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Let the Truth be Exposed

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A new site has emerged for exposing corruption worldwide, both institutional and governmental. Based on a wiki style posting mechanism, its goal is to assist whistleblowers and battle rogue organizations and regimes around the world.

Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact. Our interface is identical to Wikipedia and usable by all types of people. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources.

We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies. All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information. Historically that information has been costly – in terms of human life and human rights.

Wikileaks opens leaked documents up to stronger scrutiny than any media organization or intelligence agency can provide. Wikileaks provides a forum for the entire global community to relentlessly examine any document for its credibility, plausibility, veracity and validity. Communities can interpret leaked documents and explain their relevance to the public. If a document comes from the Chinese government, the entire Chinese dissident community and diaspora can freely scrutinize and discuss it; if a document arrives from Iran, the entire Farsi community can analyze it and put it in context. A sample analysis is available here.

In its landmark ruling on the Pentagon Papers, the US Supreme Court ruled that “only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.” We agree.

We believe that it is not only the people of one country that keep their government honest, but also the people of other countries who are watching that government. That is why the time has come for an anonymous global avenue for disseminating documents the public should see.

Volunteer to help. Almost everyone can be of some assistance.

I have to say wow. It’s about damn time. Looking at what the original Wikipedia has done, despite its detractors, I can say this new Wikileaks site is going to change the world. For the original Wikipedia, we can see that the people complaining the loudest about its accuracy are the ones who had previously been used to controlling information. These ran the gamut from traditional single-source encyclopedias–to religious fanatics who want their “truth” to be immune to argument. Like the open-sourcing of knowledge, the open-sourcing of damaging documents is certain to generate both scandals and howls of protest. This is all as it should be. Let them squirm.

It’s nothing but good news for the cause of freedom and freethought. Whatever people in power are doing, if they think it’s ethical, they should be willing to own up to it, and if not, they should be forced to. For far too long, people have used authority and secrecy to escape scrutiny. I’m hoping this is the beginning of the end for them.

Black Sun Journal was started with this exact same purpose. From What is Black Sun? in 2001:

My rule is: the more something is taken for granted by large numbers of people, the more it needs to be examined and questioned. Tyranny of the majority is no better than tyranny of despots. It is just more accepted and easily tolerated, the iron fist in a velvet glove.

What despots and majorities fear most is the light (or darkness) of their own truth. And in a world of might makes right, those on top attempt to stay “in the sun”, not revealing their dark deeds. So the intent of Black Sun is to literally cast a shadow onto the supposed best and brightest among us. For we all have our shadow. We learn most about ourselves when we look at it and forge relationship with it. By avoiding our shadow, we become weak, like the fable of the boy who was literally afraid of it. We become encrusted and mired behind the walls we build obsessively ever higher, to avoid seeing the truth of our existence. Each and every one of us contains not only the potential for great works and nobility, but also the potential for the most monstrous deeds and vile depths of depravity. By accepting and embracing our dual nature, we can be honest with ourselves, and better understand our motives. We become strong. And perhaps we can gain a better perspective on why others act the way they do.

Exposing truth will not only get to the core of corruption, but also help those who have been used to getting away with crimes to either be punished or become better people. It’s all part of the forward progress of the species, now enabled by the massive and exponentially increasing sharing and transfer of information.

Let the leaks begin!


Comments (9 comments)

Gary H Johnson Jr / September 2nd, 2007, 12:49 am / #1

I hope wikileaks will hit the Latin American Shockwaves that Hugo Chavez is generating…whilst dealing with all of the governments and regions mentioned as their core set of focus groups. It is about time. I wonder if they will have an NGO tracker…it would be nice to see what Soros is up to in those regions…I would also like to see a list of diplomatic missions to the region and monies that changed hands and actions agreed to as well as the reality that played out…we, none of us know what our diplomats are paying or to whom or by whose order for what reason…we are blind in our open society to the whims of madmen when they achieve the position of negotiating with America. This may be the fatal flaw in the American experiment in Democratic Republicanism – the appointed Diplomats and Ambassador protocols of state. Regardless, the site will no doubt shake things up a bit if nothing else.

BlackSun / September 2nd, 2007, 10:38 am / #2

Ugh, Chavez. What a nightmare. It’s Cuba all over again. As far as NGOs are concerned, they should be monitored like everyone else. They are good as well as bad, and I suppose they can only be as good as the people running them, and their structure leaves them somewhat unaccountable. So I agree, the leaks site should help fight corruption there as well.

