By: Scott Viau
There’s been a lot of talk about the WikiLeaks controversy over the past few months. While some people have championed founder Julian Assange as being a man who is in support and pursuit of the truth, others feel he is a clear and present danger to not only the security of the U.S., but to the world as well. Some have even gone so far as to say that he should simply be killed. In what could have been a discarded subplot from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” WikiLeaks has proved to be an invaluable source to fight government corruption.
The fact of the matter is that regardless of what country he’s from or which country the cables he’s releasing are targeting, WikiLeaks is important in blurring the line between the people and the people who run the country. If a country is doing something that it doesn’t want others to know about, what it’s doing is probably wrong.
While some will claim that the release of these cables will negatively impact the national security of all countries involved, it also brings to light the integrity of each nation and how it goes about fighting its battles. In April of 2010, a video from 2007 was released that showed the murder of Iraqi civilians, as well as journalists. Is this the kind of thing you want your military to be doing? Without knowledge of what is going on, there’s no way to prevent this kind of stuff from happening. As Ron Paul said in his address to the House, “which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or WikiLeaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?” It’s quite obvious what the answer to Paul’s question is.
With the threat of another leak involving Swiss bank accounts, WikiLeaks will not be stopping anytime soon. In fact, WikiLeaks even has an ace in the hole with information that has been likened to a thermonuclear device by Assange’s lawyer, Mark Stephens, and will be released should anything ever happen to Assange. While the last thing I want to see is a conflict, or even war, break out because of this information, the government of any country should keep its people in the know, and if that means it has to get its information from a third-party source, then so be it.
As journalists, it’s our job to report the truth. For some people, the truth is something that should be feared out of possible repercussions. It’s that kind of mentality that inhibits social change, something that WikiLeaks has the potential to do. We can either look the other way and pretend that corruption and wrongdoing is not happening over the world, or we can stare it straight in the face and try to combat it. If the governments of the world want to hide something from its people, it’s up to the people themselves to make sure that their government knows the will of the people is a dangerous thing to mess with.