By BJ Bjornson
It appears that the effort to shut down WikiLeaks by making it next to impossible for its supporters to donate money to the organization has been successful.
One of the world's most notorious secret-spillers is going silent.
WikiLeaks said in a statement Monday that it would stop publishing in order to focus on making money � explaining that the blockade imposed by financial companies including Visa, MasterCard, Western Union and PayPal left it with no choice.
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U.S.-based financial companies pulled the plug on WikiLeaks shortly after it began publishing some 250,000 U.S. State Department cables last year. The group says the restrictions starved it of nearly all its revenue.
I would also note that the timing of those financial companies pulling the plug also happened to coincide with reports that WikiLeaks next big document drop was going to be from the financial industry itself. Self-preservation is a major incentive for wanting the gatherer and publisher of such leaks starved of funds.
Holding accountable and even at times embarrassing the powerful by exposing their secrets was once a job the mainstream media was expected to do and for a time even reveled in, but that time is long past, and we�re now left with media organizations that self-censor even if they haven�t been totally captured by the people they are ostensibly covering.
I wasn�t always in agreement with what WikiLeaks was publishing, but in these days of almost compulsive government secrecy, watching them being squeezed into silence is a sad day for transparency and the freedom of information.