I’ve been intrigued at the activity on Wikileaks by certain well-placed individuals concerned with Timor.
Starting in late June 2008, Timor Leste Wikileaks has seen a spike in leaked documents: 19 sets of leaks in total.
I contacted Wikileaks to ask whether Timor wins the award of “Leaks Per Capita” and they said they could not be certain, but they said Timor was among the top three, the other contenders being the US and Kenya.
After a quick calculation, here are the winners in leaks per million people in 2008
- Timor 19
- US* 1.33
- Kenya 0.58
Timor is well ahead of the country of Daniel Ellsberg and Mark Felt. One wonders who is doing the leaking.
Are we seeing the Leak trump the Rock in Timor? Or are these whistleblowers operating outside of the world of the frustrated ema kiik? (After all, only the well-connected or well-heeled have the resources to be scanning and sending documents over the internet.)
The next question is: does the increasing number of leaks mean more than there is a growing taste for the “whistle” by those interested in Timor? Does it tell us something about rule of law and corruption?
As Charlie Scheiner of La’o Hamutuk admonished on the ETAN mailing list “In a country as dynamic and volatile as this one, [indicators on corruption] should be taken with a lot of salt.”
I would argue that leak trends too must be taken with a massive dose of artesanal salt.
But I cannot help but continue to celebrate Wikileaks in the land of the loro.
Lest I celebrate too much, just a reminder of where leaks and secret sources got Tempo Semanal and editor José Belo: in court.
*projected from a three month period October-December