Today, looking throughout the blogosphere reactions to those leaks I see the right and some on the left have finally found something to agree on.... Wikileaks disregard for sensitive information was reckless, careless and idiotic.
Notice I used the words "some on the left", because still we see some on the so called progressive left, defending Wikileaks, defending the publishing of the cables and describing these leaks as a "good thing" and others denying that the progressive left "fawns" over their progressive hero Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks.
In looking through reactions from the right and the left, I ran across this over at the Mahablog:
For once, reactions from much of the right and left blogospheres appear to be in the same ball park — that much of what has been reported from the leaks so far is either stuff everyone pretty much already knew, or else was secret for a good reason. But today’s “even dumber than Jim Holt” award goes to Donald Douglas of Right Wing News, who writes,
I continue to be amazed at the fawning credibility Assange gets on the progressive left. Anything that tears down the military — even putting at risk the lives of Americans and our allies — is totally cool with these freaks. But maybe something good will come of all this, in the end.
And I thought, who on the progressive left is “fawning” over this stuff? And it turns out the link goes to Charli Carpenter of Lawyers, Guns and Money, who wrote,
Wow. Iran’s neighbors are threatened by its rise! Many governments think Pakistan may not be able to secure its nuclear arsenal! The US attempts to use its leverage with its allies to achieve its political objectives! China has engaged in a cyber-campaign against Google and other American companies! Yemen approves of US’ targeted killings on its soil (but claims otherwise to quell domestic opposition)! Also, governments routinely spy on United Nations officials!
[cross-posted at Duck of Minerva]
Yes, it’s true. Donald Douglas is too stupid to recognize obvious sarcasm, mistaking it for “fawning.” Like I said, even dumber than Jim Holt.
Ok, so "maha" doesn't like the example of Charli Carpenter of Lawyers, Guns and Money, let me provide a few more, since "maha" did ask the question "who on the progressive left is “fawning” over this stuff?"
David Kramer at The LRC Blog: Headline- "Republican Terrorist Calls for Criminalizing Terrorist Exposure" (In response to this story)
This isn’t the first time that a Republican has gone after a person brave enough to show the world what the United States government is really all about. It happened almost 40 years ago during the Vietnam War when the government tried to discredit a hero named Daniel Ellsberg. At that time, the government was under a Republican Administration (Pres. “Tricky Dick” Nixon). It will be interesting to see how far the current “liberal” Obama Democratic Administration will try to discredit, or even destroy, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Attaturk from FireDogLake: Headline- "Being informed… Cannot.Have.That."
Nevertheless, letting taxpayers and citizens of the “Land of the Free” know what is done in their name is just too much for folks like the execrable Long Island Republican Peter King:
“This is worse even than a physical attack on Americans, it’s worse than a military attack”
Yeah, you betcha’ Petey, knowledge is after all, power.
Chris in Paris AT AmericaBlog: Headline- "Should WikiLeaks have released diplomatic details?"
It's unrealistic to imagine other states not having this information, so the anger sounds overdone. Also, is it a surprise to anyone that US policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan are dysfunctional or that the US and Middle East partners want Iran's nuclear program to be terminated? Part of the problem may also be related to the lack of transparency in politics, which is not just a US issue. The decisions that our political leaders make could definitely benefit from the public being made more aware of what is going on with tax dollars.
If politicians are ready to ask individuals to justify every last cent received by the meager social welfare system in the US, it's fair to ask the same from the government. The information may make many uncomfortable, but that is no reason to keep everyone in the dark.
Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars: -Headline "BREAKING: Wikileaks Releases US Embassy Cables--UPDATED"
At least one progressive blogger, while generally supportive of Wikileak's actions, sees some long term damage from this. However, I'm of the belief that if this is the price we must pay to show the government that acting as if no one has a right to privacy is a double-edged sword that can hurt them as well, we might as well pay it now. If the government thinks it will damage their interests to have their corrupt actions known, perhaps they might not want to participate in them.
Digby at Hullabaloo: Headline- "Wikileak Fall Out"
There's a lot of chatter, for obvious reasons, about the Wikileaks document dump and whether or not it's a dangerous and despicable act. My personal feeling is that any allegedly democratic government that is so hubristic that it will lie blatantly to the entire world in order to invade a country it has long wanted to invade probably needs a self-correcting mechanism. There are times when it's necessary that the powerful be shown that there are checks on its behavior, particularly when the systems normally designed to do that are breaking down. Now is one of those times.
Brad Friedman from BradBlog: Headline- "In Wake of WikiLeaks Cable Release, JFK, Ellsberg's Remarks on 'Secrecy', 'Covert Ops' Worth Noting."
As this information becomes public, and as the U.S. Government continues to scramble to mitigate what the White House is calling today a "reckless and dangerous" leak, condemning it "in the strongest terms" as an alleged threat to national security, it's worth keeping in mind, for valuable perspective, what the 1970s legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg wrote in an op/ed for The BRAD BLOG in early 2008...Many, if not most, covert operations deserve to be disclosed by a free press. They are often covert not only because they are illegal but because they are wildly ill-conceived and reckless. "Sensitive" and "covert" are often synonyms for "half-assed," "idiotic," and "dangerous to national security," as well as "criminal."
Robert Farley of Lawyers, Guns and Money: Headline "Brief Wikileaks Addendum."
Finally, having just worked my way through a negotiation simulation, I am kind of fascinated by the idea of “open” diplomatic communications. Diplomats lie to each other habitually, and also lie to their (portions of) their home governments. Nobody takes this too seriously, because no one expects diplomats to tell the truth. If Wikileaks and organizations of its ilk are really able to peel the layers of secrecy off the diplomatic world, it could potentially have far ranging effects on how nations relate to one another. Or maybe not.
Paul Rosenberg from Open Left: Headline- "US Death & Lies Machine Temprorarily Disrupted"
We're supposed to worry that this massive leak will impede the ability of the US government to connive in secret behind everyone's back? Well, after the past 10 years in particular, who in the world honestly thinks that would be a bad thing?
Maybe if Barack Obama had changed that policy one iota, as his entire campaign was implicitly and explicitly based upon doing, folks might feel a little differently. But as things stand today? Not so much.
John Cole from Balloon Juice: Headline- "Wikileaks Reaction."
I generally sense that people, overall, will be more hostile towards wikileaks after this dump. The previous dumps seemed to corroborate competing stories. This dump will just be viewed by many as an attempt to hurt the United States. I have a hard time getting worked up about it- a government that views none of my personal correspondence as confidential really can’t bitch when this sort of thing happens.
That is it, I cannot force myself to read any more drivel from the so called progressive left which attempts to justify what Wikileaks has done, but I think the examples list above should be enough of an answer to the head-in-the-sand "maha" from Mahablog about who exactly is "fawning" over this stuff.... Your brethren maha, your progressive left buddies.
Pretending that they do not exist does not mean they do not exist, it simply means you refuse to acknowledge that they not only do exist but are defending the indefensible.