Why is there so much fuss about this Wikileaks release? The latest round of leaks doesn’t reveal much that’s new or even shocking, unless you believe that what governments and government officials say is usually true.
The reaction reveals a lot though: Most of the outcry seems to be from the right wing, which suggests that these people are upset by the simple act of people daring to tell the truth about what our government does. Just look at the people who’ve called for Wikileaks to be classified as a terrorist organization or even for the assassination of Assange [perhaps disguised as an accident]: columnist Charles Krauthammer [‘it would be nice if people like Assange were made to worry every time they go out…’, the always-entertaining Sarah Palin [he should be ‘pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaida and Taliban leaders’], Congressman Peter King [‘worse than a military attack’], Mike Huckabee [‘anything less than execution is too kind a penalty’].
So these so-called ‘conservative’ politicians have now publicly stated their opposition to telling the truth if it happens to be inconvenient or embarrassing. Thomas Jefferson tells us that ‘Information is the currency of democracy’, so if someone doesn’t believe in the First Amendment, does he or she believe in democracy at all? And how do supposedly responsible journalists, like those at Time Magazine, question Assange’s ‘moral calculus’ after their abject failure to question the morality of our death-dealing, bail-out-the-rich leaders?
I think Assange, has a very good reply to those who question Wikileaks’ actions with respect to causing harm, morality, and ‘malicious intent’:
This sort of nonsense about lives being put in jeopardy is trotted out every time a big military or intelligence organization is exposed by the press…. However, this organization in its four years of publishing history… has never caused an individual, as far as we can determine or as far anyone else can determine, to come to any sort of physical harm or to be wrongly imprisoned… [Compare that] to the organizations that we are trying to expose who have literally been involved in the deaths of hundreds or thousands or, potentially over the course of many years, millions.
…we are an organization that tries to make the world more civil and act against abusive organizations that are pushing it in the opposite direction.
So if you want to talk about the law, it’s very important to remember the law is not what… powerful people would want others to believe it is. The law is not what a general says it is. The law is not what Hillary Clinton says it is. The law is not what a bank says it is.
Let me just talk about transparency for a moment. It is not our goal to achieve a more transparent society; it’s our goal to achieve a more just society. [emphasis added] And most of the time, transparency and openness tends to lead in that direction, because abusive plans or behavior get opposed…
[The documents are] all reviewed and they’re all redacted, either by us or by the newspapers concerned… we have formally asked the State Department for assistance with that, and that request was formally rejected, and they also refused to engage in any harm minimization…
According to Assange, Wikileaks is now preparing to release thousands of documents from a major financial institution. Forbes Magazine quotes him as saying that ‘It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms… [It] will reveal flagrant violations, unethical practices and internal executive decision making structures.’ He went on to say, ‘leaking the information will mean good business for people who embrace ethical business practices and treat their employees well.’
Most of the media seems to have a lap-dog mentality and will do almost anything to avoid antagonizing the government. Like it or not, only Wikileaks seems willing to tell the truth.