What was new about the “WikiLeak scoop” a few days ago? Anybody following international news have heard about alleged Pakistani involvement in Afghanistan from US officials.
Last week Hillary Clinton actually said there must be someone in the Pakistani government that knows Osama bin Laden’s wheeabouts. Can you get more blunt than that?
So what was the point of making the trove of 90,000 classified military documents public? The only reason they got so much attention was by only released them to The New York Times, Guardian and Der Spiegel. They were no scope and I don’t understand why they caused so much consternation? The only difference they make is that now some Afghans lives are in danger.
WIkiLeaks goal in disclosing secret documents is to reveal “unethical behavior” by governments and corporations. Catch is since it was founded in 2006 it has only been able to disclose secrets from Western countries.
But what about secrets from inside the ISI or Pakistani government? If the 90,000 documents were from inside the ISI they would have been truly sensational. Or if WikiLeaks published classified information from say, the Iranian, North Korean, Russian or Chinese government.
But chances of that ever happen are next to none. Who inside such regimes would dare to take the risk? Pity since that kind of information would make WikiLeaks a worth while organisation. As it is they provide one sided information from the West without being able to deliver information that would really make a difference.
What does WikiLeaks want to accomplish?
Part of me likes what they are doing, but since they will only be able to reveal secrets from the West I don’t think they have a mission to fulfil. At least not if they continue leaking “scoops” that are common knowledge.
WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are a bit of a question mark. He says he’s a journalist but according to the New York Times he is not. They call him an activist but to what end isn’t clear. If it is his desire to promote peace I don’t think he has accomplished anything so far.
So what did he accomplish by bringing his organization into the debate on Afghanistan? WikiLeaks had to close some time ago due to lack of funding so presumably the aim was to get sponsors? Or just become famous? Some people go to extremes for fame and glory.
The pr coup he achieved was brilliant. He is now a household name and so is Wikileaks. Just a pity that by showing little regard for the hard moral choices and dearth of good policy options facing decision-makers, he is as reckless and destructive as soldier or soldiers who leaked the documents in the first place.
All WikiLeaks has achieved so far is, putting Afghans who provided leaks to the US in danger as well as – again – show us that technology has diminished our control over what the world knows. So now WikiLeaks needs to step up to the plate and deliver scoops of classified information from inside totalitarian states. That would justify their existence. If not, what can such an organisations accomplish?
(Photo: US Department of State – Flickr)