Around the world, something quite extraordinary is happening. Muslim and Hindu, Shiite and Sunni and Sufi, religious and secular, Pakistani and Afghan, are united in praying for the swift and complete recovery of Malala, who is called, “beloved,” “The Ambassador of Peace and Education,” “braveheart,” “the brilliant brain,” “saviour of girls.” Pakistan and Afghanistan have both held special ceremonies and a national day of prayer. People have been photographed in the streets with tears running down their faces. We see pictures of girls holding up signs saying, “I am Malala.”
Though she has been transformed by myth and the coincidence of her name to the national heroine of Afghanistan, Malalai of Marwand, we should not forget that Malala is a 14-year-old girl with dear friends and a loving family whose hearts ache for her.
My Malalai is living, and they praise others’ beauty.
Though they have eyes, they are blind.
“When gun-toting men stopped their school wagon in Mingora last Tuesday around 12.45 p.m. asking for Malala Yousafzai, none of the three girls inside spoke. This, despite the terrorists threatening to shoot all of them if they did not identify Malala.
Today, stirred by the braveheart, who dared to stand up to the Taliban, and her friends, Shazia and Kainat, who refused to identify her even under threat, girls across Pakistan are saying ‘I am Malala.’
This is happening not just on the social media – which offers a degree of anonymity and security – but also on television and on the streets; some with their faces uncovered. ‘I-am-Malala’ has been trending not just in Pakistan but also in Afghanistan where girls’ education is equally at risk from the very same elements.
On Saturday, the Afghanistan Education Ministry organised a nationwide prayer for her at schools. She is being likened to ‘Malalai of Maiwand,’ the ‘Afghan Joan of Arc’ who rallied the Pashtun army against the British in 1880.”
Friends of Pakistani girl shot by Taliban vow ‘never to be subdued by militants
Malala Yousafzai: a young Pakistani heroine
OVER A COFFEE : Attacking Malala: the soul of Pakistan — Dr Haider Shah
Copyright © 2012 Henry Edward Hardy
Here is my response to “Why Wikileaks is Wrong” by Amy Bruckman:
Amy, your argument falls by the categorical imperative: if your argument was correct, then any government openness would be bad and all government information should be classified. You are opposing and undermining the very essence of democracy.
“The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness.”
quoted in Kantrowitz, “The Weapon of Openness,” in Crandall and Lewis, “Nanotechnology, Research and Perspectives,” 1992
Wikileaks has received the 2008 Economist Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award and the 2009 Amnesty International Human Rights Reporting Award (New Media).
Please reconsider your analysis in this light. Let’s talk about this.
You quote a five step test for when to whistleblow. Here are my responses regarding the war in Afghanistan and whether or not whistleblowing is justified in this context.
1 Do you believe the problem may result in ‘serious and considerable harm to the public’?
The war in Afghanistan has resulted in 1338 confirmed deaths of US personnel and tens of thousands of Afghan deaths, mostly civilians. The US has conducted and condoned assassinations, secret disappearances and kidnappings, torture and rape, all contrary to US and international law.
2 Have you told your manager your concerns about the potential harm?
In November, 2001 I attempted to bring a written resolution before the Washtenaw County Democratic Party opposing the War in Afghanistan. It was ruled out of order by the chair without being submitted to discussion or a vote.
I went to the Rules Committee to ask for a rule permitting debate on my resolution. I was told, “Henry you can stay but if you open your mouth, if you say one word, you will be arrested and removed by force if necessary.”
3 Have you tried every possible channel within the organization to resolve the problem?
Since 2001, I have attended public meetings, written extensively in my blog, written repeatedly to my congresspeople and spoken to several of them in person. I have stood on a street corner by the Ann Arbor Federal Building holding a sign on many cold winter days, often alone.
4 Have you documented evidence that would persuade a neutral outsider that your view is correct?
There is ample evidence that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable, that it serves no strategic purpose, that it is an illegal war of aggression under US and “customary” international law (in particular, the Nuremberg Principles). And bin Laden is not there, he is in Pakistan, protected by our “ally”.
5 Are you reasonably sure that if you do bring this matter to public attention, something can be done to prevent the anticipated harm?”
I am not sure that what Wikileaks has done will prevent the anticipated harm. But I think it will help. I am sure that if nothing is done, the harms will continue and intensify.
Having said that, I myself would not access or release data in this manner, because I think it would be professionally unethical from the perspective of the System Administrator’s Code of Ethics.
Henry Edward Hardy
Copyright © 2010 Henry Edward Hardy