek, con el auspicio de Democracy Now?

La verdad, que desde Democracy Now a Russia Today hay todo un camino por recorrer. Y peligroso. No seré yo quien dude de la altura intelectual y la astucia estratégica de J. Assange. Pero mantengo que los medios queman, como la luz eléctrica a las polillas. Y que pueden dar ingresos y promover algo de debate social, pero que el queme no te lo quita nadie. Sobre todo si colaboras en una tele de un gobierno autocrático y corrupto (Putin) o si, puestos a hacer cameos, doblarás a tu personaje en la serie de los Simpson, como también pretende hacer Assange. De ahí a hacer el monigote hay un paso. Veremos. Quiero decir, que no pienso perderme ninguna entrevista de RT ni el capítulo 500 de los Simpson.

Todo esto ocurre unos días antes de que Assange afronte la última revisión de su posible extradición de Londres a Estocolmo. Y poco después de una interesante entrevista concedida a Rolling Stone. Entre frases al estilo popstar aún consigue soltar frases como estas:

* «The Iraq War was the biggest issue for people of my generation in the West. It was also the clearest case, in my living memory, of media manipulation and the creation of a war through ignorance.»
* «Legitimate authority is important. All human systems require authority, but authority must be granted as a result of the informed consent of the governed. Presently, the consent, if there is any, is not informed, and therefore it’s not legitimate. To communicate knowledge, we must protect people’s privacy – and so I have been, for 20 years, developing systems and policy and ideals to protect people’s rights to communicate privately without government interference, without government surveillance. The right to communicate without government surveillance is important, because surveillance is another form of censorship. When people are frightened that what they are saying may be overheard by a power that has the ability to lock people up, then they adjust what they’re saying. They start to self-censor.»
* «I don’t think I have a massive ego. I just am firm at saying no. No, we will not destroy everything we’ve already published. No, we will continue to publish what we have promised to publish. No, we will not stop dealing with U.S. military leaks. For some people, that comes across as a big ego, when it’s just sticking to your ideals.«
* «when we last did a survey, in February, there were a total of 33 million references on the Internet to the word «rape» in any context, from Helen of Troy to the Congo. If you search for «rape» and my name, there were just over 20 million. In other words, perceptively, two-thirds of all rapes that have ever happened anywhere in the world, ever, have something to do with me
* «the previous lawyers managed to get hold of all my book advances and keep them. So I have not received a cent from any publicity that I’ve done.»
* «We have, on the one hand, some 700,000 references to me being an anti-Semite, and on the other hand, some 2.5 million references to me being a member of the Mossad. I’m accused of everything from being a cat torturer to being a rapist to being overly concerned about my hair to being too rich to being so poor that my socks are dirty. The only ones I have left now to look forward to are some kind of combination of bestiality and pedophilia.»

* «The Swedish foreign minister responsible for extradition, Carl Bildt, became a U.S. Embassy informant in 1973 when he was 24 years old. He shipped his personal effects to Washington, to lead a conservative leadership program, where he met Karl Rove. They became old friends and would go to conferences together and so on.

Karl Rove? How do you know this?
* «Who has been your most critical public supporter? John Pilger, the Australian journalist, has been the most impressive. And the other is Dan Ellsberg

* It has not been the soft liberal left, the pseudo left that has defended us. In fact, they have run a mile. It has been strong activists who have a long record of fighting for what they believe in, both on the libertarian right and on the left.

What do you make of Anonymous? They’ve supported you. 
We were involved with Anonymous from 2008. They were providing us with material related to our investigations into abuses by the Church of Scientology. It was a young pranksterish Internet culture, not something at all to be taken seriously. What’s wonderful about what has happened over the last few years is that through engaging with forces much larger than themselves, starting with the Church of Scientology, they have been educated about how the world actually works. Then, reading information we’ve released and also seeing the attacks on us, they’ve been further educated. Now they have become politicized, they’ve come to understand some of where the big powers are. This was a very apolitical group that had absolutely no understanding about the military-industrial complex whatsoever, and no understanding about international finance. As a result of joining our battle and trying to protect themselves, they have come to see that the threats related to Internet freedom come from the military-industrial complex, the banking system and the media. The media is the third big power group, because when you’re involved in something like this, it becomes newsworthy.

What advice do you have for journalists, based on your experience?
I have a lot of sympathy for journalists who are trying to protect their sources. It’s very hard now. Unless you’re an electronic-surveillance expert or you have frequent contact with one, you must stay off the Net and mobile phones. You really have to just use the old techniques, paper and whispering in people’s ears. Leave your mobile phones behind. Don’t turn them off, but tell your source to leave electronic devices in their offices. We are now in a situation where countries are recording billions of hours of conversations, and proudly proclaiming that you don’t have to select which telephone call you’re intercepting, because you intercept every telephone call.

So what’s the future of WikiLeaks? Is the organization going to survive?
This week, I think we’ll make it. We’ll see what happens next week.

Where do you want to end up, when all the legal battles are over?
I don’t want to end up anywhere. I want to do what I was doing before. I lived in Egypt when we had important things that needed to be done, or in Kenya or the United States or Australia or Sweden or Germany. When we have opportunities, then that’s where I am.
When do you think you’ll be able to regain that freedom to do that?
In relation to the United States, we’ll have to wait for the revolution.

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