A question……. If the general public were given a Wiki leak type opportunity to hear what really went on behind the scenes when the politicians were setting up their military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq, would they then have sanctioned the expenditure of $1 trillion plus, quite apart from sanctioning the needless loss of so many innocent lives. With the wisdom of hindsight we now know that not only were the public misled about evidence for weapons of mass destruction, but that some who had the power to inform the public deliberately allowed false information to be fed to the public. Clearly to those helping keep such information from the public, the Wiki leaks present a real threat but surely this is only to those unmasked.. Clearly also, the most embarrassing leaks are those where the actual statements differ from those public releases deliberately sanitised or distorted to produce propaganda considered to be in the national interest. What is less obvious is why it is important the Wiki leaks folk be brought to task for allowing a self proclaimed democracy to have access to the information. Yes our current leaders are right in saying that the information these leaks reveal has the potential to affect the loss of life but it is not clear to me that more lives would have been put at risk had more in the public known what our politicians were really up to. It must seem just in terms of obvious bookkeeping that in Iraq and Afghanistan the lives lost for the most part may have been lost as a consequence of wrong information.
This then raises some interesting questions.
Is it we don’t like being embarrassed by finding our leaders are secret warmongers? If for example Kevin Rudd and Bill Clinton are now discovered on record to have been looking for ways to go to war with China, surely the only reason for being cross when the information is released is if we too might be harbouring the same secret desire and don’t want others to know this is how we really feel? And for that matter, why is it that we must not be told about our side supporting torture? Surely it cant be that we don’t in fact mind our so called enemies being water boarded, just so long as we can preserve the international reputation of being the good guys? Surely if we did not approve of torture we would be anxious to make sure that anyone trying to cover it up is unmasked.
And here is the tricky question. Since it was not Wiki leaks personnel who originally did the spying acts, if their releasing the information that military personnel entrusted the information handed to them, in what way is their passing on the information different to those respected Newspaper editors in their turn, sift through and pass on the most interesting of the titbits. Should the call for assassination be spread wider?