Wikileaks, Japan, Sea Shepherd, Australia, and Bank of America

Financial Justice International National Politics

Paul Watson takes a bullet
Paul Watson takes a bullet

New Orleans On the other side of the line there’s still a whining wall about Wikileaks and the end of the world as we know it (and, yes, you atavistic Neanderthals, I do “love Wikileaks” for what they are contributing these days!), but the New Year’s Day release of cables from Wikileaks connecting the links between Japan, Australia, and Sea Shepherd were invaluable. (Remember, as well, my critic friends that all of these releases are being vetted by the top news organizations in the world and we’ve only experienced tastes of about 2000 of the 250000 that are in the pile, so none of this is irresponsible.)

Sea Shepherd is the controversial conservation outfit that gets ships and tails Japanese whaling boats. I was flipping channels at one point and stumbled onto a Discovery Channel show or something where a Japanese boat rammed them near Antarctica. Scared the daylights out of me! This was wild and crazy stuff: a petition at the point of a prow, if you will.

Thanks to Wikileaks we now know that Sea Shepherd is driving them crazy and the fact that the Japanese were using Australian airports to send planes to monitor Sea Shepherd and the whalers has driven Australian public opinion over the edge and led to the Green Party introducing legislation to stop aiding and abetting the whalers. Having hammered at companies in one campaign after another for years sometimes without really knowing if we were delivering real pain or just being pests, this has got to be a huge break for Sea Shepherd and others that oppose the damage of “factory” whalers.

For the same reason the reports coming from the evil empire of Bank of America about their team of folks trying to do pre-event damage control on the possibility that Wikileaks is going to release a hard drive they received from inside the shop is comforting in the same way. Now no one has admitted that the bank is Bank of America for sure, but on the rumor Wall Street dropped the value by 3% on the off load trading, so it’s not just me that’s interested. Given the mess with mortgages and Countrywide and the easy road that Bank of America has gotten on modifications and about everything else, I can hardly wait to read whatever they have and hope that the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, OCC, and SEC are already to read it as well, so that some accountability finally comes to banks in this mess.

For all of the whiners about how this is going to change the way these diplomats and companies operate, my response is: thank goodness! This is not about whether or not they will figure out a way to still be sneaky, but the hope that they will actually have to change the way they do business based on the understanding that eventually, just maybe, everything might come to light, so smart governments and businesses will start understanding that the rules of engagement need to change, not just the problems of confidentiality.