The “Wikileaks” controversy proceeds to grow and mutate, like Clostridium botulinum in a Petri dish with spoiled pork, and I’ve avoided talking about it up till now.
Wikileaks is a website devoted to publishing leaked documents from governments and other scandal-prone institutions. You probably know the major players, and the various permutations of the story. You can hardly miss them. Because of that, I’m not going to go through the story in detail. Instead, I’d like to take a step back and offer a few “meta-thoughts” . . . ideas that might help produce a good conclusion.
- Republican forms of government require a great deal of transparency, though not on everything. There are military secrets and diplomatic info-dumps that, for our security, would best remain secret and un-dumped.
- Politicians, soldiers and bureaucrats tend to hate transparency. Why? They don’t like being second-guessed by “non-professionals.” So they often make government more opaque than it should be.
- Some of our leaders have tried to put nearly everything foreign-policy-related into the tightest security, demanding high clearances even for viewing. Much of this is self-serving, not truly security-related.
- A government worker who breaks security protocols to leak documents can be at once a hero and still prosecutable by law.
Now’s a good time to rethink transparency and our government’s secrecy protocols.
But, rethought or not, no one’s been surprised to learn of more amazing lapses in ethics and judgment on the part of our leaders.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.