from Wiki Commons by Markus Schweiss
When someone really, really screws up, they need a smokescreen or scapegoat, so everyone will look the other way. It is a great idea, if you are a little kid who takes out your mom's vase from the hutch to look at it, and your little brother knocks it off the coffee table. Whose fault is it? Blame your brother.
But, that doesn't fix the vase. And, if you don't own up to your part of the situation, it doesn't teach you a lesson, either.
Julian Assange, the dashing, blond, man of mystery from
Australia is not the key player in the Wikileaks saga. Any situation arising
from a sudden release of confidential documents involves: the whole environment
that kept the documents secret in the first place; the angst which caused whistle-blowers
to release them; and cracks in the security system of various government
organizations which let this information get out of the hands of the government
and into the hands of the media.
How about we ask our government to focus on those problems for awhile, instead of ranting and raving about the blond guy?
Does our government, or anyone who has real fears about the release of secret documents realize that they have a lot of work to do, besides chasing around the charismatic foe who won a couple of rounds of battle with them?
Regardless if Julian Assange is wrong or right, regardless if Julian Assange is in custody or not, our government has a problem which may cause some sinking of the ship of state. We should start worrying about bailing water, and not be chasing after a man who may or may not nave done some harm by rocking the boat.
Here is what the US government should actually be doing in relation to the leak of documents:
-Do damage control and make apologies to countries and diplomats who will find insulting comments from us. (I believe some small steps have been taking on the apology issue.)
-Study and do damage control related to any structures or passwords revealed by the documents. (You have to wonder if anyone has taken the time to do this, they are so busy hunting down Assange.)
-Re-evaluate the balance between secret decisions and public decisions. In a democracy, there is a strength and efficiency in doing things in the open. If you agree on something at a fair, public meeting, you won't have to have so many secrets, and waste time and money on so many layers. Some of the reason that people brought documents to Assange, and some of the reason that Assange published them, was because they discovered secret incidents and decisions that they felt the public could and should handle.
-Start giving the real media more information, and expecting them to share it. Even agents for Hollywood celebrities know that sometimes, you have to quell the press by giving them some of what the public is clamoring for. For example, when a celebrity couple has a child, they know if they don't release at least one photo, the Paparazzi will take photos by force. Doesn't someone in the US government think about the build-up of the public's desire to know, when so many actions are kept so secret? Shouldn't our government take a lesson from the Wikileaks document release, and open up, rather than clamp down and make reporting seem like a crime?
-Our government should reflect on which personnel and which systems are truly to blame, and take appropriate action. That might mean firing some people. That might mean using different computer software. That might mean changing how the government relates to the regular press, the blog press, and the social media/Wiki universe.
So, let's leave the blond alone. Or, at least put aside our frustration with him, in order to make sure our ship is not otherwise sinking.
And, if anyone wants to blame people or organizations for the fun of it, or as a way of seeking correction, here is a list of people to blame who don't happen to be the blond from Australia:
1. The Obama administration and the White House press office.
If there were more genuine information about the war and other issues of importance to the American people, then there would be less clamor for information such as Wikileaks provides, the information from Wikileaks would have been less exclusive, and there would have been less of a chance that whistle-blowers on the inside would feel the need to share with the outside.
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