Kenya erupted in violence following a controversial presidential election in January 2008.
Up to 50 Kenyans were burned alive inside a torched church in Kiambaa where they sought refuge.
Elizabeth Wangoi wails near the Kenya Assemblies of God church in Kiambaa, Eldoret, where more than 35 women and children were burnt beyond recognition. (The Nation- Kenya)
This week anti-American activist Julian Assange made a stunning admission to The Guardian. The Wikileak founder confessed that a document his organization leaked “flipped the election” in Kenya where “1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced.” But then Assange went on to say that, “On the other hand, the Kenyan people had a right to that information.”
The Guardian reported:
Vaughan Smith, the director of the Frontline Club, tells me that he’s more or less subsisted on “two hours’ sleep and two sandwiches”. But then, there’s something about Assange that if not superhuman, is almost as if sleep and food are mere technicalities that might concern the rest of us, but that he has found a way of simply dispensing with. Combat, intellectual combat, seems to be his stimulant of choice. It just fuels him.
When I try to question him about the morality of what he’s done, if he worries about unleashing something that he can’t control, that no one can control, he tells me the story of the Kenyan 2007 elections when a WikiLeak document “swung the election”.
The leak exposed massive corruption by Daniel Arap Moi, and the Kenyan people sat up and took notice. In the ensuing elections, in which corruption became a major issue, violence swept the country. “1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak,” says Assange. It’s a chilling statistic, but then he states: “On the other hand, the Kenyan people had a right to that information and 40,000 children a year die of malaria in Kenya. And many more die of money being pulled out of Kenya, and as a result of the Kenyan shilling being debased.”
It’s the kind of moral conundrum that would unnerve most people, that made some wonder last week what the potential ramifications of the latest leak might be, but it is a subject on which Assange himself is absolutely clear: “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon lies or ignorance can’t lead to a good conclusion.”
The other key thing about WikiLeaks is that it’s internationalist in the true sense. “We do not have national security concerns. We have concerns about human beings,” says Assange.