The Wikileaks output is being widely and heartily condemned by those with vested interests. Sarah Palin has called for Assange to be ‘hunted down’, ‘like al Quaeda’. So, he won’t be found for a decade at least then..
However, Bob Aisworth, previously UK Defence Secretary, noted in this interview (from 1min50sec) a very interesting point. I shall quote:
There are no secrets any more. […] Anything goes. Nobody is prepared to take authority that you should not disclose this or should not tell people this and things systematically leak, and one must assume, whether you’re a politician or a security planner that anything and everything, every scrap of advice that you do is going to wind up in the public domain, not in 30 years time, but tomorrow or even later on today, and you have to do your business in that way, effectively, it’s as simple as that.
Mr Aisworth goes on to suggest that this will be damaging for the way diplomacy is done (he remains part of the old structure, but has at least seen the near-future clearly in this case). However, one could argue that it will not just be damaging, it will be absolutely and completely destructive for the way diplomacy is currently done . This can only be a Good Thing.
We may imagine a system in which there is less and less interference in the business of other nations and peoples, in which backroom deals can no longer be done to decide who invades whom and for what share of the spoils, in which influence would be curtailed, nepotism and corruption laid bare. A system in which the state of paranoia is shifted from the populus to the existing elite, who will know that their every word is essentially broadcast to the world and there will no longer be any sub- to their -terfuge.
If all the political build-up to the Iraq invasion had been leaked at the time, it would never have happened. If all the internal motions of the gravy train that is the European Union and Council Of Europe were broadcast and available for dissection, the system would rapidly dissolve in its own digestive juices. At the very least, the populace may be reduced to pleading stupidity should they then allow these things to continue, but they would no longer be able to plead ignorance.
Business will, by necessity, be carried out on a small scale, with the requisite security controls in place. Business will no longer be allowed to exert self-serving interest over public servants – directing policies and law-making to their own benefit – and neither would government be able to interfere with business.
There is already an enormous propaganda war begun by those who stand to lose most from the “novyi glasnost”, from those who will be seen as naked emperors during the perestroika that will surely follow. We will be, and already are being, told that life cannot go on this way, that secretive dealings are the only way to maintain trust and international relationships, that secrets held by the few to wield power over the many are the only way to maintain a happy life. “Go back to bed, your government is in control. Watch [$retarded_reality_show_for_retards]” (to misquote Bill Hicks). These lies, that only through secretive government can one achieve happiness, are as much a fairy story as the ugly, evil troll lurking beneath the bridge. An horrific fear existing simply to scare you away from the lush meadow on the other side. All that is required to break the fear is one small billy-goat… and one big billy-goat can destroy it forever.
Additional: Should you require any evidence that They are extremely concerned with this situation, and the potential harm it may cause their future ability to do business in the way to which they have become accustomed (i.e. in secret, doing as they please), please note that there have been calls for Julian Assange to be assassinated, and he has already been branded a rapist (in a very poor quality smear) in order to alienate him from the public. The person responsible for bringing the comments of public servants into the public arena has been branded a traitor and may be executed for his actions. In addition, the Wikileaks servers are being attacked, both digitally and politically.
All this is being done not to punish Wikileaks for facilitating this release, but instead is only to persuade any future leakers that it may not be in their best interest to do so. Very reminiscent of the way North Korea, China, Iran et al. deal with dissent to prevent it spreading, isn’t it?
The boat is well and truly rocked!