Official secrecy is eating at the core of who we are. It is a cancer. There is no other way to put it.
Revelations such as by WikiLeaks expose that secrecy.
If we had known through leaks some of the actual discussions by high level government officials who were manipulating intelligence to fit policy to justify going to war in Iraq (and if those revelations had been widely disseminated by the main stream media), the Iraq war may never have happened. Of course the Downing Street memos did reveal the truth but by then the war had commenced and the memos didn't have the impact they would have had if they were revealed prior to the war.
Regarding the run up to that war what would have happened if Colin Powell had resigned in February 2003 knowing as he did (which we later discovered) the "presentation of evidence" he was about to present to the United Nations about suspect WMD in Iraq was false and a lie, the war could possibly been averted. Instead the charade of his performance (revealed years later) ruined his reputation and whatever integrity he may have had.
Maybe the expectation of government insiders revealing the truth is too high a personal price to pay for people today; that it is the ultimate in naivete to expect such a level of integrity of people willing to risk exposing the truth.
Somehow conscience and guilt (while being a part of a false and lying enterprise) is easily overcome. Or is it?
So many veterans of today's Iraq and Afghan wars come back psychologically and emotionally scared from their experiences with so many turning to alcohol, domestic violence, destroyed marriages and dramatic increases in the levels of suicide which lay bare the consequences of their experiences, the actions they saw take place or had them taking part in during their tours of duty.
From here, this writer always wondered how defense attorneys could defend a client knowing he was guilty or defending a big corporate client (think big tobacco) knowing the product they sell causes cancer.
Where is the line in the sand where people refuse to cross?
One thinks of our politicians today, particularly in Congress. When was the last time any of them resigned in protest, refusing to sign on to legislation that continues funding our wars or funding our bloated defense industry producing unnecessary weapons or funding on a missile defense system that can never work, is technically unfeasible and easily overcome by simple decoys and countermeasures.
Perhaps election to national office attracts only charlatans and congenital liars. The way our current electoral system operates, requiring huge amounts of corporate and special interest funds necessary to be elected, makes it attractive only to those with weak integrity and little conscience to the consequences of their actions.
Maybe it all reveals a lot about us, who we are and what we've become in our own personal lives; where we easily look away at those in need, the homeless sleeping on the sidewalks, our tolerance of torture and our endless unnecessary wars.
What of our own integrity and conscience? How many of us would have had the courage of doing what Bradley Manning did, what Julian Assange is doing, what Daniel Ellsberg did 40 years ago?
Finally, what does it say about those people who disparage and condemn these men for their acts of bravery and conscience?