Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Show us your sources

Actually, I agree with the thrust of this article: It is absurd, hypocritical and inane for credit card companies that happily process fees for religious extremists and pornographers alike to raise the banners of ethical purity against WikiLeaks. The latter — unlike, for example, the terrorist KKK — cannot be shown to have committed any crime, nor does any commander in Iraq or Afghanistan tell us of any danger to be apprehended for locals working with US-led forces as a result of the leaks site’s revelations; thus, it is dishonest hyperbole to claim, as the Pentagon has, that it has “blood on its hands.”

'Julian Assange: Most wanted'

“Inappropriate Content”? It’s not what you say,
it’s who you say it about.
[ Image Source ]

So precipitate, in fact, has the credit card companies’ reaction been, that it has prompted speculation that the companies might themselves be the subjects of future disclosures, and are carrying out a sort of preemptive first strike.

However, this article is too flawed to pass. One of its problems is simply that it’s too short; it is not an article, but a rambling tweet. And it ends with the vacuous and subliterate “Just saying,” which would brand it as the work of a teenager on AOL if it were viewed in isolation from the legitimating context of

But the most egregious failing of this article is one that it shares with countless comments found after news articles across the web: To evidentiate its assertions, it cites numerous other articles — most of which have URLs like “” As a wary and skeptical web user, I will state forthrightly: I will never click on such a link. It hides its real target behind a URL-shortening service that could conceal anything from porn to spyware — or, more likely, a “news” site whose ideology pervades its reporting and vitiates its credibility.

If you want people to confirm your claims, use real URLs that tell readers what site they originally came from and let them determine for themselves — without risking a visit to a page in a poke — what they are being invited to look at and whether it is credible. Otherwise, I will do as I do when I read comments citing such pseudo-URLs: I will shake my head and move on, assuming the author has something to hide.

Originally published as a review of a Huffington Post mini-article on WikiLeaks.

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