Right then. Wikileaks. I slept on this one, re-visited the journalists scenario a few years ago (summary), and when I woke up, it was clear.
In the seventies and eighties I lived under a regime where your words could have you jailed tortured and killed. What you said could affect your family and your friends. What your neighbours said, could kill you.
I can’t believe I even spent time thinking about this.
I came across a blog this week, written by someone around my age, talking about how very quickly, the issues that the world has become concerned with, are a long way from The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, Apartheid.
And yet these things were real, and terrifying and I remember them well. My out-look is shaped by people shot simply trying to move freely upon their earth (shame on you Israel…sorry…), black people told to their faces that they are not as good as white people, two countries with the ability to destroy the world (honestly, no kidding), bickering.
These things were as real as sitting here hunched over my lap-top, penning this post.
The incident that launched Wikileaks (see summary link above) is horrendous.
Twenty people, journalists, fathers, brothers, lovers, shot down like animals. One of them young enough to be someones growing Son. What am I saying…WAS someone elses son. They shot a man who came in a van to provide rescue. He himself had two children with.
Now, until wikileaks, the US Air Force was content to sit on this information. When Wikileaks confronted them, they justified their actions.
The government, any government has a responsibilty to protect information of National Importance. That is their responsibility, not ours.
And those that would say that ‘patriotic duty’ is paramount to being a good citizen, I wish you had lived in the time and place I lived, in a time and place that alot still live today.
It coils my stomach, really, to hear rubbish like this. I say, publish. Publish it all. The lives that are lost are not ‘sacrifices for the sake of country’.
Who defines information as ‘crucial to national security’? Hopefully, government, elected by it’s people, delivering policy for institutions to implement. Suddenly ‘loose talk’ at a bar has endangered National Security, boisterous chat at a party has compromised Public Safety.
And investigating the looting of Public funds, a danger to the stability of a country.
Well. Bah Humbug to all that.
Leave Wikileaks alone. It is cowardly to beat up a man who tells you your wife is screwing the bar-tender (genders may be changed here.) And it is dangerous to presume that you can punish a human-being for saying what was seen.
This topic increasingly has me angry and I can’t organise it into nice, tight argument.
I’m trawling the blogs to find a voice that articulates this powerfully for all of us.
YOU WILL NOT CUT OFF MY TONGUE.
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