I have had a number of interesting discussions and exchanges of email on this subject in recent days. It is interesting to note that most "Americans" are siding up with their government on this issue in criminalization of these "leaks"...and many foreigners are siding up with Wikileaks. This to me is another "sign" of how isolated our USA thinking is on a mass scale per global perspectives. Even "Pravda", Russia's leading news outfit, has now accused the USA of total hypocrisy when it comes to "freedom of information" and the press. Ouch...Russia preaching to US!
Many of us may have an "I don't care", blind patriotic position on this issue. I know I am personally struggling on this issue between freedoms and "patriotism". I am embarrassed for my country as I stated in my last blog on this subject...but I am also angry at many of the things "we" have done in recent and also long term history of our nation.
As my grandfather always used to say, "Be sure your sin will always find you out". The sad thing here is that the most powerful government in the world is being exposed for many heinous attitudes and actions taken "behind the scenes". Many of our "leaders" have written and expressed positions that they never thought would be exposed publicly. What is sad about this situation is that nobody is saying the information being distributed is FALSE. A person and a company is being persecuted globally...for distributing "truth". What a difference a day makes... Will people die or be exposed to foreign "powers"? I have seen no documented incidents so far...and I hope not. Yet, when people take on such roles with "nations", they probably understand the risks and are often in those roles for some pretty selfish reasons (money, adventure, power).
Regarding the "morality" of Wikileaks actions, what is so different about this situation than say...media's exposure of "Watergate" or the Iran Contra affair? We gave awards and accolades for those who so intently exposed governmental criminality and coverups. What about "Whitewater" and other shenanigans? People were killed (or took their own lives?) over many of those revelations.
Lets remember that at the founding of the USA, many esteemed "revolutionaries" were killed for stealing and disseminating "governmental" orders or documents to the constituents of that former British colony. Damn that Paul Revere for riding around and warning everyone that "The British are coming"! That was a state secret. If we are paying off Karzai in Afghanistan and other leaders worldwide in order to "do our bidding"...I want to know about it. That's MY money going to despicable opportunists and power mongers.
Change is normally driven from the top...based on demands from the bottom or outside. While Wikileaks obviously is based on info that is not owned by them...our governments steal, distort and extort others based on espionage and spying all the time. It seems quite hypocritical they should be criminalizing their own behavior...but of course it is common for governments to have a different set of standards than they impose on the governed. Nothing will change until the masses decide to do something about this international carnage and quit believing the governmental hype at all levels. These governments should be APOLOGIZING...not rationalizing. Its time for confessions and forgiveness...and then "sinning no more".
I truly believe positive change will come from this global incident. Yes, it is embarrassing and further weakens the "moralistic" posturing of my country. Yet, the sooner we realize our political immoralities and misguided actions...the sooner we can turn things around with honesty and transparency. It is about time we had more of that.
Hating Mr Assange is like hating the person who tells you they saw your spouse cheating on you. You may hate the idea that THEY know; you might question their reasons for telling you; but you might be further ahead to no longer place blind trust in that partner.