I have one word to say about the Wikileaks leak:

It doesn’t seem like anything important was released (I remain poised to be proved wrong though) and mostly it’s just a huge embarrassment for the US government. This seems trivial but on the other hand the US government behaves in a way threatening to pretty much everywhere else and if public trust can legitimately be undermined in them then that’s a good thing. Secondly, this kind of stupid closed government, which tries to justify its complete lack of openness and the lack of any way to hold it to account by such phrases as “oh national security!” is reminiscent of the catholic church’s approach in the dark ages, as a suppressor of information which used a made up “we’re more important than you” position to get away with a lot of things they really shouldn’t have. So governments don’t do this quite as blatantly, but the principle as a leftover failing is obvious. Civilized human societies haven’t been around very long in the grand scale of things and we still haven’t got around this problem that people in the most important positions have the least fear of being held to account for bad or irresponsible practice.

Wikileaks is trying to enforce transparency along with the message “no actually, you’re not above everyone else so shut the fuck up and start acting responsibly”, for which they deserve a lot of credit. Of course the risk is that politicians will become desensitised to embarrassment and eventually adopt a ‘yeah we did that, so what?’ approach.

But yeah anyway, it’s good that people who had assumed they were unaccountable and protected by secrecy are being embarrassed.


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