Monday, December 6, 2010

Thoughts on Wikileaks

You haven’t been able to escape Wikileaks in the news lately. You know, that website that has been posting leaked U.S. military documents over the past few weeks. They also released the famous “Collateral Murder” video a few months back in which a US helicopter guns down two famous, unarmed journalists.

I’ve been back and forth about what I think of Wikileaks.

On paper, they sound like a necessary counter balance to world powers. They could do a lot to force the governments of the world to answer questions, keep them honest. Every government does things that are criminal to get the job done and sometimes they should answer for it.

But then there is the argument that ignorance is bliss. And it often is. I like thinking that North Korea is the bad guy, even if it’s blindly. I like thinking we’re these heroic world problem solvers, even though I know that’s not always true.

As more and more documents are posted, I’m beginning to worry about the ramifications of Wikileaks. Yes, the arguments about diplomats, contacts, and locations of bases being exposed have already been made by every military and government leader. They’re valid arguments and I’m sure it’s going to cause more than a few people to lose their lives.

What I’m seeing now though really scares me.

We’ve seen documents in which opinions on personalities are revealed. Weaknesses of world leaders, ways to win their favor, and secret packs they made with other leaders. Hilary Clinton is calling the French and Germans wusses, while the ineptness of George W. Bush and Tony Blair are shown in high resolution. Saudi Arabia asks the United States to hurt several rivals while their highest earners funnel money to terrorists. Today it was leaked that NATO and the United States had a plan to defend the Baltic Sea from Russia if they were to attack. We already had strained relationships with them and were finally mending it.

After the events in the past few months like bombs trying to be transported in printer cartridges or even the artillery shellings North and South Korea unloaded on each other only a week, I feel like this can only hurt the world. The probably less than 100 volunteers with Wikileaks could bring this world to war again.

Sometimes secrets are best kept secret. While I don’t like authority figures, I trust that my government is trying to keep me alive because it’s a sick parasitic relationship we have. We both need each other. I need them to protect me, make sure I have necessities, and to keep dumb people in check. I on the other hand, give them currency and labor. I’m the small voice that tells them what I like and what I don’t through voting. Even though, people and government alike get lost in calling each other liberal and conservative like they are both bad words, I prefer those petty squabbles than full out war.

I guess what I’m saying is that if someone were to make Julian Assagne disappear, I wouldn’t be upset. I don’t want him killed because he will only be made a martyr, but if he were put in prison and allow people to forget him, I would be happy.