Raoul Heinrichs and I had a comradely discussion before he posted this piece. I am surprised by what he has written, though I should have realised that nothing I said would change the viewpoint he began with. With such emotive terms as 'notoriety', 'infamous' and 'hacktivists', he clearly signals a preconceived view about WikiLeaks. Yet those are the very descriptions that describe the content of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and the Collateral Murder video and the people responsible for the activities described in them, not those who published them.
Again weighting his terms, Raoul says Julian Assange is in 'legal purgatory' in London, implying some mortal sin: no, he is accused of no crime anywhere. Yet the Australian Government has made it clear that genuine consular support and the presumption of innocence don't apply to him. Compare their politically driven interventions on behalf of drug mules in Indonesia! Raoul might have asked, if Assange is elected to the Senate, will an Australian minister seek to have him take his seat next July, in response to the democratically expressed wish of the people? If not, why not?
Raoul admits that members of the WikiLeaks Party are 'older and less controversial figures' who, evidently to his disappointment, display moderation, an absence of radicalism and utopianism, and don't call for dissolution of the US alliance. They don't have the 'conspiratorial mindset we associate with WikiLeaks', he says. Who is 'we'? In recent months, thanks to Edward Snowden's revelations, anyone who didn't know it already was made aware that their taxes were paying for wholesale invigilation of their telecommunications by the United States, and that the Australian Government has for decades been complicit in it. Who is 'conspiratorial' here? When governments lie to their people and conspire with each other and with corporations to spy on their own citizens, and WikiLeaks reveals this, who is deceiving the public? Not WikiLeaks: governments are!
The WikiLeaks Party, says Raoul, has no hope of forming government and no foreign policy to speak of. Well, he got that right. We are a small party seeking seats in the Senate, where we our main task will be to review legislation to ensure, on the basis of evidence, that government does not deceive the people. But we do have principles, founded on international agreements and on international law, about human rights, asylum seekers, and the treatment of indigenous people.
Just as the major parties claim to do, we support internet freedom, the peaceful resolution of conflict, good international citizenship, and the security and independence of Australia. The difference between the WikiLeaks Party and the parties of government is that we mean it. We will not endorse Australia volunteering for illegal wars on spurious grounds, nor accept the enemies of other countries as our own, and we will seek to have Australia honour our treaty commitments to our neighbours to avoid the threat and use of force. That may not add up to a foreign policy, but it gives the major parties something to live up to.