Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks - What's the point? Part Two

Mark Kleiman answers the Wikileaks - Pentagon analogy that I've seen made often:
In connection with the latest WikiLeaks flap, commenter Brett Bellmore asks rhetorically, “Do you think America would be better off if the Pentagon Papers hadn’t been leaked?”

Yes! Hell, yes! Much better off.

The Pentagon Papers leak didn’t end the Vietnam War. It did ensure that no subsequent Secretary of Defense would commission a frank, independent analysis of the decision-making processes that led to war.
I don't entirely agree that the Pentagon Papers didn't at least help end the Vietnam War. They certainly weren't solely responsible and Mark is right, the price we paid for that leak was high. But still, they had a lot more import than these Wikileaks. They exposed large corruption and big lies, not the small intrigues inherent in foreign dealings both miltary and diplomatic.

And that's the problem with I'm having with the Wikileaks. So far all I can see they did is expose some of our informants in the first round and greatly damaged two years of repair work on the part of the White House in the second.

The only good I see in this so far is it did expose a serious security hole in the State Department's archiving system. Presumably they'll plug that one. So there's that...

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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