Monday, January 10, 2011

Wikileaks isn't the problem

As much as government officials want to say and as much as it may appear obvious, Wikileaks isn't the problem when they posted the hundreds of thousands of document on their Website. Few if any of those documents were classified beyond "for internal use only", and most weren't even that. The problem is the content of those documents.

As much as some want to prosecute Wikileaks and the associated people, the real criminal act we done by the private who stole them but more so by the people who wrote them. It's fair to say they were simply communications which included information they would have said in a face-to-face conversation. So, if those conversations were leaked, would there be the same outrage?

The point here is that the government needs to secure information better where people like the private can't steal it. We really know this is impossible all the time, so why did all those people say the things they did they wouldn't say in public or more so in face-to-face conversations?

If the reputation of the State Department was damage, it was self-inflicted because of the personal judgement of some of them was detrimental to our interests. Putting it in writing only proved the point of their failure to use good judgement in communications. They should be reprimanded, not protected under the guise of prosecuting Wikileaks.

As for the military documents, as noted, many were innoucuous communications of ordinary life and times. That's something the public should know about our military and the on-going war in Afghanistan and places elsewhere. The truth is a powerful thing and something the military shouldn't be hiding from us taxpayers who are footing the bills there.

In the end, the investigation and probably prosecution of Wikileaks is groundless for achieving more than a political point of being tough of people who expose the truth. Daniel Ellsberg and the newspapers and book publishers who published the Pentagon Papers, which were classified, weren't prosecuted.

It's the old adage people are forgetting here. You don't shoot the messenger because you don't like the message. Wikileaks exposed the truth without naming or exposing names. They didn't to anything those people did then over the Pentagon Papers. Only now some people and politician want to make it a war crime when it's not. It wasn't then and it's not now.

The war on terrorism isn't on-going. We achieved our goals in Afghanistan and are hanging around for reasons which were agreed in the beginning and make little sense nown. Our State Department appears to have a nonchalant and cavalier attitude toward people in other nations. To that it can be said, "Wise up."

Whatever damage was done can be fixed. Things will be different but then maybe it's time it was different. And, just maybe, thanks to Wikileaks doing what should have been done all along?

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