Is WikiLeaks a Foreign Terrorist Organization?
WikiLeaks is once again making headlines by announcing the release of thousands of classified documents. Reaction from U.S. officials has been both swift and predictable.
Most dramatic was Rep. Pete King's call for the U.S. Attorney General to designate WikiLeaks a “foreign terrorist organization.” While this is certainly attention-getting, does it really make sense?
WikiLeaks didn't create these documents, nor did it allow them to fall into the wrong hands. These were the actions of our own government agencies. If those responsible for publishing this material are criminals, what does it make those who were so careless with sensitive documents?
If a bunch of amateur snoops at WikiLeaks can get hold of our secrets, imagine how easy it must be for foreign security agencies. One advantage of publishing these “secrets,” is that every country has access to them, and we know it. It creates a level playing field, and in a weird sort of way is more secure than one foreign power being privy to our secrets, and us not being aware of it.
WikiLeaks would be wise to simply release enough of the information that they obtain, to cause embarrassment, but not enough to cause real damage. However this isn't their philosophy, and the fallout from these leaked documents could be devastating and long-lasting.
Plenty of embarrassing details about how we see others is now on public display, and there are a lot of red faces in Washington as a result. All this bluster is little more than good, old-fashioned CYA. Ranting on about the terrorists and criminals at WikiLeaks diverts attention away from the real culprits, those who were so negligent in the safe-keeping of classified documents.
Politicians, and government types in general, are never too willing to accept responsibility for their own mistakes. It is much more convenient to shift the blame elsewhere, especially when that means outside the country.
Bombastic demands for arrests and espionage trials don't fool anyone. We know who the real criminals are.