Saturday, December 04, 2010

This Picture is Unimaginably Inaccurate

Is this un-ironic ("achievements" is spelled wrong)? Seriously, one guy is president of The United States who admitted the Nobel Prize was premature. The other guy is a troll who thinks that so long as he pisses off a (relatively) benign government that any consequences he faces for his actions are 'fascism.'

I realize Julian Asange isn't the only guy running Wikileaks. I realize that they only get real press here in the US when they leak stuff from the US. When they leak documents from China, South America, or Africa, we don't really see it. I appreciate that we do deserve to know when our government is lying to us, and even, to some extent, when it is hiding things from us.

That said, as a citizen of the US, nothing in these cables reveals anything about my government that I needed to know. This is unofficial, speculative information given in private. I obviously haven't reviewed the cables in depth, but while there have been a few eyebrow-raisers, most of it is no surprise, and the rest is unremarkable (we're trying to get our allies to help sanction Iran? Duh.).

There's no point in releasing these cables other than to gain attention and 'be truthful.' I mean, as individuals, there are dozens of things we think all the time that are true, but we don't say them because A) They're not appropriate or helpful and B) We're entitled to our privacy. Putting something on the internet because it's the truth or because it's been kept secret isn't brave, isn't an achievement, and doesn't contribute to some greater truth.

So the US isn't perfect. So we hide things. Being the one jackass to be shouting the secrets of the world's nicest major power (save, possibly Britain) doesn't further any goals. What will people remember (if anything) about wikileaks a year from now? That they were a responsible news organization? That they kept us informed when our government wouldn't? That they kamikazed themselves over unimportant cables while their front-man was wanted for not paying a legal prostitute?

That doesn't further the search for truth. All it does is make those people who will fight for truth in the face of government opposition either align themselves with an organization with no credibility or remember that if they step out of line, they will be crushed.

Hopefully, they'll learn a lesson about professional conduct and responsible reporting. If they do, then maybe wikileaks will indeed have advanced the fight for being "that guy."

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