Corruption breeds terrorism. The free flow of information kills corruption. As a corollary be careful what secrets you let your government keep for secrecy leads to corruption.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Here is a good interview with Julian Assange, the most public member of wikileaks, from Ted Talks. U.S. national security needs wikileaks to help prevent misuse of secrecy in our government and military contractor corruption.
After posting the collateral murder videos of U.S. Apache helicopters killing journalists and civilians in Iraq, the U.S. government has attacked wikileaks and their sources. The U.S. government has frozen the bank accounts of wikileaks by putting the organization on a blacklist. Expose U.S. government corruption and the U.S. will grab your money and put you in a box. Assange has been denied residency in Sweden and Bradley Manning who likely was the source of the collateral murder video and Afganistan war documents is in prison. The FBI has been harassing people trying to support Manning by raising funds for legal fees.
The Obama administration has prosecuted more U.S. citizens for government leaks than the last three presidential administrations combined. Not exactly the 'change' or 'transparency' that Obama promised. See the Democracy now piece interviewing Dan Elsberg, the source who leaked the pentagon papers on the Vietnam war. The interview covers the 400,000 iraq war documents released:
Assange presents the solution to Wikileaks. In a world where whistleblowers are protected through a 'proper mechanism for accountability,' Wikileaks would not have to be a conduit to get information out to the public." Why the U.S. needs wikileaks is because of the unchecked corruption in its government and large corporations which has been made evident recently by the financial crisis, Enron and Jack Abramoff and military contractor coruption..
Assange has pointed out one problem with their current model of leaking documents. Only a small number of documents related to Israel have been published so far because newspapers in the West that have exclusive rights to publish the material were hesitant to publish sensitive information about Israel, Israel has vast lobbying power in the U.S. This unfortunately will continue to be a huge problem for WikiLeaks and other whistleblower groups. By giving the main stream media exclusive rights to the leak info.
Another thing the wikileaks fiasco indicates is how bad U.S. military information security is, how one army private could leak so much classified information is more evidence that U.S. military intelligence is a contradiction in terms, they do not have very good security in their information system. One interesting side note is that a key component of the wikileaks anonymizing software, the tor project, was initially funded by U.S. Naval Research Lab.