Monday, October 24, 2011

Sanctions Haven't Stopped Iran--But They Seem To Have Stopped Wikileaks

At least temporarily.

Al Jazeera is reporting that Wikileaks is hard pressed for funds:
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, has announced that financial problems may lead to the closure of the whistleblowing website at the end of the year.

The website revealed on Monday that it would stop publishing for the moment in order to focus on making money, explaining that the blockade imposed by financial companies including Visa, MasterCard, Western Union and PayPal left it with no choice.

"If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the new year,'' Assange said in a statement.
It's not as if the decline of Wikileaks has been sudden.

Independent of the issue of funding, Wikileaks just was not as relevant as it thought it would be and just seemed out of sync with with the people it claimed to be serving.

When just releasing the information was too much for people to assimilate and the expected angry outcry did not appear, Julian Assange created a video.

When people claimed that Assange's video was manipulative and it became clear the people at Wikilieaks didn't know which information was too sensitive to be released, they turned to the news media--which did not necessarily have the same goal as Wikileaks.

And then then Wikileaks discovered that instead of outrage, people who followed Wikileaks felt relief--relief that the government was doing all it could to protect their security.

Bottom line, instead of walking in the footsteps of The Pentagon Papers, Wikileaks found itself increasingly unpopular:
Indeed, it could be said that WikiLeaks was doing the one thing Americans least wished for: increasing instability and their sense of anxiety. The more WikiLeaks disclosed last year, the more American public opinion hardened against it. By December, according to a CNN poll, almost 80 percent of Americans disapproved of WikiLeaks’ release of U.S. diplomatic and military documents. In a CBS News poll, most respondents said they thought the disclosures were likely to hurt U.S. foreign relations. Three-quarters affirmed that there are “some things the public does not have a right to know if it might affect national security.”
Even if Wikileaks finds the money it needs and returns, it will never be the global watchdog it claimed to be.

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