Wikileaks, the politically complicated organization that says it "opens governments" by posting secret documents online, celebrates its 5th birthday today. A lightning rod for criticism since beginning to post a huge trove of US State Department files one year ago next month, the organization has also won numerous awards around the world for exposing the wrong-doing of other governments and powerful corporations.
Wikileaks leader Julian Assange yesterday marked 300 days under house arrest facing extradition from the UK for alleged sexual assault. Alleged leaker of the State Department documents Bradley Maaning has been held even longer. Neither has faced trial.
Wikileaks has faced extensive criticism for its security practices, its alleged recklessness and for having an adverse impact on international diplomacy.
The organization, though, exposes undeniable evidence of wrongdoings by parties in power with every set of documents it releases. That those wrongdoings receive so little attention relative to the controversial little organization itself may be attributable to the same servile, traumatized indifference to goodness and fairness that is likely at the root of the exposed abuses of power themselves. A substantial percentage of the population mistakes Wikipedia for Wikileaks. There are some things that even the most powerful, illuminating technologies in the world are unlikely to change.
Either way, happy birthday, Wikileaks. Thanks for all the good you've done and please try to stay out of trouble.