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[A]midst the general outcry from the US government, its foreign hangers-on, its establishment toadies in the mainstream media and the blogosphere reaction to the WikiLeaks releases of Collateral Murder and the Afghan War Diary, there is a line of “reasoning” often presented [that] goes like this: “Isn’t it ironic that WikiLeaks, an organization that claims to be working for ‘transparency’, is anything but transparent regarding its own operations? *chortle*” (sic)
Here’s Jim Barnett, writing for the Nieman Journalism Lab at establishment pillar Harvard University:
“If WikiLeaks really wants to promote transparency, it should start with its own operations.”
John “WikiLeaks > Cryptome = sour grapes” Young, quoted in a rather insane article suggesting, among other things, that WikiLeaks is a CIA/Mossad front organization, says:
“The principal deficiency of Wikileaks is its lack of transparency about its operators and funds, characteristics of spies and secret societies up to no good and whose main purpose is to hide from public accountability and conceal corruption and criminality.”
[In] the midst of an otherwise decent-looking piece of journalism, Jeanne Whalen and David Crawford, writing for establishment mouthpiece The Wall Street Journal, inject:
“WikiLeaks’s lack of financial transparency stands in contrast to the total transparency it seeks from governments and corporations.”
It’s hard to separate out the stupid from the evil here, and I’m not going to try. But let’s break it down. What’s being said here is that since it represents itself as a champion of transparency among governments and giant corporations, WikiLeaks ought to eat its own dog food and be transparent itself. Has a nice sort of happy-symmetry ring to it, doesn’t it? But it’s wrong.
What WikiLeaks (and sites like it, including, to his credit, John Young’s cryptome.org) brings to the world is a mechanism for subjecting the most powerful, wealthiest and least accountable institutions on the planet to the merciless light of public scrutiny so that they cannot continue enjoying the benefit of secrecy in exploiting people and planet.
It should be blindingly obvious to these and other like-minded commentators that the “transparency” logic simply does not apply to such an organization. The public has no need whatever to know the internal workings of a volunteer, donation-funded organization that heroically stands up to the world’s greatest powers. Additionally, the more information that’s public about such a group’s inner workings, the more opportunity for those powers to subvert, corrupt, disrupt, discredit and destroy it.
Maybe that’s just not obvious to them, in which case I call them stupid. But maybe it is obvious to them. If so, that strongly suggests to me that they’re in the service of evil, if not evil themselves.