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Debate: WikiLeaks release of US diplomatic cables

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Revision as of 22:12, 6 December 2010; Brooks Lindsay (Talk | contribs)
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Background and context

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Pro

  • Lying diplomatic cables needed to be shaken up. Kristinn Hrafnsson, Wikileaks spokesperson: "If global stability is based on deception and lies, maybe it needs a bit of a shaking up."[1]
  • Transparency is a valuable part of democracy. Kristinn Hrafnsson, Wikileaks spokesperson: "We believe that transparency is the basis of healthy democracy. It is one of the foundations of what we base our operation on. A world without secrets is a better world."[2]
  • Wikileaks release serves public interest of revealing US objectives. The New York Times: "the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match."[3]

Con

  • Wikileaks release is an assault on global democracy. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini recently stated that the WikiLeaks release could be considered the September 11 of world democracy.[4]
  • Wikileaks release undermines trust and, thus, diplomacy. "WikiLeaks Starts Publishing US Cables, US Considering Legal Action." Metrolic. November 29th, 2010: "For short, they all agree that it wasn’t a good idea for Wikileaks to make public some very important documents that could seriously contribute to hostile relationships between the US and a lot of countries worldwide. The key ingredient to all relationships is trust. With the release of the cables you could say that the trust that’s essential to diplomacy has been broken. As Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan mentioned, shortly after describing the release as very damaging, a lot of countries, whether US allies or enemies, might ask themselves “Can the United States be trusted?” and might wonder if the country can keep a secret. Apparently it can’t since its top secret documents are readily available on the web, for anyone to read. There is a lot more that can be said regarding the US cables that just became available through WikiLeaks and we’ll probably be back with fresh reports."
  • Wikileaks release puts diplomats and officials at risk. The White House: "such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government."[5]

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