Friday, December 10, 2010

Look! The Emperor Has No Clothes

I guess I won't have to perform my weekly trek to Watching America. The New York Times did it for me. The "Gray Lady," which is one of the papers publishing the latest round of WikiLeaks, surveyed the major European newspapers for their coverage of the hysterical response of the United States to the leaked diplomatic cables and to Julian Assange.

The summaries provided by the New York Times are concise and quite useful. While some of the European papers point out that the contents of the leaks are fairly harmless and in fact show a diplomatic corps trying to do its job fairly and responsibly, and others note the importance of some secrecy on delicate subjects, many of the cited articles emphasize the heavy-handed hypocrisy of the US government in trying to shut down the flow of information whenever that information might embarrass the government.

Here are just two of those summaries:

For Seumas Milne of The Guardian in London, which like The New York Times has published the latest WikiLeaks trove, the official American reaction “is tipping over toward derangement.” Most of the leaks are of low-level diplomatic cables, he noted, while concluding: “Not much truck with freedom of information, then, in the land of the free.”

John Naughton, writing in the same British paper, deplored the attack on the openness of the Internet and the pressure on companies like Amazon and eBay to evict the WikiLeaks site. “The response has been vicious, coordinated and potentially comprehensive,” he said, and presents a “delicious irony” that “it is now the so-called liberal democracies that are clamoring to shut WikiLeaks down.”
[Note: the NYT provides links to the various articles.]

The New York Times has done a good job in this article, just as it has been doing a good job in presenting the WikiLeaks materials. That "freedom of information" is an integral part of our democracy, and it is imperative that our press promote the free flow of that information.

The story this time is not so much the contents of the WikiLeaks but the horrendous response of the US government. It's absolutely necessary that our press push back, and push back hard to keep the information flowing.

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2 Comments:

Blogger a.w.berghuis said...

WikiLeak too much Change for Obama?
Know It's rolercoaster, but harder for our totalitarian enemies.

We NEED transparency for our global society that we created an cannot control.To many crises.
We'd never gone to Iraq if we read the cables first?

How can a few wise leaders alone solve complex global issues pending ?
People need to be involved/need same info on these complex issues to let our global society decide & survive.

If democracy fails, the only solution is More democracy.
E-vote(power), not E-commerce(money) that changes our world!

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

The next 2 years are going to be a whole lot of fun

11:35 AM  

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