Julian Assange seems like a dork, but I support the concept of the WikiLeaks web site. “Whistle blowers” can be an important check of government power, and certainly the people (in democracies, at least) have a right to know what their government is doing on their behalf. (How else can we make informed voting decisions?) In any case, WikiLeaks isn’t the problem: Inept handling of secret government documents is.
I had to link to wikileaks.de above, because wikileaks.org has been forced out of existence. Could it be called “censored” out of existence? Seeing as how the U.S. government is leading the charge against them, I think it might be an appropriate term in this case. (As opposed to the oft-repeated ridiculous claims that moderating comments is “censorship.”)
But far more unsettling to me is the apparent ease with which a person can make off with thousands of pages of secret U.S. government documents. For that reason, one must assume that all of these “secrets” were already well known to other countries. After all, if some government flunky could gather them, imagine what a highly-trained foreign intelligence operative could get.
So, Joe Lieberman and company, stop with the knee-jerk grandstanding about water that is well downstream from the bridge and start learning how to store your secret documents. As a citizen of this country, it’s disconcerting and embarrassing (but, really, not at all surprising) to find out how negligent my government is about basic computer security.
By the way, since every news outlet is reporting what was in the leaked cables as news, will legislators be attempting to prosecute and shut down CNN, FOX or MSNBC? Why not? Just wondering.
P.S. This guy from the Washington Post suggests that the U.S. Cyber Command should launch an attack on WikiLeaks. That’s not reactionary or anything.