Monday, December 20, 2010

will assange regret wikileaks?

Guardian | Not everyone who decides to leak manages to escape the harsher penalties. Mordechai Vanunu, the technician who leaked details of the Israeli nuclear weapons programme to the Sunday Times in 1986, was pursued to England, lured to Italy by a female Mossad agent, kidnapped, and jailed for 18 years, and spent 11 in solitary confinement. He also remained convinced that he had done the right thing. If he has regrets, it is about the way he chose to leak the story.

"It was a mistake to go with one newspaper, but I didn't have any experience with the media," he said in an interview in Jerusalem after his release; significantly, WikiLeaks worked with five separate publications in five different countries. "My target was to bring information to the world, so the best way would have been a press conference or to send it to 20 newspapers so that it would not be controlled by anyone. Now things have changed and the internet has made it much easier for information to be passed on."

Vanunu had plenty of opportunities to decide whether it was all worth it. "There was a lot of pressure, a lot of attempts at brainwashing," he said. "I decided from the beginning that they could have my body in prison but my spirit, mind, brain, I would keep free, under my control; that would be my way out."