Saturday, September 10, 2016

Is wikileaks wicked or worthwhile?

View Wikileaks Online
As best I can tell, the answer is 'Yes!'

No government can be totally transparent. There is a need for secrecy, especially in military and diplomatic affairs. Leaked documents concerning intelligence and military plans can put lives at risk and jeopardize national security.

What too many people do not understand is that secrecy is quickly becoming an endangered species. Many think that this is the 'age of secrecy', but I believe it is the age of 'secrets found out'. Going back to the 1930s, Winston Churchill, before World War II, depended upon leaked documents to raise the alarm about Adolf Hitler and his plans.

The internet, email, text messaging, cell phones all contribute to an open society. Text someone and you possibly text the world. Text message with a photo and many more people will see it than you realize. Any information delivered by a computer, especially tantalizing or far-reaching data, can be passed on with ease.

The problem with leaked documents is that they provide no context, no background. To be of genuine value, you need to read everything. The power in the information age is not in keeping the information secret, but knowing what you can do with it.

Governments, especially in the U.S., love to talk about transparency, but seldom, if ever, employ it. Many politicians, by their very nature, are duplicitous. Some lie so much they can't keep track of all the falsehoods. So, secrecy in deception becomes paramount. What they fail to realize is that total secrecy is impossible today.

I am still astonished that Bill and Hillary Clinton thought that they could conceal the co-mingling or merging of the office of the Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation in this age of computers and computer hacking.

The Clintons haven't been shy about wanting and demanding it all...power, money AND adoration. In their devotion to getting it all, they were careless and naive. Hillary probably spent a fortune in the attempt. It didn't work. It rarely does. Donald Trump, reportedly, does not use email.

Wikileaks is a sort of whistleblower, if you will...a task once relocated to the main stream media. In the days when we had an honest press, a Wikileaks would have been ho hum and unnecessary. Since much of the 5th estate has stubbornly taken sides and is no longer interested in being neutral, we now have Wikileaks.

Wikileaks believes that the U.S. has become an "authoritarian conspiracy and...that the practical strategy for combating that conspiracy is to degrade its ability to destroy this invisible government." The value of Wikileaks is that incompetence, dirty dealing and corruption have been exposed for all to see.

Undoubtedly, Wikileaks has made it more difficult for government to hide nefarious activity from the public...and it also has exposed a government within a government. The 'establishment' is not fiction, but real and heinous. At the same time, Wikileaks has probably compromised much of our intelligence activities.

There is much pro and con concerning Wikileaks. It is important to recognize that in the absence of corruption, there would be little need for Wikileaks and in that context, there is value.

The secret to living in an open society is to not do anything you will be ashamed of or regret later. Secrecy is certainly possible within the confines of your home if you deal only with people you trust, but when you let anyone else in or step outside your door, assume everything you do is for all the world to see.


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