Saturday, December 4, 2010

Could Wikileaks Have Helped to Avoid the Iraq War?

Wikileaks is currently under fire for causing embarrassment to diplomats by its latest "dump" of diplomatic messages. I am willing to assume that the criticisms are, in this case, justified; perhaps Wikileaks even violated federal espionage laws. But we should all beware of casually accepting government claims that every state secret ought to remain secret. Sometimes, at least, publicity really is the best disinfectant.

Wikileaks was founded in 2006, three years after the George W. Bush Administration misled Congress and the entire country into invading Iraq on phony premises. Had it existed in 2003, it is worth wondering whether Wikileaks might have successfully undermined the Bush Administration's campaign of deception and prevented a war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, countless other casualties, many billions of dollars, and massive loss of US credibility around the globe.

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