I just heard a segment on the BBC World Service on WNYC about WikiLeaks.
They had a WikiLeaks spokesman explaining how Visa, MasterCard and Paypal had all shut off donations to WikiLeaks. With close to 100 percent market share, that leaves them without a way to raise money in the United States. This was done without due process, without any charges, and has been in place since December last year. A lot of people who look at this situation, myself included, don't see a line separating the role WikiLeaks plays from that played by the New York Times or the Guardian, two news organizations that ask for our respect and presumably don't have any problems with Visa, MasterCard or Paypal.
Then they had a reporter from the Guardian come on and make the usual personal attacks against Julian Assange. The ones that make them look dishonest and sold out, because as reporters, they surely know that they're leaving some salient facts out of their analysis. As the WikiLeaks spokesperson starts to respond, they cut him off and go to the next segment. I could see how someone might think that, based on this reporting, that the BBC is very much in bed with the US government in trying to put WikiLeaks out of business. Probably because they undermine the business model of the BBC, by doing what they do, more honestly and completely. (Should I let the BBC have space to respond? Of course. Because I care about the truth.)
I'm fed up with this situation. There are many ways for people to give money to organizations that many of us don't like. But that's part of living in a democracy. If I want to give $100 to WikiLeaks, and if I want to use my credit card to do so, who are they to say I can't? One might have an argument if there was some recourse, some other way to give money. But they have WikiLeaks blockaded.
Think about this -- if the banks have the power to cut off funding to an organization they don't like, and there's no protest, of course they can do it to you too. And when you think of our nice young President out there pretending to be fighting for us, remember, he's the guy that put them up to this. Could they do it to the New York Times? Of course.
I'd like to see one of the banks break ranks and offer us a way to get money to WikiLeaks with a credit card. Or I'd like to see one of the supposedly reputable news organizations break ranks and tell the story of how the government got the banks and other news organizations to abandon their honor and integrity. And how they don't mind if the part of the public that wants a free press knows they did it. (And to the reporters, how long before they cut you off too?)