It’s interesting enough when government secrets are divulged. But now WikiLeaks is promising to shed light on the dark secrets of corporations, a major bank by early next year, some have speculated Bank of America — now that would be big, seeing as how corporations pretty much are the real power behind the power.
What with being in the age of the internet, it’s just not easy to keep secrets these days — by anyone anywhere. That is continuing to be proven by the shadowy and somewhat amorphous web-based organization known as WikiLeaks.
There were the revelations about the Iran and Afghanistan wars some months ago and now in the last many days all kinds about world-wide diplomacy, with everything from important strategies to sniping about personal traits of world leaders being exposed (if we can believe it all) .
WikiLeaks purports to send out what were supposed to be secret or confidential or otherwise sensitive documents over the web. The targeted governments include the US. , Russia, China, Middle East countries, and others. The organization seems to be an equal opportunity leaker.
It is usually referred to as a whistle blower, but that suggests exposing corruption or other wrongdoing, but in these latest diplomatic leaks it seems like just telling what others said behind the backs of still others.
When Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers back in 1971, he exposed the duplicity of the U.S. government toward its own citizens, including the fact that the government knew we were not winning the Vietnam War and that the cause was all but hopeless, all this while it let thousands of troops continue to be killed and gravely wounded.
In some way the WikiLeaks episode has resembled the Pentagon Papers, but it does not seem to be the same thing.
I’m still trying to figure out the motive for the whole thing. Ellsberg was trying to, and did, expose the big lie being put on the American people at the time.
In the current case, some guy from Australia, one Julian Assange (who incidentally seems to be in hot water over alleged sex crimes in Sweden) seems to be spearheading an effort to embarrass and discredit nearly everyone in the world.
However things such as the continued revelations (as far as they are credible) of the corruption and the mishandling of and lack of efficacy in our Afghanistan effort are things the public should certainly be apprised of.
I used to work as a journalist. And while I appreciate true investigative reporting where you don’t always please those in high places, to say the least, I was taught that one has an ethical responsibility toward the good of the public in the whole thing. Just reporting secrets or gossip for the embarrassment of people or the titillation of the readership does not qualify for ethical or responsible investigative reporting.
And one also has to keep in mind, you still should not believe all you read.
All in all, though, so far it seems like a somewhat healthy thing. It certainly keeps the powers that be on their toes.
All that having been said, I would say that if it can be proven that anyone or any group is disseminating vital defense secrets, as opposed to things that would just embarrass someone, then the full force of the law should be used against them, although in this anonymous internet world that may prove difficult to do, not to mention the fact that this all includes multiple and competing international jurisdictions.