By: Will Bedwell
Transparency in government is a necessary part of National Sovereignty. The citizens of the U.S. deserve to know what their government is doing. This right of knowledge, however, only extends so far. There comes a point when citizens need not and do not know what the government is doing in regards to national security. The fact is that secrecy is an fundamental aspect of national security. Citizens are not told what specific military tactics are used and where certain military bases are positioned. They are not aware of this knowledge because their knowing would make it easier for enemies of the State to gain this knowledge. We are embedded deep in a war on global terror in order to defend our nation and our ally nations. If terrorists are allowed access to confidential information about our government and military actions, they become a stronger enemy and a more dangerous force both on domestic and foreign soil.
Wikileaks is a nonprofit organization which runs a main website and hundreds of mirror websites with the sole goal of global transparency in all governments. Through the use of computer hacking and the obtaining of government leaks, the website publishes secret government documents that any one with an internet connection can read. The problem with this is that both Al Qaeda and the Taliban both have internet access. This means that they are able to read and learn from these documents so they may better combat our troops in the Middle East. If these terrorist organizations gain any upper-hand in the battles we are fighting, they come one step closer to gaining the strength in order to make another terrorist attack like 9/11. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates commented on the Wikileak documents stating that, “The battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are dangerous for our troops, our partners, and may well damage our relationships, military tactics, and techniques in that key part of our world.”
The leaked documents reveal not only the exact GPS locations of military bases, as well as tactics, but also the military’s methods of gathering intelligence and the names and addresses of people in the Middle East who are working alongside NATO forces. Now, terrorists can get a complete list of who is helping the United States and where to find them. The effects of this are already reverberating in the War on Terror. Now, people in the Middle East are afraid to help the U.S. out of fear that any terrorists in their neighborhood or city can simply go to WikiLeaks and find their names in order to hunt them down and kill them.
Many large news organizations print confidential government documents that they feel the American people should be aware of. They do this, however, within a journalistic standard. They are sure to censor the names and locations of people within the documents and always make sure to redact anything the U.S. government deems a danger to national security. Julian Assange, the founder and CEO of Wikileaks, has one of the worst redaction records in the world of journalism and makes no attempts to censor the documents posted on his website. He pursues journalism with no regard for the safety of anyone, and that is not journalism or a good cause. Assange claims his intentions are pure but continually threatens to release what he describes as a megaton nuclear document that will reveal thousands upon thousands of secret U.S. documents if the U.S. government attempts to take down his website.
Anyone who makes threats such as that against the U.S. is obviously an enemy of the United States. Also, after gauging the vast array of secrets already published by Wikileaks, the fact is obvious that Wikileaks poses a direct threat to the U.S. War on Terror, and in turn, to U.S. national security as a whole. An organization which does such as this is obviously one that must be stopped before more deaths are caused and more operations that protect our citizens are compromised.