Like news junkies everywhere I've been on the edge of my chair waiting for the tidal wave of leaked information from WikiLeaks that so far is just dribbling tantalizing bits and pieces. Apparently Canada's star turn happens Thursday, although we already learned that our CSIS director thinks we're like Alice in Wonderland on terror issues.
Who are these people anyway? Looking into it reveals they are a non profit organization stating they want to rip the lid off the notorious secrecy and duplicity of governments and protect whistle-blowers from repercussions. Staffed by volunteers, they have won awards from various media and journalist groups and Amnesty International. In Australia their website was blacked out until this week, when for some reason, it was restored. A flap in Iceland over a bank's attempts to silence a WikiLeak expose of their sins, resulted in the formation of a group of citizens to organize a fight back against media censorship. Criticism of WikiLeaks includes a lack of editorial control over the vast quantity of documents it holds and how it distributes them.
Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, is scrambling, along with all her staff, to do damage control. Calls and visits to various diplomats have been hastily made to assure those smeared that it's all ok, they didn't mean what they said, etc etc. Kind of hard to do when the US doesn't really know the details of what exactly will be leaked. How does one apologise without knowing what the sin was?
The whole scenario is quite entertaining in its own way, and illustrates very well the perils of living in the hyper fast information age. If this organization can succeed in lifting the veil of lies and hypocrisy routinely practised by governments all over the world it is a good thing, and let the consequences fall where they may. While a little information can be dangerous, knowing all of it can only result in a better informed populace and a much more cautious approach by the State. We could all use a heavy dose of honesty right now.