Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment"

"The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment"

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With all the cluck-clucking on this side of the Atlantic, it's not shocking that the best, full-throated defense of the new Wikileaks release comes from the UK:

The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment. If American spies are breaking United Nations rules by seeking the DNA biometrics of the UN director general, he is entitled to hear of it. British voters should know what Afghan leaders thought of British troops. American (and British) taxpayers might question, too, how most of the billions of dollars going in aid to Afghanistan simply exits the country at Kabul airport.

The Guardian's Simon Jenkins adds:

Clearly, it is for governments, not journalists, to protect public secrets. Were there some overriding national jeopardy in revealing them, greater restraint might be in order. There is no such overriding jeopardy, except from the policies themselves as revealed. Where it is doing the right thing, a great power should be robust against embarrassment.

Seriously. To those who say there was no good reason to publish this information, I would argue there was no compelling reason not to. The elites and the powerful have been lying to the American people and to the world about too many things for too long, and we've all seen how they've screwed things up -- so the more light we shiine on their activities the better, right?. Unless you think that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Co. are doing such a whiz-bang job that we uninformed and unimportant peons should just blindly let them take care of our business. If that's your opinion, then, yeah, I could see why you'd be troubled by the Wikileaks release. And also if that's your opinion, I'd love to hear from you.

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Will Bunch
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