Julian Assange and his revolutionary organization of international internet technologists have hit headlines around the world with the release of sensitive documents, such as those from the United States Federal government. Presented as an instrument by which average people can be informed of the truth that is often kept from them by various government organization, WikiLeaks appears to have become a tool for anarchists and revolutionaries wanting to upset the existing political and societal structures.
Well, it seems that WikiLeaks goal is much closer than it was before it released its major wave of United States government documents. As in any situation, whenever you release personal or informal notes it inevitably upsets some individuals. One of those upset individuals as a result of the WikiLeaks release is Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Putin was so upset with leaked U.S. cables that cast him as a ruler who allows an elite class of corrupt officials and spies to siphon off cash from Russia’s vast energy-based revenues. Russia is the world’s biggest energy producer and aggressively working to expand its energy production operations. The leaked cables portray Russian President Dmitry Medvedev as the junior partner to Putin and had to get his decisions approved by Putin, who is like a mentor to him.
It is interesting to note than rather than deny or prove the accusations false, Putin chose to verbally attack the U.S. and basically criticize it for ‘calling the kettle black’. Sort of like saying, I’m not perfect, but you’re even less perfect than me. Sounds like he has no intention of changing any of the corruption or upsetting the power groups within Russia. And who can blame him, Russia has a long history of jailing and/or killing those that have challenged its ruling class’ control of the country. Putin simply may not have the power to change any of this and he himself is likely at the mercy of a much greater force.
So, in effect WikiLeaks has upset the relationship between the world’s two superpowers. The organization has suddenly turned from being a nuisance to a world-class political manipulator by turning world powers against each other. This strategy will be much more damaging to the world politcial and power structure than leaking the information itself. Information can be dealt with, but damaged relationships are much harder to repair and are often replaced by new relationships.
I expect that the WikiLeaks attack on the establishment will only heat up and that the year ahead will be filled with increasing impact and consequences from their activities.