Tuesday, December 28, 2010



I'm not much of a legal expert, so I really can't offer much of an opinion on whether or not the recent release by WikiLeaks of over a hundred thousand classified documents constitutes a prosecutable violation of law. However I will say that anyone with half a brain should realize that hundreds of thousands of communications on domestic and international affairs among government officials are bound to include more than a few embarrassing observations, and we should all have the good sense to put these into context.

That said, out of curiosity I did a little checking into what the usual conservative and liberal pundits are saying about this whole WikiLeaks episode. And it comes as no surprise to me that on cue, the conservatives are calling it treason, while at the same time offering all sorts of explanations and excuses for what was said in the most contentious documents. For their part, most of the liberal pundits don't even mention treason and have begun to point fingers and draw conclusions.

And what an amazing irony this is! A little over a year ago, some unknown person hacked into the Hadley CRU, stole and then released to the public thousands of private e-mails - and the shoes were on the other feet. Then, conservative pundits absolutely ignored the ethical considerations of privacy and jumped immediately to pointing fingers and drawing conclusions. Liberals cried foul and started looking for explanations. Does this teach us anything?

I think so. If you want to believe something, somewhere among the thousands of private opinions expressed by imperfect men you're going to find something to bolster that belief. But you know, God help us if tomorrow, by some miracle, we should be privy to everything our "friends" have said about us in private. If this was true, none of us would have any friends.


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