A SPOT-ON CRITICISM of Wikileaks, from the left side of the aisle. The comparison to Christine O'Donnell must particularly sting...
I love bloggers. I love amateur journalists. I really do. On more than one occasion (and still too few,) each has played a vital role in keeping larger media outlets honest. And on more than one occasion each has answered the call when major or minor print publications have been too afraid to break a vitally important story.
So it is difficult for me to look across the blogosphere today and see one show of support after another for a man who has consistently shown himself to have no ethical standards as a journalist, blogger or human being.
[...] Arguably the most egregious example of WikiLeaks' undercutting of diplomacy (in this latest dump) comes in cable 10SANAA4, relating a conversation between General Petraeus and President Saleh of Yemen. In it, it is made clear that President Saleh is allowing the US to use fixed-wing bombers (rather than inaccurate cruise missiles) to strike al Qaeda targets in his country, then reporting to the people and Parliament that the attacks are carried out by Yemen with US weapons. Petraeus and Saleh are both revealed to be concerned about preventing civilian casualties while making effective strikes on al Qaeda. The arrangement is better for the security of both nations, but would cause a huge backlash if known in Yemen. In short: this is what we call a "good lie," boys and girls.
There are many other examples of diplomatic confidence violated by the release of the cables -- some important, some unimportant but all adding up to less open communication and more secrecy between nations who will now have to worry about their private conversations becoming front page news.
By publishing these cables as they were obtained, Assange has once again proved himself a fanatic incapable of distinguishing between newsworthy content and details that will endanger people working to make the world safer. That is, if he even read them. (Given his repeated use of the "I'm not a journalist" defense, one must wonder if he had.) One also must wonder if any of the adorably naïve people out there insisting that governments should never lie to the folks back home while secretly working toward peace recall how well the compromise thing worked out for Fatah.
Remember a few weeks back, when that video surfaced of Christine O'Donnell saying that if she was hiding Jews in her attic, she wouldn't lie to Nazis? Yes, we all had a good laugh at that one. Yet, here we all are now, many of us just as incapable of distinguishing lies that save human lives from lies that cost them.
It seems that there is no such thing as a "good lie" to fanatics who believe that all state secrets are bad on principle. They believe in transparency not as a means to just government but as an end itself. Why, to not publish the names of Afghan civilians aiding in the fight against the Taliban would have been so elitist, and Assange's right to feel cool surely trumps their right to, you know, live. Read the comments below, I'm sure you'll find examples of that very same non-argument.