February 19, 2008

US Censoring Whistle Blower Website

When news come out of China engaging in some form of censorship of the internet, Americans are not usually surprised. Restriction of free speech is somewhat expected from the authoritarian Chinese government. Yet to see that type of oppression migrate to the US strikes me as far more serious and grievous concern. Even with the current administration's curtailing of speech and gutting of the Freedom of Information Act taken into account, this newest form of government censorship seems outlandish and severe.

The site wikileaks.org (I know the link doesn't work, read on), started in 2006, is devoted to providing government and corporate whistle blowers an anonymous vehicle through which they can post documentation of wrongdoing by those entities without fear of reprisal. Yet now, a Bush appointed judge in CA has ordered the site closed down. Representatives from wikileaks.org were prevented from attending when the order was issued, and the hearing itself was merely a preliminary hearing, which to my understanding, indicates that such an order may be inappropriate. This issue was raised when the website allegedly posted documents which revealed involvement in money laundering by a Caymen Islands bank, Julius Baer. Yet that bank, despite requests from wikileaks.org, refuses to even indicate which documents on the site they wish to be removed. Despite this lack of evidence, due to the willful and incriminating secrecy of the bank itself, the judge has ordered the web site shut down.

The site is still up, as they established mirrors in case this situation occurred. I think they had China, N. Korea, or Iran in mind when they set this system up, but evidently the US is more of a threat to its own 1st Amendment than those countries in the"axis of evil."

This is utterly unacceptable. In today's world of constant product recalls and gov/corp corruption, whistle blowers require more protection and empowerment, not less. Numerous. Examples. Abound. These people, who risk careers and reputations to inform the public, are one of the few available sources of information about illegal/unethical activities done by today's secretive corporations and governments. So instead of protecting the corporate interests who have, again, broken the law, shouldn't the courts, the whole government in fact, instead be attempting to protect and empower their own bosses, the American People?

Its a two-fer. Corporate corruption and governmental oppression! Makes you proud to be an American huh? Good to see our hard-earned tax dollars at work defending us from...well, the ability to defending ourselves...

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1 comments:

GestapoParrot said...

Awesome post Dean! Going up on Facebook