Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

Wanted: WikiLeaks

The release of thousands of diplomatic cables has embarrassed the U.S. government and angered foreign heads of state. The messages contain lots of potentially damaging material and may lead to the resignation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

I admit when documents were released months ago about the Iraq war, I thought they could possibly be a good thing. In general I think the government should be more transparent and not cover up so much information. In the case of the war, I thought if ordinary citizens had more information, it would lead to greater scrutiny of the military and a surge of support for withdrawing troops from the Middle East.

When it comes to the diplomatic messages, however, I’m skeptical. What possible purpose could the leak serve but to embarrass the United States and weaken its diplomatic ties? It seems like the messages were leaked because they could be–because founder Julian Assange, now wanted by Interpol on possible rape charges, had them in hand. He admits he doesn’t know exactly what he wants.

What do you think? Should every movement the government makes be visible to the public? If not, where do we draw the line?

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Comments on: "Wanted: WikiLeaks" (2)

  1. I am appalled that this Wiki guy released this information for no other reason than to embarass the American government and increase his own fame. I heard him on NPR yesterday and he was arrogant and nonapologetic. He said that he had met with the State department to withhold some sensitive communications but he made it very clear that he decided which items were sensitive. What give this guy the right to decide what is sensitive? He said that they were releasing different parts of the documents in areas of the world where they would have the most impact. People will probably die as a result of these thoughtless and incompassionate actions.
    This was private internal communication and not intended for public consumption. I do not think it is in the government’s or the people’s best interest for the public to know everything. These communications were private. Some were cables which by their nature are short and succinct. What the state department releases is crafted and wordsmithed for diplomatic reasons. This was internal, private communications. Private is private. This era of 24 hour news, hacking, gossip journalism and just plain smut is not in any one’s best interest. Private is private.

    • I tend to agree with you. George Packer at the New Yorker makes the point that there is public interest in knowing what the government is doing, but the documents don’t uncover any scandals or crimes. Most of it seems to be day-to-day stuff that really isn’t anyone’s business. The documents were released because they could be, not because the public had any vital need to know what they contained.

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