Do Not Look Behind the Curtains
War footage. Secret communications. National security. Rape. These are all things that are mentioned when WikiLeaks inevitably pops up in the news. Less mentioned is government transparency, the freedom that information brings, and the exact nature of what constitutes a threat.
Any government that is, for all intents and purposes, put in place by the public (through elections) should be transparent. Look at it this way: If you hire a babysitter, shouldn't you be able to use any means within your power to make sure the babysitter isn't harming your child? As a citizen in a representative republic, I want to know that my government isn't engaged in digging mass graves and burying people alive in them.
National security and the security of the men and women in the armed forces (or spies) is important, but so is the security of the American people. I want to know if my government is acting in such a way that could bring harm upon my country and myself. And if they are, I want them ousted.
It has been said that Julian Assange (WikiLeaks' driving force) has an agenda to bring down America. If the information exposed is faked, then I would agree. If, however, it is real (and I have not heard complaints that it is faked -- and if it was I doubt the governments of the world would be so up in arms), then he is merely exposing the fact that the Emperor has no clothes. And to be honest, not everything he has exposed paints America in a negative light. Not bombing the shit out of Iran while the rest of the Middle East is begging for that very action shows we aren't exactly the monsters everyone claims Assange is making us out to be.
Governments should not be allowed to operate in secret. I recognize the need to guard many facts, and I understand that. But policies should not be made behind closed doors. Murderous acts and war crimes should not be covered up. And most importantly, the American people should not be lied to about those things. Assange has essentially said, "If you won't tell the truth, I will." Here's the kicker ... even if our government was more open, nobody would care.
This material has been released, much of it has been available for a while. (I spent hours about six months ago pouring over 9/11 text and pager message transcripts.) The American public doesn't care about the dangerous behavior its government is engaged in. Dancing With the Stars is important. Trying to obtain biometric information on diplomats and murder is not.
This, of course, is not a partisan issue, either. Both sides of the fence are pissed at this guy, and that can only be good. They are scared, too, and they should be. Our elected officials should be scared every day of their lives. They should fear the public's wrath. They should consider their actions and the harm they could cause currently and in the future. If WikiLeaks helps that process along, I'm all for it. Unfortunately, the issue has been skewed and the government is, once again, off the hook.
Assange, from everything I can see, is not anti-American. He's anti-secrecy. He's anti-lying. He's against governments taking advantage of their populations and populations throughout the world. He's just made the mistake of picking on the world's super power, but I've always had this theory: You're only as strong as your opponents. In this case, Assange is a fucking giant.