For all of its hard work, it’s good to see the U.S. media finally noticing the efforts of fledgling organization WikiLeaks. On Sunday, November 28, the organization released over 250,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables (communications) and are set to release more information in the coming days.
The initial reaction to the release is quite astonishing. The United States government is, of course, in full-on panic mode and is essentially calling these guys terrorists. I suppose that’s an appropriate title considering the government may very well be scared so much that perhaps it will stop trying to be the big, bad, international bully.
Media outlets seem torn on the issue. Being the only ones privy to the data at this point (WikiLeaks’ website has been under a heavy DDoS attack since the morning of the release), they’ve been able to see just what the stains look like in the dirty laundry. As The Guardian and The New York Times are reporting, some of the information could get the papers into trouble for libel if published, so they’re being very careful with what they expose. However, both seem to agree that the public deserves to see what their government is doing in their name.
One of the first shocking revelations from the cables is an apparent spying campaign on United Nations leaders by the United States, apparently issued by Hillary Clinton in 2009. Another big story out of the leaks is that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has been putting the screws to the United States to launch attacks against Iran; so has Israel, but that’s standard.
Side Note: What’s up with our relationship with the Saudis? Have we forgotten that ALL but two of the 9/11 hijackers was from Saudi Arabia? Why, then, did we invade Afghanistan and Iraq? No one’s been able to give me a good explanation on this one except “it was about oil.” I suppose that will have to do. Carry on.
This is all very fascinating, and I’m glad that major media outlets are peeling away the layers on this one as well. The government may see this as something that will endanger innocent lives and hinder foreign relations, but as they like to tell us as they x-ray our luggage, feel our junk and engage in warrantless wiretapping– if you don’t have anything to hide, what’s the problem?
Check out WikiLeaks’ Twitter feed for more information.