John B. / September 2nd, 2007, 8:08 pm / #3

Agree about Chavez. This guy has never been about helping the poor. His whole military, and now political, career has been about one thing – the power of Chavez. Being the guy who is standing up to Bush makes him very popular with many segments of his own society and in the larger world. And that part is understandable. Who wouldn’t appreciate someone talking down to Bush like the ignorant boy he is? But with Chavez, it’s just a tactic. I really feel for the free-thinkers of Venezuela. The coming years will be dark ones. Amnesty International is going to have their hands full there.

I hope the new wiki doesn’t get full of millions of words of people “exposing” things, when all they really have is a personal grudge. If that happens, then the real issues that desperately need our attention will be drowned out in the flood of bullshit. But it’s better than nothing and we can hope for the best.

BlackSun / September 3rd, 2007, 8:39 am / #4

I hope the new wiki doesn’t get full of millions of words of people “exposing” things, when all they really have is a personal grudge.

This will certainly happen. But open-source has a wonderful way of winnowing out that sort of thing. The fact that Wikipedia became as accurate as Britannica in a few short years proves it.

Wikileaks has to submit to transparency as well. Not only can people help expose corruption, but they should also be able to help Wikileaks improve its methods.

Already, Wikileaks has been the source for a major news story.

John B. / September 3rd, 2007, 10:50 am / #5

Have to admit – that’s very cool. Love the Guardian too. One of my favorite news sources.

Jeff / September 3rd, 2007, 5:58 pm / #6

I agree totally, Sean. This could be the biggest improvement for governments everywhere. I was a little discouraged not to hear mention of the Iraq War. Whistle blowers there are being imprisoned or demoted. Contractor corruption exposed often leads to “mysterious” deaths.

Ultimately, it seems to have the potential to destroy political hypocrites, selfish and corrupt greedy bastards and restore integrity to our Justice Department. Maybe I’m being selfish, but if we can help correct our political system, then we gain moral authority to assist other nations to do as well. I’d love to get documents/pics out that show that John P. Walters, Director of ONDCP, enjoys speedballing. Fat chance, but I can dream.

Bruce / September 5th, 2007, 8:47 pm / #7

I hope it doesn’t become a magnet for conspiracy theorists though. Wiki technology being vulnerable to disinformation. People should (as usual) employ their critical faculties when reading Wikis, but even then there are expert propagandists out there.

While compromises at Wikipedia haven’t been as bad as the media often says, I think Wikileaks may be a more attractive target and thus have different outcomes in terms of reliability.

Imagine in the LaRouche crowd, or one of their puppet-groups (such as the CEC in Australia) started a campaign of subtle distortion on Wikileaks (I can see distortion of Wikileaks being in their style)? The CEC in recent years has become quite good at presenting LaRouche conspiracy theories about “financier cabals” (read “Jews”) as subtext in more innocuous looking political opinion.

I hope for Wikileaks’ success, but that will only come through the vigilance of the reasoned. Wait and see I guess.

BlackSun / September 5th, 2007, 9:05 pm / #8

Bruce, good point. As you said, one would hope Wikileaks would be self-healing. Several months ago in this post, I mentioned a technology that would be good to implement across the web. I called it a “context engine:”

Ten years from now, fact-checking will be automated and probably be down to a thousandth of a second and the precision of facts will be even greater. In a further refinement of hypertext, every phrase will likely be color coded in real-time as to its sourcing and authenticity. For example: if I wrote something today which referred to someone being alive, and they later died, that portion of my text would then automatically be flagged by the net as currently inaccurate–even though it was accurate when it was written. Every statement could be thus evaluated. Subjective, controversial, or scriptural-based statements would be flagged by the context engines as obvious errors.

Well, it didn’t take ten years. In this article in Wired, it describes a system already being developed for Wikipedia for context checking and sourcing of statements. Questionable statements will appear in a different color. Wow, how fast good ideas catch on. I see this as an inevitable fact of life on the future internet. It will be offered and integrated into many sites, and I’m sure people will be able to create their own overlays with differing criteria. (Yes, I know, the fundies and LaRouche nuts will still keep hiding from the truth.)

We are at the very beginning of the process of increasing the security and trustworthiness of knowledge on the web. Since this checking can be continuously updated, the web has the potential to far surpass the accuracy of any print media.

Black Sun Journal » Wikileaks 88.80.13.160 / February 20th, 2008, 2:51 am / #9

[…] Last year I posted about a promising new site for whistle-blowers. According to Wikipedia, Wikileaks was conceived of and organized in 2006 by James Chen, Julian Assange, and Chinese government dissidents and others. According to InterNIC, wikileaks.org was registered on October 4, 2006. Their advisory board includes members of the expatriate Russian and Tibetan refugee communities, reporters, a former US intelligence analyst, and cryptographers. It planned a March 2007 public announcement of its existence. […]

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