I’m hesitant to lean to far one way or the other on the Wikileaks situation.   In terms of a security breach, it is simply remarkable that one person would have access to 250,000 files.  It is even more remarkable that a person who had access to said files would attack the United States through their dissemination into public view.  I think the person who leaked the files should be charged with Treason, and if any informants or covert agents are killed he or she should also be charged with accessory to murder.

As far as the effect on diplomacy, only time will tell.  As we’ve seen throughout the semester, diplomacy is a nuanced and tricky field, and I suspect that in the short term there will be issues with trusting American diplomats.  However, it would certainly not be in any country’s best interest to ignore the United States, and thus it would be hard imagine any leak that would be bad enough to permanently damage the U.S. diplomatic agendas.  Considering the decline in the international reputation of the United States over the last 8 years, I think Wikileaks is more like salt in the wound, rather than a new gaping injury.

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2 Responses to Wikileaks

  1. It’s a tricky, sticky thing. Even five years ago, WikiLeaks would seemed a stretch.
    I feel that governments, like families and individuals, should have secrets. And that, barring abuses of power, that the public should not be privy to certain interactions and diplomacy efforts between and among state actors. The representatives of countries should be able to make comments etc. without the worry that the New York Times will feature it on Pg. 6. Moreover, I have no doubt that it puts lives in danger, the intricacies and realities of which the public is not yet aware. In this era powered by ICTs, individuals with access to information think (barely) about whether or not they can, not if they should. Sometimes, the last part is irrelevant. It is discomfiting that an individual/s has access to and can determine the release of sensitive, government documents along with the ability to hold nations and individuals hostage based on a strategic whim. I am distrustful of the right of a private individual to make determinations like the one Assange and his cohorts are able to make. When all is said and done, I don’t think we have seen the fallout yet. And that’s more than a little scary.

  2. annziker says:

    To be or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether ‘tis nobler at work to suffer
    The injustices and intrigues of outrageous diplomats,
    Or to take arms against a sea of secrecy,
    And by exposing, end it ? To talk: to leak;
    No more; and by a leak to say we end
    Diplomacy and the thousand vital jobs
    That State is heir to, ‘tis a consummation
    I don’t believe is wished.

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