Much has been written on and discussed in various TV and Radio programs about the Wiki Leaks’ latest disclosure of diplomatic communications among the American diplomats and what have been said about the heads of states or officials in other countries.
Further, many individuals with little or no knowledge of the US or international laws have made somewhat dangerous statements about the founder of Wiki Leaks, Julian Assange, and about his organization.
The main issue that some reputable news programs have focused on is should any information marked “private” or “confidential” ever become public.
Those who are pro-transparency and democracy believe that it should become public, while some others believe that they should remain confidential or private.
Then another argument that has been raised is the disclosure of the names of individuals who have been engaged in various sensitive activities such as gathering intelligence has placed these individuals in danger
These actions regardless of their appropriateness are taken in the name of the Americans and with their tax dollars.
In a country that prides herself as being the bastion of democracy and openness, suppression and concealment of government activities are contrary to such belief. It should be remembered that these elected or appointed government officials are American people’s representatives. These actions regardless of their appropriateness are taken in the name of the Americans and with their tax dollars. Making derogatory statements about foreign governments officials although embarrassing and problematic, but would not cause major setbacks to US foreign policies. Given that every four or eight years there comes a new administration in the White House.
What has been lost among all these discussions is the fact that the US government officials’ inappropriate conducts could harm the US nationals when travelling abroad. Deceptive foreign policy practices and mistreatment of foreign officials could turn the populations of those countries against the US and her populations. The US embassy bombings in Africa or bombing of the tourist center in Indonesia, attempted suicide bombing of the US airliner, Time Square car bomb attempt could all attest to this fact.
Publication of these diplomatic communications although may create some risks for the US, but in the long run it could work well for the US, as it would educate and inform the public of the government’s behavior and forcing corrective action which could only result in more effective diplomacy and political success for the US. If the public does not know about their government is doing, then how is it expected for the public to take corrective actions?
Suppression of the news, information, and government activities are hallmark of the old Soviet Union, China, and North Korea and not that of a country taking pride in transparency and democracy. Instead of blindly attacking Wiki Leaks and its founder, we need to step back and pause so to study and identify the problematic activities and take aggressive measures to correct them. Implementation of a standard of communication among the US diplomats in which usage of derogatory language are avoided could also help to avoid any future embarrassments.
That is what Wiki Leaks failed to do in the first batch of the communication disclosure, which they have now taken steps to redact the names from the subsequent batches of such disclosures.
What Wiki Leaks and other organizations like that need to do are to redact the names of individuals who are working on behalf of their governments so to protect their safety. That is what Wiki Leaks failed to do in the first batch of the communication disclosure, which they have now taken steps to redact the names from the subsequent batches of such disclosures.
It is indeed a unique opportunity for the Americans to examine its government’s policies and correct any defects in the policies and show to the world that democracy comes with aches and pains which are well worth it.