Todays big story gave me a bit of a chuckle. Trump supporters (and Hillary dislikers alike, really) got quite a surprise from Assange, when he didn’t effectively end Hillary’s career, as many were expecting. In fact, not only did he not drop anything on that front, he also used the limelight to plug his new book.
So, the October surprise was . . . his new book?
If that was the plan all along, well played. He forced people to listen to his speech in its entirety. And he got (or, will get) to ride the wave of free publicity that comes with annoyed people venting on social media about his trickery (and of course, the media coverage). If that was the plan all along, again, well played. He baited the hook, and they bit down hard.
A part of me wonders if there is more to this, however.
Wikileaks exists for the purpose of transparency. How much transparency is necessary (and where one draws the line) is debatable. But the organization has a purpose. One that im thinking has kept a lot of people more on their toes than they would have ever thought necessary before.
But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. To be Assange or Wikileaks, is to have great power. Though one can argue that transparency overrides all other considerations, there are situations in which real world threats may be attached to the release of a given set information. Or if not an explicit threat, than an overt amount of influence.
Back when this wikileaks stuff got big, a couple people I know were angry, because some of the releaseses may have put close acquaintances of theirs at risk. I suspect them to be judged as acceptable collateral to the bigger picture that is transparency.
What we have with possible Hillary information however, it is not as much danger (though one could also argue that hypothesis) as it is the possibility of influencing a national election. One with a baboon for a Republican candidate, no less.
Which makes me wonder . . . is Assange holding out because he views (as many people of intellectual capacity have in recent months) Trump as genuinely dangorous? Is he holding out because he does not want to interfer with the democratic process of a nation? Or was it all just a bluff after all?
At this point, I guess we will see. If the information was extremely damning, I doubt that Assange or Wikileaks would hold onto it. As for the conspiracy angle (the DNC threatened Assange!), I highly doubt it. If he still walks this earth after the releases up until now, I doubt the DNC offers any threat.
Either way, I guess we will know once November 2ed is upon us.