Wikileaks, Enemy of the State?

November 28, 2010

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

(ChattahBox Op/Ed) – I’m starting to think this “Wikileaks Guy”  (Julian Assange) should be declared an “enemy of the state” and treated as such. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This isn’t a liberal or conservative issue. This is an American issue without political orientation. If you don’t think there can be an American issue without political orientation, read on.

On the eve of what is described as a massive leak of US diplomatic secret documents it’s important to think about what it is Wikileaks is doing and what it hopes to accomplish. The world needs an institution it can turn to to expose corruption in all forms and at all levels. Wikileaks is that institution.  Chinese dissidents need a place to show the world the torture they suffer at the hands of an authoritarian government. Small guys in mega corporations need a site to tell the world the extant of  the corruption that is an everyday reality. Whistleblower laws in our country have shown to be inadequate, something else is needed. Which is why Wikileaks has a place and should be a powerful force against corruption and evil. But to be that institution Wikileaks,  every once in awhile needs to have a filter.

The exposure of diplomatic cables is that time. Our country requires it’s diplomats to be able to speak easily and fearlessly to one another in order to conduct the nation’s business.  According to the Obama administration the forthcoming leak will damage our relationships with foreign countries and will directly put our troops in danger and indirectly put our country in danger. There is no purpose that comes to mind which makes the deaths of our troops worth exposing these documents.

It’s taken me a little while to come around on this issue. The first I heard about Wikileaks was in 2007 when Standard Operating Procedures for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Camp Delta, were released. It proved that certain prisoners were “off limits” to the International Red Cross. This leak had merit. It showed the United States, my country in violation of Geneva Convention rules. As a former soldier I hold the standards of my country very high. It pains me when my country fails in it’s moral obligations. Thus, at that time I felt that this leak was necessary and helpful toward fueling the Bush immorality debate.

The next big leak that caught my attention was video footage of a helicopter attack in Baghdad that occurred in 2007.   Twelve people died in that attack to include two Rueters news staff who were killed when their camera gear were misidentified as weapons by the helicopter crew. Again, I thought this leak had merit. It opened the debate of  whether the “Rules of Engagement” in Iraq were too loose. Iraqi support for the US invasion had slid dramatically by that time, mostly due to what they perceived as wild and reckless behavior by our military.

Both leaks ,while embarrassing to our country, most likely did not harm any US citizen and I supported Wikileaks’ anonymity policy and right to release the information. However, my perception and support for Wikileaks began to wane when on July 25 of this year, 9200o US, Afghan War documents were released.  The information contained in these documents concerned all facets of our war against Al Queda and Taliban fighters. Military matters as well as diplomatic matters with our Allies inside Afghanistan and outside were detailed. For the first time, a release from Wikileaks had the real danger of harming our service members. This was the point in which the way I began to look at this organization began to change.

And now here we are. The world is as unstable as it’s ever been. War in the Korea peninsula is a very real threat. The Salt Treaty between Russia and the US is teetering on the whim of Republican politicians who are using the treaty as  political toy. And, if you haven’t noticed we’re still very much at war in Afghanistan. There couldn’t be a worse time to have the world know what goes on behind the closed doors  of our embassies and State Department.

If leaks like these can harm our people and our country why not label anyone or any organization as an “enemy of the state?” Why can’t they be shut down or if it can be proved that harm was done to our citizens why can’t they be plucked from their hiding places and prosecuted?

Listen, if you’ve read my stuff in the past you’ll know that I’m about as liberal as they come. This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue. Nor is it a Democrat vs. Republican thing. This is an American thing. I am first and foremost an American. The information that will be released is property of the United States. The very fact that Wikileaks possess it makes them guilty of possessing stolen property. The information will harm America. It’s time Wikileaks needs to be stopped.


Comments

8 Responses to “Wikileaks, Enemy of the State?”

  1. A Real American on November 28th, 2010 3:27 pm

    You sound like you would be more comfortable in a fascist dictatorship like Iran or N. Korea than in a free democracy like the USA.

  2. A Real American on November 28th, 2010 3:29 pm

    “The truth will set you free.”
    Unless you are evil.

    “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”

    –Jesus, in Luke 12:1-3

  3. Kev on November 28th, 2010 4:17 pm

    I’ve wondered the same, when are they going to start going after despotic regimes like China and Iran have?

  4. shayne on November 28th, 2010 6:32 pm

    When I wrote this article I knew it wouldn’t be popular with some in my clan but I wrote it because it was the right thing to say.

    I’m for open government but there are some things which are secret which should be kept secret. Diplomatic correspondence being one of them. Wikileaks does not own the information they leaking and have no right to do so.

    Most importantly, I love my country and my countrymen. The irresponsible release of these documents may put you, I and the rest of our countrymen at risk. I’d rather say the right thing and take the wrath of my fellow liberals then to remain silent.

  5. FERED on November 28th, 2010 7:48 pm

    “WIKILEAKS AND THE ENMY OF STATE”Is appear that this American try to justify the atracity they committed through out the world and perhaps believing that mass murdering and distroy the livelyhood of other countries by using Atomic bomb in Japan and chemical weapons in Vitnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and South America, the list can go on and on……and leaving a disable socities with millions of suffering people behind, this is a nature and a chracteristic of fascism, everything for the interest of America, it was this belive that Hitler in herited from you American. Lets not to forget that for the past 60 years every American government have had commited crime against humanity and by economical briberies and gun boat policy they have had managed to get a way with their criem, unfortunatly the American are the only known misinformed nation under the banner of democracy. Do wakeup America and be accountable to the human race, is your government stained your name, is your duty to humanity to clean-up your image wikileaks is a wake-up call to you American.

  6. John55 on November 29th, 2010 7:38 am

    Hummm… Secrets

    Like:
    1.Intentionally injecting blacks in the South with Veneral Diseases?
    2.Purpously dumping raido-active dust from a high rise in New York?
    3.Turning the I.R.S. and the F.B.I. loose on your enemys?
    4. Saying, “I did not have relations with that woman.”
    5.Iraq has W.M.D.’s..”Its a slam dunk.”

    Excuse me “Mr. Shayne” do you mean those kinda “Secrets.”

    But then no one was hurt in the “secrets” that I listed above.

    Congradulations! you’ve been placed on my “Charlatans List.”

    But don’t tell anyone……Its a “secret.”

  7. John on November 30th, 2010 3:15 am

    Wikileaks should be considered a threat to all democracies. Until it starts releasing potentially harmful information about Russia, China, N. Korea, and terrorist organizations it should be treated as an enemy of the state and the founder should be charged with something. If he was an American he would have already been charged with Treason!

  8. Reformed Liberal on December 16th, 2010 9:44 am

    Let me explore some of your article’s assertions in comparison with reality.

    “According to the Obama administration the forthcoming leak will damage our relationships with foreign countries and will directly put our troops in danger and indirectly put our country in danger.”

    Sending our troops to fight illegal wars of Empire-creation puts them in danger. Obama the “peacemaker” is better at making war than Bush was. Exposing our troops to Depleted Uranium starts them down the path to a slow painful death and forever contaminates the planet with our nuclear waste. How “Green” is it to support this?

    You say this, “This is an American issue without political orientation.”, but then this, “is teetering on the whim of Republican politicians …” Question: How do the Republicans control a Democrat-dominated Congress?

    Then your article betrays the fact that you have bought into the Liberal myth of “Democracy”. The US is NOT a democracy. “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what”s for dinner! We are a Constitutional Republic and these leaks prove just how far America has strayed from this course!

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