WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
Self-serving, self-righteous, ignorant gossip-mongers.
Is there a need for classified information RIGHT now ?
Yes. There is.
While total government secrecy without oversight is naturally abhorrable...
The exact opposite (complete government transparency) is, quite frankly, stupid.
Democracy is one of the frailest, most powerless government in existence. The closer you come to true democracy, the closer you get to literally empowering your enemies to destroy it (Precedence: Democratic Germany empowered Adolf Hitler to create a totalitarian state... because of the public support of the masses, ORDINARY PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND ME AND YOUR MOM AND MY UNCLE AND SO ON...!)
Given the fact that Wikileaks has not simply been shut down (despite it being constitutionally legal to do so, given the contract that they signed NOT to disclose this information), we're already empowering people who undermine the government's international gravity and diplomatic pull. So.. thanks for making us look internationally retarded, Wikileaks. Russia and China doesn't have this kind of problem.
Speaking of segues, So let's look at China. They censor the crap out of their country. While morally deplorable, they are in fact much more stable than they would be otherwise. (Not that I'm saying China's particularly prosperous, but they are more stable for censoring their people than they would be if they didn't.)
See how the North Vietnamese yesterday and the Insurgency today use our own media to demonize the war and demoralize the people at home? Both wars have been tactically successful, albiet phyrrically due to the impossibly-defined strategic goals and public dissent. A totalitarian dictatorship would not suffer such dissent. War is cruel and ugly, and for that reason Democracy will never be good at it. We're simply not playing by the same rules and we're suffering for it. You can't have a clean war and a successful war at the same time, but the coddled public refuses to accept this fact and expects us to have both.
In "Counterinsurgencyís Impossible Trilemma," Dr. Lorenzo Zambernardi, an Italian academic now working in the United States, clarifies the tradeoffs involved in counterinsurgency operations. He argues that counterinsurgency involves three main goals, but in real practice a counterinsurgent needs to choose two goals out of three. Relying on economic theory, this is what Zambernardi labels the "impossible trilemma" of counterinsurgency. Specifically, the impossible trilemma suggests that it is impossible to simultaneously achieve: 1) force protection, 2) distinction between enemy combatants and noncombatants, and 3) the physical elimination of insurgents.
According to Zambernardi, in pursuing any two of these three goals, a state must forgo some portion of the third objective. In particular, a state can protect its armed forces while destroying insurgents, but only by indiscriminately killing civilians as the Ottomans, Italians, and Nazis did in the Balkans, Libya, and Eastern Europe. It can choose to protect civilians along with its own armed forces instead, avoiding so-called collateral damage, but only by abandoning the objective of destroying the insurgents. Finally, a state can discriminate between combatants and noncombatants while killing insurgents, but only by increasing the risks for its own troops, as the United States and ISAF did in Afghanistan under the leadership of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. So a country must choose two out of three goals and develop a strategy that can successfully accomplish them, while sacrificing the third objective.
Zambernardiís theory posits that to protect populations, which is necessary to defeat insurgencies, and to physically destroy an insurgency, the counterinsurgentís military forces must be sacrificed, risking the loss of domestic political support.
Popular Support, the currency that Democracy runs on. So... basically, only totalitarian dictatorships can really accomplish a successful counter-insurgency. If someone popped into office right now and started steamrolling over the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan and actually DID completely destroy the insurgency... Americans would vote the guy out of office because he sacrificed a few too many soldiers to do so.
Not that I agree with the war, I just think that if you're going to do something; you better damn well do it RIGHT. No half-ass pussy-footing around. People will die.
Not every secret is some evil conspiracy. Hell, most of the secrets the government keeps are to protect its' people from real, physical EXTERNAL threats, not to protect the bureaucracy itself or some crap like that.
Do you think it's a good idea to put on a map where all the major government facilities are? No, it's not. It's not even a good idea to put on a map where power plants and dams are. So some secrets are good secrets. Most secrets are good secrets. If you're in a fight with someone, do you tell him you're going to aim for his left knee in the opening bout? NO.
Problem is, who decides what's vital to national security and what isn't? Not some self-righteous tool on Wiki-leaks and not the same easily manipulated general public that elected Hitler. So in short... someone who has worked long hours for a good portion of his or her life trying to catch the bad guys and protect the guys wearing the boots downrange. He doesn't get paid very much... and hardly ever gets recognized for all the lives he's saved because his job is top secret.
You'll just have to trust him to make the right choice.
And if you simply CANNOT trust your government... then weaken it. Expose its' secrets so that you can weaken democracy from within. Tell the insurgent that we're about to capture him because we've been using magic wands to divine his location, so he can simply stock up on magic wand defeating devices instead of the magic bean defeating devices he's been using since before you clued him in on our use of magic wands....
Phew. That was a lame metaphor. ANYWAYS!
This act has weakened America far beyond whatever benefit the 'illumination of truth' could have ever possibly made.
I'm a pretty big anarchist (considering my profession...), but Wikileaks is self-serving exploitation veiled in truth-seeking nobility.
Besides... The Media is more slimy and dangerous than the government. Rather than merely keeping secrets, the Media is selectively picking and choosing what information is being fed to the public.
The Media is a business, with the interest of self-preservation. Self-preservation is accomplished by making money and staying financially secure.
The Government's interest is also self-preservation... but self-preservation is accomplished through conducting successful political actions and upholding public support.
I'll put my money on the big guys upstairs.
Unless the two assholes join idealogical forces to promote themselves and exploit the public...
If you want total transparency, you can have it, sure... but at the cost of the government that granted it to you.