It is almost impossible to get to the Wikileaks website through the Denial of Service attacks now being staged on it by it's enemies. You can, however, check out the diplomatic cables at the mirror site right here.
And I want to write about why I support Wikileaks and Julian Assange.
To begin with Assange is currently - and rather suddenly - being sought after by Interpol on rape charges. Why "rape" suddenly falls under the jurisdiction of Interpol seems as questionable as the charges themselves, but that's another story. It's the way it works. If you want to discredit someone, use sex and have the confidence that - in this world - an accusation is as good as being guilty.
What he's being sought after, in reality, is to shut him down. Let's not be naive.
Assange is a lot of things. He's difficult. He's sneaky. And relative to the First Amendment he could be considered a complete literalist. In the sphere of one's overall personal political philosophy he's most assuredly an anarchist - albeit a 21st century version. He was the man who published The "Church" of Scientology's secret documents - the ones that explained how the evil Xenu's DC9 jets brought us from all over the galaxy to Earth here so the volcanoes could pulverize us into slaves (which would normally cost you around $400,000 to read about). And he is now the guy behind the publishing of all the diplomatic cables that are embarrassing world leaders all over the place these days.
The cables that are causing most of the stir (right now) are the reports made by US diplomats and diplomatic operatives that detail the traits, proclivities, habits, foibles and general personality evaluations of the people we deal with on the international stage. Putin as Batman. The President of France as "the emperor with no clothes." The complete shock that the Catholic Church elected a guy to Pope who was once a member of the Hitler Youth. They talk about how a lot of Iran's neighbors (like the King of Saudi Arabia) want the US or even Israel to "knock out" the Iranian nuclear program by any means necessary. Oh a whole lot of stuff.
The question and concern governments have expressed (and they have always trotted this out even though their worries have never come to any actual happenings) is the safety and security of people "in the field" now that things are known. And the viability of alliances we have with national leaders we've cattily cut down privately for being silly, pedophilic or just outright nuts.
Well in the first place, though I'll relent that international diplomacy does require a degree of person-to-person interaction, nations looking out for their own interests that are tied to the interventionist USA will not forgo deals, arrangements, and co-operation with the USA because somebody said "OMG, Margaret Thatcher isn't even hot!"
And in the second place a leader is not the country. Leaders come and go. Even Kings. If they are so intrinsically identified strictly AS the country then something else is wrong. And in this case transparency may very well be a tonic.
We are told that "the need for secrecy" is a matter of national security. To some degree that may be true. Certainly Wikileaks does not agree with that assessment and there are legitimate arguments that can be made on both sides of this.
What is of more import, however, is the idea that the whole edifice or foreign affairs is some kind of sacrosanct endeavor that has been working so very well for all these centuries.
A specious claim, as any cursory glance at world history will show.
We're run by national powers that are manned by PEOPLE. And these people have taken the attitude upon themselves that they know best. Even in the mounting evidence that accreditation is an over-rated activity for many people who remain the idiots they were born as no matter what is hanging on their wall, there are folks who "know" and are doing things "for our own good" that have actually been costing us our lives and treasure for a very, very long time now.
Assange is charged with hubris. The hubris of believing he can publish anything and everything because transparency will always lead to better governments.
But the real hubris here is that which exists in the idea that we "shouldn't be able" to know about the deals and the agreements and the arrangements made in our behalf internationally. The hubris here is actually the long held idea that it's alright to get into deals that get us killed because the "people" can just be whipped up into a patriotic frenzy quite easily. The hubris that says people are and can be manipulated and that this is for their own welfare.
I present the debacle that led to the First World War as people's Evidence #1. And I'll add the phony attack in the Gulf of Tonkin as #2.
But more than all this I'll present the idea - in the spirit of "less government is always better" - that it is a good thing to tweak the noses of the powers that be from time to time.
It's what Thomas Jefferson thought too.