allhatnocattle (allhatnocattle) wrote in talk_politics,

honesty exposed by wikileaks

de·moc·ra·cy   /dɪˈmɒkrəsi/

–noun, plural -cies.
1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
2. a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
4. political or social equality; democratic spirit.
5. the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

So then, why all the secrecy? The outrageous anger by many (not everyone) over Wikileaks publishing of classified documents has gone so far that there has even been a over the top call to assassinate Julian Assange. Which has me wondering just what the hell these leaders of ours are so afraid of?

So far in the wikileaks released classified documents we (the public) have found out such highly top-secret info like American diplomats watch CBC-TV,
American diplomats secretly refer to Vladimir Putin as running a "corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy", Italian President Silvio Berlusconi is indignant at being called a "vain and ineffective leader ... whose late night partying makes him too sleepy" to govern, and Libya's Muammar Gaddafiis refuting allegations he always travels with a "voluptuous Ukrainian blond nurse". Big friggin' deal!

Most of this is just juicy embarrassing gossip worthy of the NationalEnquirer, not governmental diplomacy. What part of this is worthy of Nation Secrecy because it is endangering lives of soldiers, business or economies?

I think it's a good lesson to know that any communication is interceptable. This is precisely why before the interwebs the intelligence and communications community sought to code messages in indecipherable codexs, and even then kept things short and to the point, rather then colouring it with unnecessary spice. I'm not sure why professionalism is so informal in diplomatic communications.

The necessity for secrets is actually sometimes valid. Granted there are few circumstances where classified info might actually genuinely endanger lives. We can't let everyone know everything. But by and large the need for secrecy is grossly exaggerated. I havn't heard of anyone killed because of anything on the Wikileaks website.

In light of the recent North Korea/South Korea thing I was actually calmed to read that secret communicades from China stating they won't rush to North Korea's defense and frankly finds them quite unreliable. And if I had read that China was preparing to defend North Korea, I would be following the news closely while making subterrainean preparations for WW3.

Other international top-secret leaks seems rather informational, and again juicy. But certainly not life-endangering.

I seem to recall that wikileaks did release the exact GPS co-ordinates of some top-secret American base in Afghanistan. This would seem like something that could endanger American lives if it were not for the rather simple basic fact that every foreigner in Afghanistan is a Taliban target regardless.

So in a democracy we live with the illusion that we the citizens are the boss, hiring out leaders every election. I completely understand that we entrust our leaders with governing us. Part of that duty is keeping state secrets. Secrets that have our best interests at heart. Secrets that might cause harm. But such state secrets as cynicism/worries/insults are hardly worthy of confidentiality in a free and oppen democracy. What they keep secret is mostly their honesty.
Tags: democracy, freedom of speech, internet, scandal, wikileaks
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