My BRAINSTORM in progress:
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Oprah Winfrey’s fans seem to have lapped up her Australian tour which finished with taping of her show at the Sydney Opera House. However her trip also has had its fair share of criticism.
... an indigenous woman has sent a video message to Oprah:
A video prepared for Oprah Winfrey by Chairwoman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Bev Manton, …shines a light on the living conditions of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, in particular those living under the NT intervention, an Australian Government program which the United Nations has branded racially discriminatory.
YouTube: A PERSONAL JOURNEY by Bev Manton
A MELBOURNE lawyer and former boss of Prime Minister Julia Gillard has criticised her government for its handling of WikiLeaks and its Australian founder, Julian Assange.There is also an opinion piece by Peter Gordon:
Peter Gordon, whose legal firm made Ms Gillard the first female partner of Slater and Gordon, said her comment that Mr Assange had broken the law was baseless.
He said the fact that people such as Ms Gillard and Attorney-General Robert McClelland - both of whom he knew to be good lawyers and decent people - could be driven to behave in this way was a sobering reminder of ''the seductive and compulsive draw of power''.
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Legal fury at 'war on free speech' (The Age 11 Sep 2010)
If the WikiLeaks disclosures tell us anything, it is that no political leader, whatever their colour, is going to hesitate for a nanosecond to conflate the notion of ''national security'' with ''my own career security''. It's time to provide genuine protection for people who take the bold step of coming forward with important information. It's time to make the process cheaper and speedier.The political implications of the Australian government's response may be far reaching. Watch this space for some reflections.
...I always admired John Brumby. To hear him say that he needed to know certain information about the desalination plant, but we didn't, was a disappointment. Likewise Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Prime Minister Julia Gillard. I have worked with both of them and know them to be decent people. It is disappointing to me that their approaches to the WikiLeaks disclosures have seemingly lost sight of three of our democracy's real ''foundation stones'': the presumption of innocence, the right to free speech and the protection of the rights of Australian citizens abroad.
Insidious attack on free speech (The Age 11 Sep 2010)
It is extraordinary that our government can so lightly abandon one of our citizens.According to Julian Burnside, WikiLeaks has:
...It is the primary obligation of any country to protect its citizens.
...cast a light into some dark corners of what governments get up to when they think no one is watching.Julian Assange's Australian lawyer Robert Stary chaired the crowded meeting. Jon Faine of ABC 774 radio's Mornings (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), solicitor Peter Gordon, and Liberty Victoria President Spencer Zifcak also spoke in defence of WikiLeaks.
...if they want to avoid being embarrassed by that maybe they need to learn to stop doing embarrassing things.
Last night Mr Stary convened a meeting of lawyers, human rights activists and criminal law advocates in Melbourne to discuss the legal issues surrounding Mr Assange and his arrest - and particularly relating to the presumption of innocence.This newspaper report by Nick McKenzie and Paul Millar has the usual inaccuracies, naming Peter Gordon as President of Liberty Victoria. It also refers to a "small group of protesters outside". In fact a couple of people were handing out leaflets about a WikiLeaks rally in Melbourne and selling a political paper. The rally is at State Library Lawns on Friday December 10 - 4:30pm - 7:30pm.
Lawyers demand protection for Assange (The Age 10 Dec 2010)
The civil liberties organization, Liberty Victoria, today criticized the Prime Minster and the Attorney-General regarding statements that each have made about the legal situation of the Director of Wikileaks, Julian Assange.
...The President of Liberty, Professor Spencer Zifcak, said today that it was wrong for the Prime Minister in effect to declare Mr Assange's guilt before any law he may have broken had even been identified.
Liberty Victoria Criticizes PM and AG over Julian Assange comments
Julian Assange is being treated like an outlaw, even by his own country. Melbourne's Sunday Age newspaper reports:
AS THE net closes around WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the notorious whistleblower has accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of betraying him as an Australian citizen in her eagerness to help the United States attack him and his organisation.
PM has betrayed me: Assange
It's interesting that the journalist Josh Gordon doesn't seem to know the difference between the whistleblower (the person with access to the documants who leaked them) and the publisher (WikiLeaks). Media outlets such as The Guardian, the New York Times and online sites such as this one have presumably broken the same laws, if any, as Assange. And The Age!
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange is either a hero or a villain in his home country of Australia. Many people, both here and abroad, are demanding the head of the WikiLeaks founder. Others see him as a peoples' champion.More
Local bloggers have focused less on the content of the cablegate disclosures and more on ethical issues and possible consequences for effective governance.
State secrets exposed this year by whistle-blower website Wikileaks keep causing the world to shudder. A video showing Iraqi civilians killed by U.S forces; a compilation of tens of thousands of documents about the war in Afghanistan; hundreds of thousands of documents about the war in Iraq; and now 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables.
On Global Voices, we have looked at worldwide online citizen media reactions. The leaked documents contain so much information, both journalists and bloggers have struggled to make sense of them. The initial excitement is huge. What happens next?
Selected posts about WikiLeaks on Global Voices
03 Dec - Brazil: blogosphere reacts to WikiLeaks
02 Dec - Azerbaijan: First Lady responds to Cablegate criticism?
01 Dec - Latin America & Cablegate: Analysis, Reactions & Questions
30 Nov - Africa: Cablegate: Does the US care about Africa this much?
30 Nov - Caucasus: Revelations & Confusion over Cablegate
30 Nov - Central & Eastern Europe: Initial Reactions to WikiLeaks' Cablegate
29 Nov - South Asia: The Morality Of Exposing Others' Secrets
29 Nov - Jordan: Wikileaks' “Cablegate” Raises Questions
29 Nov - Middle East: The Not-So-Secret US Embassy Secret Cables
12 Aug - Afghan Bloggers on Wikileaks War Logs
26 Jul - Liveblog of global reactions to Wikileaks Afghanistan war logs