To all you defending Assange because of “free speech” and “now we can find out what our secretive government is really up to,” I say what the fuck are you smoking? You are such double-standard hypocrites!
I can’t say that WikiLeaks is wrong because of some high touting ethical theory or some major legal violation, but I can say that if the tables were turned on me, there is no way in hell I’d want that. WikiLeaks is all about revealing classified government “cables” (in other words, memos) which appears to be mostly candid comments from some country’s diplomats about another country and its officials. These secret assessments contain some good but a lot of disparaging comments, and there have been some interesting comments about spies and the like. But the upshot is that these leaks reek of dirty laundry, and that is why many diplomats are turning red and doing a round of apologies to other nations.
Now think about what would happen if the tables were turned and this happened to you. If this happened to me, it would be like all of my “secret” comments about friends, students, faculty, employers, and family would be all out in the open. If I thought a faculty member was a shithead, well then he’d know about it. If I had the hots for my boss, then she’d know about it. If all of my “honest” opinions at particular times [because opinions do change] about all the people I know and care about were made public, it would destroy a lot of my relationships needlessly. Everyone has criticisms about everyone else, but we don’t air those out because of the needless hurt they cause. We know that many of our bad impressions of people are just fleeting bad impressions that would probably change for the better if I had another coffee. Our opinions are usually really fickle, but even fickle impressions can really hurt. I wouldn’t want my “secret” opinions made public. Sugar coating our relationships and explicit opinions of others has its good function. It’s what keeps relationships together many times.
“But this is different! Freedom of Speech!! Transparency of gov’t!!!” Should your friends reveal what you say in private to all the world?! Freedom of speech, right? Transparency, right? Your friends are really in the same position as Assange, but you would be mad as fuck if your private conversations were leaked. That is why I say that WikiLeaks is wrong.
Maybe someone will say that this is so much more complicated than what I am saying. Whatever. I just don’t want you to defend WikiLeaks by freedom of speech. My guess is that you are being a double-standard hypocrite. You just want your gossip fix, especially the kind everyone is upset about. So why don’t you shut up and turn on your favorite episode of “Gossip Girl” instead.