Aug 222012
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The situation is positively Kafkaesque.

From: David McLaren, Neyaashiinigmiing ON

What is making governments in the West so afraid of information?

Britain has platoons of police surrounding Ecuador's embassy in London lest Julian Assange tries to make a break for it. The PM is threatening to storm the place — an act of war by the way. Not that Ecuador would win, but still.

The situation is positively Kafkaesque. This small, one story embassy on the ground floor of an apartment building is besieged because some guy leaked a lot of embarrassing information. He hasn't even been charged with anything.

There are no reports of harm to secret agents; no military objectives compromised. But a lot of thuggish back-room chicanery (not to mention war crimes by our side) has come to light. Maybe that's why the US allegedly has a secret indictment signed, sealed and waiting for his delivery.

Our own government is not nearly so dramatic. But it is just as paranoid. As Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has cut the long-form census. He's axed the world-class Experimental Lakes Area. He's muzzled our scientists. He sees no data, hears no data and speaks no data on everything from crime to climate change to the cost of jet planes.

The demos in democracy is you and me. If our governments can't be transparent, if they are so afraid of scrutiny that they suppress or process or dismiss what we, the people, should know, and if the media don't do their job, then democracy falls to you and me — with help from whistleblowers like Julian Assange.

About David McLaren

David McLaren has worked for government, the private sector, arts groups, environmental groups and First Nations in communications and policy analysis. He is an award-winning writer living at Neyaashiinigamiing (Cape Croker) on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, who finds himself in Toronto temporarily.


© Copyright 2012 David McLaren, All rights Reserved. Written For:

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