It’s hard to ignore this story since the media is all over it. I haven’t had the opportunity to investigate the documents published on WikiLeaks myself. As a former government contractor early on in my career, I do have my own perspective. I didn’t even work directly for a government agency — I worked for a private company hired by the government. Still I filled out all the gubment paperwork, received Secret Clearance in a few weeks and then access to a whole of lot of documents that I neither understood nor cared about as an IT help desk worker but that I’m pretty sure a 24 year old numbskull working at DARPA probably shouldn’t have been able to see and/or download if I’d wanted to. This was a crisis in the making for generations and it’s unfair to blame Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton entirely for this mess.
It’s all well and good to point the finger at Julian Assange and blame him for raining on the Obama Administration’s parade. And that guy is in some serious trouble of the international manhunt variety. But let’s look at a few facts, shall we?
- Some of the documents published (I understand) go back to the 1960s so it’s interesting that the media has chosen to focus on gossipy Obama era related info on world leaders.
- After 9/11, the Bush Administration failed to overhaul the intelligence apparatus that failed so miserably in preventing a series of attacks on U.S. soil. Not only did they fail to clean house and modernize, but Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice together preceded over a coordinated effort to corrupt an already moribund intelligence community into signing off on allegations of extensive WMD in Iraq to justify declaring a massive invasion. Those WMD as we know turned out not to be there and it seems pretty clear that a war on such a scale was not justified to protect American lives — given how many have been lost there. Have we all totally forgotten about this? Is the memory of 9/11 and the flimsy justifications for the war in Iraq so distant in the media’s memory?
- Thus the Obama Administration should not be held entirely to blame for gaps in our national security structure that appear to be decades old. Reform takes time.
- That said, I think it’s incumbent upon the Obama Administration to inform the American people immediately of what they are going to do specifically to change things so that we’re all better protected.
- Hunting down Julian Assange might make certain people feel good but do folks really think he’s running a sophisticated site like WikiLeaks alone? Is there really a Santa Claus and a Tooth Fairy too?
- Do people really imagine that shutting down WikiLeaks will stop leaks? No, what will stop leaks like this is a reformation of the culture inside our government and armed forces to prevent people from wanting to do this. Because a new and extremely tech-savvy generation is coming up right now and if anyone imagines that if they want to share something and they’re smart enough to design a way to do it online — that they can be stopped purely through procedural and/or technical means — well, that “anyone” (attn: Obama Administration) got another thing a-comin’. I mean, please.
- Because WikiLeaks is now kinda like Spartacus. A whole lot of us on the internets are also named Spartacus and where we see wrongdoing, inefficiency or corruption, there will always be more of us ready to step forward to take action. Trying to kink the pipes of the internet globally to restrict the flow of information to prevent another WikiLeaks will only have adverse effects on international commerce and our rapidly evolving world civilization. It’s important to protect the rights of individuals for free expression and free movement worldwide –> and privacy. It’s also critical that Net Neutrality be the law of the land not just here, but everywhere.
- Ok, peace –> I’m done. What do you think?