This is the Information Age, and even those folks who still read newspapers are generally able to go online themselves - or know someone who can.
Those 'classified' documents aren't secret any more.
WikiLeaks and the Real WorldI've written about WikiLeaks before. (August 13, 2010) I think what they did earlier this year was wrong: Not because 'America can do no wrong,' but because America is trying to protect journalists, the WikiLeaks bunch, and the rest of us from religious crazies who are determined to kill anybody who won't do Islam their way.
And these WikiLeaks stunts don't make that job any easier.
A few American news outlets have mentioned the possibility that bad things will happen to folks in Iraq as a result of what WikiLeaks has done. That's likely enough. And, if Iraqis get killed because they helped free their country from Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda: I'm pretty sure it'll be blamed on America. And/or the Bush administration. Or western imperialism. Or maybe Mickey Mouse.
War is Not NiceI've made the point before: War is not nice. Things get broken and people get killed. (February 15, 2010)
I think it would be nice if there was no more war.
I think it would also be nice if everybody everywhere would be nice.
That would be: nice.
Problem is, there are not-nice people in the world. Some of them have decided that their particular version of Islam is the only 'real' one - and that anybody who doesn't agree should be killed.
That's not nice.
It would be nice if Al Qaeda and all the rest would come to, say, the Berkeley campus; hug a tree; throw a Frisbee; chat with someone in the political science department about peaceful coexistence: and from that day forward do nothing more violent that carry a sign or burn a flag. An American flag, of course.
My guess is that burning something like a Saudi Arabian flag would be classified as 'hate speech.'
'Everybody Knows' What Those American Soldiers are LikeThe word "torture" is already in the news, regarding these WikiLeak documents. I have no doubt that, somewhere in that mass of 400,000 or so docments, there's an account of a soldier doing something wrong.
I remember Abu Gahrib. The dirty picture. The abuse that didn't stop until the commander learned about it. And was being investigated by the time reporters got the story. (January 25, 2009)
That wasn't an Iraqi My Lai, and I rather doubt that there's one in this latest dump.
Motivation and ResponsibilityI don't know why whoever's calling the shots at WikiLeaks is putting peoples' lives in danger. I could make some guesses:
- WikiLeaks is getting huge publicity from these data dumps
- Traffic at the WikiLeaks website should increase
- Some may now give money to WikiLeaks
- 'The people have a right to know!'
- The vile fiends must be revealed - America's
- A desire for
- Causing strife
- Something Freudian
Whatever the motive(s), what WikiLeaks has done doesn't surprise me. And I'm pretty sure if there's something unpleasant about an American soldier in those documents, it'll get full press coverage. It's the sort of clueless, irresponsible foolishness that I've come to expect from Western mainstream news media.
And that's another topic.
- "WikiLeaks, Real Journalists, and Common Sense"
(August 13, 2010)
- "WikiLeaks, Killing People Who don't Agree, and Living in the Real World"
(July 30, 2010)
- " 'Loose Lips Sink Ships,' Times Square Bomber, and News Leaks"
(May 11, 2010)
- "T-Shirt Story 2: Civil Rights vs Common Sense"
(August 13, 2007)
- "Congress Protects Alleged Terrorists Against CIA"
(October 12, 2007)
- "Pentagon braces for Wikileaks' Iraq files publication"
Xinhua (October 22, 2010)
- "WikiLeaks website publishes classified military documents from Iraq"
CNN International (October 22, 2010)
- "Pentagon: Iraqi Collaborators Now in Danger?"
CBS News (October 22, 2010)
- "A Grim Portrait of Civilian Deaths in Iraq"
The War Logs, Middle East, The New York Times (October 22, 2010)
- "Abu Ghraib: Abuse and Sexual Humiliation by American Soldiers in the News Again"
(January 25, 2009)
- "All Those 'Poor, Uneducated, Minorities Being Drafted in America!' "
(January 4, 2009)
- "Tribune Company Bankrupt: Financially, and Maybe More"
(December 11, 2008)
- "The New York Times, Insularity, and Assumptions"
(October 21, 2008)
- "The Marines Blew Up the Islamabad Marriott!"
(September 23, 2008)
- "News, Truth, and Why America is at Fault"
(June 20, 2008)
- "News Never Revealed Inside the US! Reality Check, Please"
(April 23, 2008)
- "Five Years of the Iraq War End in Utter and Total Failure!"
(March 19, 2008)
- "A Marine, A Puppy, and Serious Abuse: 'It Must be Real: I Saw it on YouTube!' "
(March 4, 2008)
- "Unbiased, Objective, Thorough Coverage..."
(October 20, 2007)
- "...of everything the news media thinks we should read...."
- "Ah, for the Good Old Days..."
(October 20, 2007)
- "Top Newspaper's Journalists Praised: Blackout Imposed on Praise"
(October 15, 2007)
- "Doctors, Terrorists, and the Proletariat: What's a Person to Think?"
(July 3, 2007)