I’m strongly in favor of the efforts of WikiLeaks to help create some transparency in our Government.
Unlike the authoritarians that seem to dominate much of our media, many of whom appear to want to kill or imprison the leakers and yet have no desire to hold government officials accountable for their crimes, I see WikiLeaks as a balancing force.
Sure, the ability of government to conduct delicate affairs in secret sounds attractive until you have a situation where practically everything is classified and the government routinely lies to its own citizens.
So I’m, as usual, in agreement with Glenn Greenwald:
Nonetheless, our government and political culture is so far toward the extreme pole of excessive, improper secrecy that that is clearly the far more significant threat. And few organizations besides WikiLeaks are doing anything to subvert that regime of secrecy, and none is close to its efficacy. It’s staggering to watch anyone walk around acting as though the real threat is from excessive disclosures when the impenetrable, always-growing Wall of Secrecy is what has enabled virtually every abuse and transgression of the U.S. government over the last two decades at least.
In sum, I seriously question the judgment of anyone who — in the face of the orgies of secrecy the U.S. Government enjoys and, more so, the abuses they have accomplished by operating behind it — decides that the real threat is WikiLeaks for subverting that ability. That’s why I said yesterday: one’s reaction to WikiLeaks is largely shaped by whether or not one, on balance, supports what the U.S. has been covertly doing in the world by virtue of operating in the dark. I concur wholeheartedly with Digby’s superb commentary on this point yesterday:
My personal feeling is that any allegedly democratic government that is so hubristic that it will lie blatantly to the entire world in order to invade a country it has long wanted to invade probably needs a self-correcting mechanism. There are times when it’s necessary that the powerful be shown that there are checks on its behavior, particularly when the systems normally designed to do that are breaking down. Now is one of those times. . . . .As for the substance of the revelations, I don’t know what the results will be. But in the world of diplomacy, embarrassment is meaningful and I’m not sure that it’s a bad thing for all these people to be embarrassed right now. Puncturing a certain kind of self-importance — especially national self-importance — may be the most worthwhile thing they do. A little humility is long overdue.
I am quite interested to see what we will discover in the coming days regarding the drug war.
Of all the information contained in the WikiLeaks files about Mexico, 80 percent refers to the issue of drug trafficking and communications made from the Embassy during the governments of Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon.
All told, there are 8,300 documents in the current WikiLeaks dump (not yet released) with the tag “narcotics.”
I’m sure most of them will be embassy communications discussing how to fight the drug war “better” and there will be minimal new revelations. There could be an embarrassment or two regarding just what we did provide in Plan Mexico.
What I’d really like to see is a WikiLeaks dump of DEA administrative files and internal ONDCP memos. That would be a treasure trove. Any whistle-blowers out there?