Oh, the outrage!Julian Assange should be “hunted down” and killed for revealing American government secrets. WikiLeaks is “illegal.” Julian Assange has destroyed America’s diplomatic efforts to make the world a better place. WikiLeaks is a “terrorist organisation.” Julian Assange is (basically) killing innocent people to further his own evil aims.
All this because someone has published some mildly embarrassing information that some people wish hadn’t been published.
It’s funny how it’s all fine and good for the media to publish confidential information that embarrasses people that everyone hates (greedy corporate executives, for example). But when it comes to patriotic American diplomats or soldiers…
Remember the Pentagon Papers?
Aren’t you glad the New York Times had the balls to publish them? So are we. And the same with just about everything else that has ever been published that some powerful people didn’t want published.
But now WikiLeaks has apparently crossed some Maginot line that now threatens our national security. We are now being told that, thanks to the evil Julian Assange, some American diplomats no longer allow notepads in meetings, for fear that WikiLeaks will eventually publish them.
This, we are told, is hurting America’s efforts to make the world a better place.
Unless what is being discussed in those meetings is something that can’t withstand public scrutiny (secret cash payoffs, bribes, assassination plots, etc.), our diplomats should have no fear of being “exposed.”
As almost everyone noted when those cables were published, there wasn’t really anything in them that was particularly shocking or embarrassing. Our diplomats apparently weren’t doing sleazy, criminal things to advance our interests. They apparently weren’t lying to the public or our allies. They apparently weren’t paying mercenaries to kill leaders we don’t like. Etc.
Overall, it was a good spot check–a sort of surprise DUI roadblock on a Saturday night, just to make sure that there aren’t some folks in this country who consider themselves above the law.
If our diplomats recognise that they might be held accountable for their actions–and conduct themselves accordingly–we’ll all be better off. And the same goes for everyone else that WikiLeaks is “exposing” (including the military).
So enough with this gnashing of teeth about how WikiLeaks must be stopped. WikiLeaks is just the messenger here, not the agent. WikiLeaks is just doing what everyone in the press always says is the reason we should have press: Digging up information that powerful people don’t want you to know.
(And the fact that it’s doing this much better than the press is probably responsible for much of the outrage…).
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