cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The WikiLeaks case has made all the headlines for the past week and promises to continue to be heard and read about for weeks to come. The whole thing has raised a lot of questions as we view the nature of the information being revealed, and as we recognize from where this information came originally.
First, the idea that such sensitive documents would be accessible by a PFC in the Army is just astounding to me. That he could have so easily gotten away with its theft is even worse. His clearance, as I understand it, was not among the highest clearances and consequently didn’t involve a major look at him and his history. That kind of nonchalance needs to be eliminated.
Second, some of the cable traffic which has been released makes the State Department look foolish, and that likely was part of what was intended. That will test relationships here and abroad. That can ultimately be overcome but there is a toll that will be taken on the openness of discussions for years to come.
Much more serious, however, is that some of what was leaked is very damaging to the security of Americans and to the security of important facilities and systems upon which we and other countries depend. Discerning individuals will be able to draw significant “intelligence” information from these leaks.
Governments tend to embarrass themselves on a regular basis so the fact that our State Department suffered embarrassment isn’t as concerning as is the leak of sensitive information that has great value to people and movements that would do us harm.
Should the WikiLeaks organization be shut down? I’m not sure of the answer to that question.
Should it, and its founder, be subjected to a trial on espionage charges in the U.S.? I believe this warrants such prosecution. If an individual had purloined this information and provided it to our enemies, that person would be considered to have committed an offense against our country and would be tried. That is the essence of what WikiLeaks has done, whether or not intentional.