Responsibilities of a Free Press
As Riley Carson pointed out yesterday the WikiLeaks reveals have put hundreds of Afghan informants in danger of retaliation. According to a New York Times review of some of the documents leaked on the war in Afghanistan revealed information about informants including their names, their villages and father's names. It is impossible to tell how many died because of these leaks. While WikiLeaks took more care with the release of the Iraq documents there is still a debate to be had as to where transparency ends and irresponsibility begins.
If there is a martyr, it isn't Assange.
When put in perspective the biggest risk Julian Assange has taken is not wearing a condom with some questionable women. While all the attention is on Assange and his legal proceedings no one really seems to be talking about the person who actually leaked the documents. U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning has been in jail for five months now and could face the death penalty for treason. Do we shoot the guy for endangering the progress of the war in Afghanistan? Should we give him a medal for standing up for what he believes in? I'm not entirely sure yet.
If 3,000,000 people know about it can you really call it a secret?
If you think back seven or eight years you'll remember that a big reason the United States was so susceptible to terrorism was that none of the agencies in our federal government were sharing information. Well, now they are. Some three million people have access to the information Pvt. Manning had access to. Did we really think that three million people could keep a secret for long? Imagine every resident of Chicago keeping a secret without letting it get out. At best that is exceedingly difficult to do. Although, no one outside of Chicago seems to know the proper way to make a hot dog so I guess it is possible.
The cables aren't the biggest story.
Why didn't the war-related leaks receive more attention? The video below is far more confronting on the subject of foreign affairs, what it means to be American and what it means to be human. I can't pass judgment on the soldiers in this video because it seems like they're just following orders. This is really hard to watch and it'll make you question a lot of things. This video shows real, terrifying violence. You've been warned.