I find this whole wikileaks phenomenon endlessly fascinating while at the same time a little pitiful.
In theory, I approve of the mission statement wikileaks touts. Government transparency is good in most cases. Protecting their sources, also excellent. Vetting of stories before publishing? Essential. But for all the bluster they’re surprisingly mercenary.
They claim to be a source for good in the world. Yet they’re constantly targetting the biggest sources of good in the world. It grabs them headlines to accuse the US and leak classified documents from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it also has the advantage of being very safe for them. Though they make a show of ‘being afraid’ they know very well, as does the rest of the world, that the US and Western European countries don’t go in for the kind of extra-legal retaliation they claim to be afraid of.
Who does go in for that kind retaliaion? The kill your family and cut your head off on TV kind of retaliation? The very groups and countries wikileaks fails rather conspicuously to report on. The very groups the US and Western Europe (along with other notable allies) are in violent conflict with right now. Let’s see some juicy leakage of the operational details of AlQuaeda or Hamas or Sendero Luminoso. How about North Korea for heaven’s sake. China anyone?
If you want to be seen as a force for good in the world you ought to do something other than throw stones at the side that doesn’t deliberately kill women and children as a matter of policy.
As for protecting sources, perhaps you also ought to protect those innocents you put at risk with your leaks. Locals working for the US in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing nothing but what they think is right, yet you put their lives at risk by publishing their names where the jihadists can find them. There are good reasons to classify documents and protecting sources is one of them. Strange how that cuts both ways and how wikileaks doesn’t seem to care.
And vetting your stories before publishing? Please. How about Collateral Murder? What a joke.