The case against Julian Assange

What is it that’s 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.

It’s 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 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. Mr 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 I. 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 then it falls to you and I with help from whistleblowers like Julian Assange.