Classified Transparency


Julian Assange, Wikileaks
Image by New Media Days via Flickr

By M. Alexander

The New York Times reported on October 23rdWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is on the run from authorities”.  He recently released 391,832 classified documents concerning the war in Iraq.  Some hail him as a hero.  They claim his mission is noble, removing secrecy from modern government, adding a level of transparency to an opaque world.  Others believe he is a villain with no respect for government and no idea of the potential consequences of his actions.

When I first read the article, I looked up to Mr. Assange.  It is easy to see the rebel, the man surreptitiously fighting against government secrecy as a modern day Guy Fawkes, a hero unwilling to bend to government ideology.  However, Mr. Assange is far from a hero.  He did not remove the names of soldiers involved in clandestine operations.  Though The United States has no “combat” troops left in Iraq, this information endangers many US soldiers who remain in the region.

I am all for transparency, but there is no use whatsoever in disclosing these names to the general public.  Though I have little faith left in The United States Government, I still believe that they have reasons for not disclosing many of these documents.  Sure, most of them have been stamped “classified” rather unnecessarily, but their public release can put American lives in danger.  It is easy to classify Mr. Assange as a hero or a villain.  However, he is neither.  He is merely a man who has taken the wonders of modern technology a little too far without realizing the potential disastrous consequences of his actions.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Classified Transparency

  1. motherOverdosepassion

    “I am all for transparency, but there is no use whatsoever in disclosing these names to the general public. Though I have little faith left in The United States Government, I still believe that they have reasons for not disclosing many of these documents. He is merely a man who has taken the wonders of modern technology a little too far without realizing the potential disastrous consequences of his actions.”

    You obviously have not thought critically about this issue, and I doubt you have thought much at all about international relations. That paragraph overwhelmed me with hypocrisy. The names were put there so these soldiers can be held accountable for their actions, just as any insurgents name would be published by the American media without question. It’s funny you say you have such little faith in America yet you write something so nationalistic.

    By the way do you even know what the documents are? This is about human rights abuses, murders of innocent civilians and the Government trying to keep it all unknown (looks like I found you good reason for not disclosing the documents lol). How about instead of thinking of the American soldiers, who volunteered to risk their lives you think about the 700 civilians that were killed by some of these soldiers, the 700 that would have never been known about if not for Assange’s efforts Next time you make up your mind about an issue and go posting on the internet like you know it all you might want to think about what’s at stake.

  2. motherOverdosepassion

    Comment is awaiting moderation? If you don’t post it I’m going to start an organization and that leaks responses to blog posts that were removed by moderators.

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