The horror over WikiLeaks, which is being expressed mostly by inept diplomats, is disingenuous in the extreme. The consistent claims that lives are being endangered by the information borders on the hilarious. How many lives have been lost to erroneous, yet secret information that led to our invasion of Iraq? If WikiLeaks had been around in 2003 the public might have been well armed with information to create political resistance to W's folly in the ancient deserts. It is, of course, of equal absurdity to suggest there is no need for clandestine operations. But taxpayers and voters tend to acquire their information after the consequences of secret government endeavors, and, obviously, that is a bit late to be of preventive value.
And where is journalism in all of this? Not only has it lost resources and a bit of will to cover international affairs, the craft of reporting has surrendered most of its sense of balance and fairness. Objectivity has never existed. Stories have always been framed for purpose and over-dramatized because reporters want to lead a newscast or be above the fold on the front page. Judy Miller's incompetent reporting, and the New York Times' pathetic editing of her work turned the paper into a trumpet leading troops to war. She used third-hand sources confirmed by a military and a White House that wanted war, a process one intel agent told me was akin to "shouting in a garbage can." A viewer must watch TV closely or read stories with extreme skepticism for any number of reasons, which is why we need WikiLeaks and its unvarnished and unframed data.
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