WikiLeaks Scandal: Free Speech or Terrorism?

Jenny Erikson

jeny erikson
Jenny Erikson
Over the weekend, the website WikiLeaks released over 250,000 classified State Department documents. Top-secret information about everything from Iran’s nuclear status to concerns over China’s growth as a superpower to the potentiality of a united Korean peninsula suddenly became public knowledge.

Secretary of State Clinton is mad. President Obama is cracking down with a zero-tolerance policy for anyone caught leaking information. Congressman Pete King (R-NY) is calling for the government to declare WikiLeaks a foreign terrorist organization, in order to “seize their funds and go after anyone who provides them help or contributions or assistance whatsoever.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims that total transparency is in the public’s best interest. 

I think Assange is a tool that needs to watch an episode or two of Alias. Rule number one: Don’t show the other team your playbook. Rule number two: If you want good ratings, hire Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan to play the ridiculously good-looking spies. I don’t think rule number two applies in this case.

There is a war against terrorism going on right now, and telling our enemies what we know about them is a bad idea. They now know which people and areas are being watched suspiciously, and by whom. That puts our people and our friends in danger.

Some might argue that WikiLeaks is protected by the First Amendment’s free speech clause. I disagree. WikiLeaks did not "say" something objectionable; they spilled secrets that weren’t theirs to share. Our allies need to know that they can trust us, and this is a breach of that trust.

From the Associated Press:

In Washington, Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, called the release very damaging.

"The catastrophic issue here is just a breakdown in trust," he said Monday, adding that many other countries -- allies and foes alike -- are likely to ask, 'Can the United States be trusted? Can the United States keep a secret?'"

I won’t go so far as to say that WikiLeaks committed an act of terrorism, but I will say that they aided it. This is more equivalent to the guy that sells the bank plans and security codes to the bank robbers. I just hope that our security is tight enough to withstand any action that may come out of WikiLeaks' bad decision.

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