How the Name of WikiLeaks is Abused in Croatia

Takaros, Pacufka and Asja

Just when we began to think that to Croatian media opening of a kebab fast food in Warsaw is more important than the revelations of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks and its founder’s destiny, they managed to surprise us with an utterly inspired WikiLeaks story. But again, unfortunately for us, it was not about the one that shook the world – in the eyes of Croatian journalists WikiLeaks is a more or less worn-out story and the whole hullabaloo over the manhunt against Assange is just overdramatizing – the piece was about a brand new, Croatian WikiLeaks and its own Assange, Mr Dean Golubić. He has failed to reveal anything for the time being, it is true, but he has announced a lot.

If that man lived in some other country, he would have probably passed unnoticed, but luckily for him, the insightfulness of Croatian mainstream journalists is over the top, so they instantly recognized his capacity, yet completely invisible to us, grumpy and suspicious individuals without a shred of imagination, whom those articles for some reason remind of election campaigning lies. And, what a coincidence!, Dean Golubić in fact did want to run for president in 2009, but later he renounced the run. Regarding his ambition, it is reasonable to suspect that he eventually realised he would not be able to collect enough signatures to become a presidential candidate, which leads us to conclusion that he assumed a more cunning tactics using the name of WikiLeaks, where he has been generously supported by some Croatian media who identified him with Julian Assange. Some news portals, i.e., go so far as to claim that he is approved by WikiLeaks itself, which is hard to believe, taking into consideration that the Facebook group of Mr Golubić abounds in national hatred and intolerance, which brings disgrace not only to the name of the famous whistle-blowing platform, but to the whole Croatian country.

However, Mr Golubić is not alone in such intentions. Croatia has general election this year, so in the preceding time there seems to exist a real frenzy of founding various associations that use the name of the famous whistle-blowing site and its founder. They are inviting whistleblowers to work with them, as though it was them who invented the very battle against corruption. Journalists are persecuted and TV programmes of investigative journalism, such as Latinica, have been cancelled without much comment, yet those newly-founded anti-corruption associations do absolutely nothing about it. They have not proven their anti-corruption work in any way, neither have they recognized the moment where they could actually help in revealing the truth; at the very least they should give their support to those fearless reporters now when they are out of favour with the government.

Instead, WikiLeaks Croatia is inviting people to send it “sensational“ news, on its Facebook page it is keeping comments that incite violence against Serbs (sic!), discrediting itself with it. They put in jeopardy their potential sources as well, because they never warn them to protect their personal data. As much as such an initiative annoys any informed reader, its name might discredit the original WikiLeaks in the eyes of a less informed one.

On the other hand, not only do Croatian media show an incredible disinterest regarding WikiLeaks developments, but their delay in covering important world news is also remarkable. While big news agencies are competing in covering latest developments in Tunisia, Yemen, Russia, Egypt etc., our newspapers report those events days later, often superficially, leaving an impression that it has nothing to do with us. They are confining us into our little world, which is consumed in political scandals, corruption and manipulation by the country’s power structure. Media should connect the world, not nurture the general climate of desperation, so visible in today’s Croatia.

Hopefully those 1686 Croatia-related Cablegate documents will be released on the genuine WikiLeaks website before the election this year. Nobody will be able to marginalise that.

Translation by Pacufka of the following comment in the croatian langauge:

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2 thoughts on “How the Name of WikiLeaks is Abused in Croatia

  1. Same situattion in Russia.
    The athentic information about Assange himself is really scarce, one-sided and sometimes literally misleading. Since there is a general apathy among people in respect of their own corrupt officials and even more to the problems of the rest of the world, Wikileaks has attracted little of an interest.
    Evgeny Morozov has put it quite well.

    • Kaetziro, I’m with you on this one. Apathy seems to be really a big problem, especially in our countries that have experienced shortly after the fall of communism great disappointments with so-called “democracies”. I hope WL still has a few surprises that will pull them from this state.

      Thank you for the link. It’s a very interesting and enlightening article.

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