Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WIKI WHACKY: OATH-BREAKING CROOK IS NEVER A HERO

I don't know whether WikiLeaks is good journalism or in the public interest.  I get the sunshine arguments.  The arguments about how this is not anything but confirmation of what other countries already knew was going on.  Guess I'll leave all that to the self-annointeds like Howie Kurtz.

Here is what I know a little bit about:  To work with classified information, you make a pledge to hold it close and to follow the rules about computer usage.  It isn't easy.  Just in my case (I keep people's secrets for a living). it limits the way I can use a computer, how I store stuff, what kind of smartphone I can use and sometimes even whether I can acknowledge somebody, sitting right next to me, is within my acquaintances.  Handling classified information is equally complicated and solemn. 

So, when someone takes on the duty to keep secrets and then, for whatever reason, redistributes them, it's beyond reprehensible.  It really doesn't matter whether they do it for money, love, recognition or advancement of a political purpose.  It really doesn't matter whether they're leaked to a foreign power or a media outlet.  If you undertake to keep secrets and you violate that undertaking, you're a puke.

BTW, for those of you scoring at home, someone who thinks the classification stamp shouldn't be used on a given piece of information has lots of options to make that right.  A worker with access who thinks he sees evidence of  a crime being covered up by classification has at least two discreet paths to a just result.

Think whatever you will about the publisher of WikiLeaks, but let's not make the leakers some kind of heroes.  They, by definition, are not.

5 Comments:

At 10:29 AM, November 30, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. The person who leaked the records is either clueless or evil. Neither did he advance the cause of gays in the military. The news outlets that Wikileaks released the records to and published segments of those records did as much harm as Wikileaks or those responsible for obtaining the information.

 
At 6:37 AM, December 01, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This leaker should be tried for treason, executed if convicted, as I see it. But after all the leaks to the NY Times over the years, it seems guys like this have little fear of reprisal.

That attitude seems endemic in our society ... from home loan bailouts, banker bailouts, free health care, or politicians like Blago selling their effin golden power ... breaking contracts/pledges and "getting away with it" is the standard.

Real justice is rare at the white collar level ... this is a good time to make an example of someone that grossly abused their position of authority. Hang 'em high.

Bill

 
At 7:30 PM, January 05, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wrong. plainly and obviously. wrong. all journalisim is based on leaks . All of it. the founding fathers recognized this reality , the newspapers of the era were valued, and essential to the freedom and independence of the new nation. the power of government to supress and restrict information is vast , All the power is on that side. their power is balanced a little by public information. wiki leaks is now quoted everywhere by every form of media. you a totalitarian in training. not too bright and a menance to libery by virtue of your life sentence to mediocrity. too bad for the nation that flunkys like you cant think their way out of a paper bag.

 
At 7:31 PM, January 05, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahahahahaha no guts no brains

 
At 4:04 PM, January 12, 2011, Blogger UMRBlog said...

1930,

Don't know if you're talking to me or Bill but please read the second and the penultimate paragraph of the original post.

You are just making the customary fourth estate arguments. If you look closely, you will see I'm not arguing about those. I'm discussing the solemnity of the oath undertaken by the leaker(s) and the remedies to those who see overclassification. If you would like to join issue on this subject, by all means.

TYFCB

 

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