WikiLeaks Editor Lies to Stephen Colbert, World; WikiLeaks Necessary Nonetheless
WikiLeaks head honcho Julian Assange went on The Colbert Report last night with the intention of shoring up his organization’s reputation in the wake of its disastrous handling of the Apache video. But as the Jawa Report notes, Assange simply dug himself into a deeper hole by lying about both the video and the manner in which WikiLeaks chose to present it. Among other things, the fellow implies that the men in question carried a single weapon among them when in fact there were at least three visible and one of them was an RPG.
As I’ve noted, WikiLeaks is an incredible and unprecedented resource that’s almost certain to continue bringing forth documents of great potential value to the thinking citizenry, which must have access to a sampling of such things as classified U.S. government documents if it is to gain a sufficient idea of what is being done in its name but without his knowledge, and occasionally without the knowledge of even his highest elected representatives. It would have been a fine thing for the public to have learned of MKULTRA, Tuskagee, COINTELPRO, Operation Ajax, and other state-sanctioned acts of malevolence early enough to have put an end to them, rather than years later and by way of such things as the Church Commission or delayed declassification. WikiLeaks could very well be the institution to blow cover for some future government-administered action with an effect contrary to the demonstrably fundamental ideals and intents of our republic; our intelligence community in particular has not acted in such a way as to have earned the public trust.
Because anyone may see the information released by WikiLeaks for himself and evaluate it for accuracy and implications, the dishonest manner in which certain of the organization’s administrators chose to package this particular piece of information ought not to dissuade anyone from taking seriously the information itself, nor any information it may release in the future. And though criticism of those particular administrators is well-deserved, critics should also keep in mind that WikiLeaks is likely to come through with important discoveries regarding those nations and non-state actors for which even greater criticism is even better-deserved. In the few years that it has been in existence, this institution has served as an overall benevolent force for the citizenry’s legitimate aspirations to know what is being done for them, through them, and to them.