Over the last few months, Wikileaks have been slowly releasing millions of emails known as The Syria Files. The emails are to and from major corporations, government ministries and influential people inside Syria; they have given us not only great stories but a great insight into a press free war zone.
At the beginning of July, Wikileaks started releasing the tome of information; once again giving knowledge to people that governments would have hidden away; once again helping to shed light on the inner workings of a state based on familial corruption.
…continued to give advice to the Assad’s even as tanks rolled in…
The revelation that Rami Makhlouf, Assad’s cousin and billionaire businessman who, at the start of the revolution, held a press conference to say he would be leaving the world of business and would use his knowledge and wealth for charitable endeavours, had, in fact, not changed any of his stripes and was still buying more than he was selling (or giving away), which showed us two potential things: the Assad government and its cronies are lying to us, or the inner circle are not following orders like they should be. A little bit more information to help substantiate what high profile defectors have been telling us all along – the government is coming down from the inside.
The emails further showed the global PR firm Brown Lloyd James is, surprisingly enough, another soulless global firm. BLJ had continued to give advice to the Assad’s even as tanks rolled in; Israeli news service Ynetnews described one email to Asma Al-Assad as “how to create the appearance it is pursuing reform while repressing the uprising”.
The Arab Spring was helped to begin by Wikileaks…
The Assads should maybe have looked a bit more into how well BLJ’s advice went, one of their former clients was Muammar Gaddafi. Using this as an example of Wikileaks being left leaning is, though, unfounded and unfair; unfortunately the emails and documents that companies and governments have hidden away don’t tend to see them in an angelic light.
Government transparency is important to democracy, we must support organisations like Wikileaks who help the whistle-blowers and strive to bring information to the public eye. Its detractors will tell you that the files Wikileaks releases might put lives in danger but that’s not true, it puts governments in danger and that’s why they try to stop it. The Arab Spring was helped to begin by Wikileaks releasing an American diplomatic communiqué which showed, a first the people of Tunisia, how their dictators were living. Giving the people living under authoritarian regimes real information is, by far, the best way to bring these governments down.