Wikileaks Scandal: Who Do We Get Mad at First?

Cynthia Dermody
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top secret signIf you don't follow politics regularly, you may not be intimately familiar with the website Wikileaks. It's an organization and a website that publishes top-secret, classified, or embargoed government and military information for all to see and use supposedly for the greater good.

Today, the website itself is in the news for leaking 92,000 classified military documents related to the U.S.'s relationship to Pakistan and the Afghanistan War. Based on the documents, Pakistan may not be the ally we thought it was. Or Afghanistan might not be the friend Pakistan thought it was. It's pretty complicated.

If you want to get into what the documents actually say, block about a month off your calendar, go to Wikileaks Afghan War Diary 2004-2009, and read up. Good luck actually getting on the site, however. It's been jammed all morning, no doubt from everyone trying to get at the goods.

This, it seems, was part of Wikileaks' goal -- drawing as much attention to itself as to these documents.

Founder Julian Assange has been miffed that his site hasn't caught on as he would have expected during past information leaks. The media has failed to really pay attention up to this point. But yesterday's leak of the 90K documents has riled not only the other media outlets who were privy to the info and have been analyzing it for weeks, but members of the White House, who say revealing these details could jeopardize troops involved in the war effort.

Assange said everyone is "blaming the messenger" as part of a deflection technique to avoid the eye-opening details contained in the documents. Just three media outlets were given access to the archive, The Guardian, The New York Times, and German weekly Der Spiegel. They have spent several weeks investigating the logs in order not to compromise intelligence sources or to put forces at risk. The Guardian has only published a selection of the logs, relating to significant events.

As of this morning, it's hard to discern what if any effect the information leak will have on relations with the two countries or if any lives will be lost because of it. One issue is the fact that no one knows where exactly the information comes from or if it's even reliable.

I think the immediate moral to this story is that people are not playing nice, are not really who they say they are. But really, in the world of international relations and power struggles, do they ever?


Image via Marcin Wichary/Flicker

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