Thursday, November 25, 2010

The truth hurts

An online resource that has been getting a lot of negative press and comments from armchair politicians and armchair security experts is wikileaks. Well, I have an armchair, so I'll dive into the debate thank you very much.

The most common argument I keep hearing about wikileaks is that what they do (by releasing sensitive documents for all to see) is in any other language known as treason. Not so fast. The people behind wikileaks do not actually acquire the sensitive information. The sensitive information is being provided by INSIDERS who feel that the information, no matter how sensitive, needs to be uncovered so as (in most cases) to reveal lies, deception, hidden agendas and a general lack of integrity displayed by various members and arms of our governments. wikileaks aren't leaking the information, they're just hosting it. If you want to brand the 'leakers' as traitors, you might also consider telling it to their faces. I'm sure they would set you straight in a minute or so.

A prime example of this are the documents wikileaks posted online about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The purpose of the leaks was not to reveal information that would compromise the military and strategic position of those engaged in those wars (on the NATO side). In fact, many in a position of knowledge have already argued that branding those documents as sensitive in the context of military strategy was questionable at best. What the documents actually revealed was evidence that the whole story about friendly combatants' deaths were being hidden from the public to cover up mass incompetence and insensitivity to the families of loved ones lost. All to maintain the polished image of 'winning the war'.

"Lives will be lost" some people say. I call bullshit on that one - sorry. Lives are already lost and nothing those documents contain will change that, nor add to the numbers.

Now everyone is in a tizzy because diplomatic documents are about to be released that could "Damage U.S. relations with allies around the world. The internal documents may contain accounts of compromising conversations with political dissidents and friendly politicians and could result in the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from foreign postings."

My response to that? It's about freaking time. I'm tired of hearing about the back room deals that our governments engage in "in our best interests" that serve to undermine anything and anyone that would have an opinion different from the current governing body. If the public were informed on a regular basis for example of the back room dealings our allies are engaged in with regards to copyright and anti-counterfeit policies (ACTA), they would be none too happy. Luckily, details of these meetings are being leaked by insiders who have moral and ethical issues with the plans being put forward. These leaks are being studied by our brightest minds and these people are ready to share their observations with the rest of us and confront our government should these secret plans become entrenched in law.

It was once said, "In a democracy, the citizens should have as much privacy as possible while the government should have as little as possible."

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