Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wikileaks - what's the point?

Are we supposed to applaud the recent wikileaks 'cablegate'?

I, for one, do not, and feel this will have long reaching, and unintended, consequences. None of them positive.

It seems to me that the thinking behind releasing hundreds of thousands of supposedly secure US Embassy diplomatic cables by wikileaks is fundamentally flawed.

To release them and not hide sensitive names and information is plainly ludicrous for all kinds of obvious reasons, not least of which is humanitarian.

To release them, but subjectively redact information renders the cables and the wikileaks people pretty much superfluous.

We are now left to read cables and cable contents that the wikileaks people think we should be allowed to read - so far as I can see that's not much different to leaving the US government to decide what should be public or not, though the US government is likely to be better informed on the sensitivity of these diverse issues.

Besides, who's to say that the cables have not been doctored in some other way as part of the release process?


  1. Couldn't agree more!

    Already two Zimbabwean names have come to light in these leaks, putting both of the people in the type of danger that Zimbabweans know only too well. That one of the people mentioned is in fact a deeply unpleasant individual is irrelevant; his life is now in danger.

  2. Anonymous7:38 PM

    I don't agree at all. The leaked information ranges from the banal to the revelatory. It can't all be critically important, but many of the leaked documents have revealed important information that citizens need to know about the governments that they create, finance and endorse. Shining a light on the dishonest, cynical and disingenuous dealings of our governments is what will prevent further travesties such as the ongoing Iraq war. The English and American people were fed a completely fabricated pack of lies in order to manufacture the consent to pursue the objectives of a few crooked politicians, at enormous cost in lives of British, American and Iraqi people not to say brutal economic costs.

    The additional risk to people created by the leaks over and above what has already been created by our government's policies and actions cannot reasonably be laid at the leaker's door. The big picture was created by our political elite and the leaks are a necessary part of bringing those crooks into the light of day. Transparency and truth are NEVER the wrong thing. Wikileaks did not create ANY of the situations that they are reporting, and laying blame at their feet is as crazy as blaming the Guardian for an earthquake after they report it. If you do not like the news, then write to your politicians and vote for people who will do better.

    The publishers of the leaks are taking reasonable measures to prevent them from causing additional harm within the existing situation. They could have taken the whole lot and just posted it all at once. Instead they have been working with several mainstream news organisations to sift through the information and prepare it for publishing in a responsible way. If you have an objection to what has been published, how it was prepared or what was chosen, why not write to Le Monde, The Guardian or the other partners that are working to publish this stuff?