Some have chosen to attack the efforts of the website WikiLeaks for its release to the world of sensitive and powerful information injuring the national security of the United States. Some have defended the site's effort to promote transparency and greater accountability for the actions of the federal government. The site has declared their intention to bring down corporations and release non-public documents to the world as well.
Recently, the founder of WikiLeaks was arrested for sexually based charges in Sweden. The web site has gone through extensive efforts to ensure that the world knows all of the bad things the United States has done. Make no mistake about it, the goal of this website and its founder are to cause harm or injury to those who become the target of their "leaks." This site is not going to surrender positive information affirming the charitable works of a company, or some of the efforts that are made to keep sexual harassment in the workplace to a minimum. While some might argue that this is either because this information is already public, or that companies rarely make a secret of their good works, my point is why spend all this time focusing on the destruction of the world around us when there are so many opportunities, and a greater need to build rather than destroy?
While I do believe that government transparency is something that is a long way from where it should be, releasing information that places our troops in further harms way, or that injures the diplomatic position of the United States in the world today will have a counter effect to transparency. The acts of this website will fuel the fire of terrorism, increase hostility towards our country, and will give internal justification to a White House/Congress that is already considering (if not already passed) legislation effecting the neutrality of the internet. WikiLeaks will turn their actions into a vehicle for the government to control the information and in turn limit more information to the public.
While I certainly don't endorse secret combinations, is there a need for the worlds largest tattle tale? Is there value in a website like WikiLeaks? Perhaps, but it should not cost the national security of our country to realize that value. There is a reason certain documents should be held private, and certain aspects of our personal lives that do not deserve to become public knowledge - the same is true of some government operations. It is our right to privacy, opinion, and religion that is to be protected, as well as the right of our government to protect its interests and the interests of its citizens. An assault on the basic privacy laws of this nation is an assault on one this nations most core values. One could argue that the actions of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to be an act of terrorism, as his actions and the actions of his website have aided and abetted our enemies. Where the rules of engagement have been violated by the United States, there is a due process of law that WikiLeaks feels does not apply. Why would two wrongs make a right? Their superiority to the laws of civilized nations will result in the opposite effect they intend and will see them possibly tried as an enemy combatant of the United States.
With his own arrest and sure trial, it will appear that Julian Assange will have his life opened to the world and all his past indiscretions made public. Irony somehow will rule the day once more.