The Idiot's Progress: How Has Wiki-leaks Damaged US Interests?

I've joined with everyone else in railing against Julian Asssssange and Wiki-leaks. Michael Ledeen writes that many of the revelations from the State Dept. cables were actually "good" leaks, in that the true state of affairs in the world have been laid out in a way that benefits realists and to the detriment of diplomats and internationalists. Could it be that Asssssange is the rare useful idiot who is actually useful?

Even though some of the reported remarks of foreign leaders were undoubtedly given to Americans in order to deceive us or manipulate us, still and all I find the cables I’ve read so far to be very helpful to anyone trying to understand the world.

It will no doubt annoy the Israel haters no end to discover that Arab leaders seem to be even more concerned about Iran than the crowd in Jerusalem, for example. And it’s very helpful for everyone to see that the “Axis of Evil” was real–the strategic cooperation on missiles and nukes between Iran and North Korea (with Chinese complicity) was intense.

No surprise that the cables have been denounced as “mischief” by Ahmadinejad, since they document the fraudulent electoral “results” that gave him a second term, and present the ghastly details of Iran’s use of the Muslim version of the Red Cross for espionage and murder in Iraq. Indeed, if I wanted to invent evidence to document the case against Iran that I have been making for twenty years or more, I could not have done better than the State Department cables just released.

Two thoughts:

First, it would save the world a lot of time and trouble if most of this stuff were published, rather than classified.

Second, the leakers should be punished violently. It has to be possible for our leaders to talk privately, both among themselves and with foreigners. If it’s all going to be leaked, candor will vanish and we will be locked into a wilderness of mirrors.

As Ledeen says, some of the Wiki-leaks info was useful information...but the leakers should still be "violently punished." I think that's a good balance. The revelations Ledeen cites above are not "new" - they are the sort of things widely discussed in the blogosphere and even in the foreign press. But, they are not the sort of things discussed much either by our government or by our MSM, both of whom seem to live in fear of an American public roused into action by the thought of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons via North Korea and China, among other things.

Asssssange is wrong for taking upon himself the task of deciding what secrets America should have. But America is wrong for tolerating some of the secrets it keeps from itself.

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