I released a secret intelligence report from the US Army Intelligence on what happened in Fallujah in the first battle of Fallujah in 2004, and it looked like a very good document—secret classification labels all over it, nice maps, color, a good, combined military and political description of what had happened, even Al Jazeera’s critical involvement. And there was analysis of what the US should have done, which was to conduct a political and psychological shaping operation before they went in. In the case of Fallujah, some US Military contractors had been grabbed and hung in the town, and the US response gradually became an invasion of the town. So, rather than being a carefully pre-planned operation, it had been a continual escalation. They hadn’t set up the necessary political and media factors to support the military objective. It was an extremely interesting document, and we sent it to 3,000 people. Nothing appeared for five days. Then, a small report by a friend of mine, Shaun Waterman at UPI, appeared as a newswire, and then another one by a guy, Davis Isenberg, who spends half his time at the Cato Institute, but published this for the Asia Times. But before the UPI report, there was nothing by any bloggers, by any Wikipedia-type people, by any leftist intellectuals, by any Arab intellectuals, nothing. What’s going on? Why didn’t anyone spend time on this extraordinary document? My conclusion is twofold. First, to be generous, these groups don’t know how to lead the intellectual debate. They’ve been pacified into being reactive by the presence of the mainstream press. The front page of The New York Times says something and they react to that. Find what is newsworthy and tell the public that it is newsworthy. That’s the generous interpretation, but I think the main factor, however, for those who are not professional writers, and perhaps many who are, is simply that they use their writing to advertise their values as conforming to those of their paper. The aim of most non-professional writers is to take the cheapest possible content that permits them to demonstrate their value of conformity to the widest possible selection of the group that they wish to gain the favor of.
Commentare un pezzo in cui Assange racconta come la scrittura digitale nasca “di rimbalzo” rispetto a una scrittura autorevole, essendo incapace di essere essa stessa autorevole, è ovviamente poco confortante per me, nel momento in cui io stesso sto scrivendo queste righe di rimbalzo all’autorevolezza della fonte in cui ho letto l’intervista.
Ma mi sembrava interessante come l’idea di Assange di usare “il dibattito sul web” e i wikipedisti per creare informazione e non solo commentarla o condividerla, si sia scontrata con la concretezza di una sconfitta. Un conto è omologarsi, per adesione o per rinuncia, ad un pensiero certificato, un conto è prendere dei fatti ed elaborare una propria visione politica e sociale.
“La libertà del pensiero” su internet rischia di essere un pensiero libero ma debole, capace al massimo di specchiare pensieri di altri, di deformarli e di nascondercisi dietro.
1. In più, come mostra l’agitata sintassi del periodo precedente, ho dormito poco e ho difficoltà in ipotassi.