Update: Part 2 of this article is up.
A while ago, I wrote up a defense of Wikileaks, cataloguing several of the prevailing myths surrounding this event. I have been in nearly unqualified support of Wikileaks, but it has given me much pause to hear the nearly unified voice with which people in America have been opposing them.
But in the end, I can’t help but feel that I and the little corner of pro-Wikileaks columnists and writers around me are standing on the outside of a greater narrative of secrecy, propaganda, and historical analogy that is bewildering to see the American people fall for in such droves.
For the first time in my life, I’m actually scared of my government.
But, there’s the added reality that I am a Christian; a source of meaning and interpretation far deeper than politics, but equally impacting on my thought as a political being. And so, I’m forced to ask myself (and the reader) how, if at all, should my theology impact how I view this issue I have become so passionate about?
Last week I experimented with a little feature on my new favorite bookmarking service, Diigo, where it would automatically write up a weekly blog post containing all my bookmarks for the week and the comments I posted and quotes I highlighted. Well, I went in blind and the post last week was a little messy. So, this week, I took some time to clean it up a bit. This week’s articles range the gamut from abortion to blogging. If you click the links, they will take you to a special annotated version of the page where you can even see the little sticky notes I left. Please read any of these articles that interest you and please–if you could–let me know what you think down in the comments. Thanks.
U.S. teenager tortured in Kuwait and barred re-entry into the U.S. – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com
I really don’t think the Founders wanted us to be terrified of our government. Just think of it: you as an American citizen–with no legal record of any kind–could be studying abroad and have this happen to you. This guy had NO indication that he could end up here. This is like some crazy movie. I’m actually scared of my country.
I have been watching, reading, and pouring over the events surrounding Wikileaks, wanting to write some sort of thoughtful commentary. But, as The Atlantic points out, this event has brought about some of the best journalism, political analysis, and writing we’ve seen in years and I find it difficult to try and say something newer or more insightful than those that are more knowledgeable of the past and have more time and acquaintance with the primary sources in question. With more of these leaked diplomatic cables being released every day, this coverage is literally non-stop. My productivity at worked has suffered because of the tangled web of links one can get caught in going from one story to the next to the next; I have at least a couple dozen quotes and links saved in my Evernote notetaking app in order to use in some future writing (or present).
But nevertheless, even among my friends who care about this situation, there appears to be some common misconceptions about this whole situation, leading them to direct their frustrations, diatribes, and anger in the wrong direction. I wish to clarify some of those here today. First, I must say on the outset that I am absolutely, entirely in favor of most all that Wikileaks has done and is doing. I think they are serving America’s longterm interest and the well-being of its citizenry far more than even our own federal government is doing. Do I think they have done everything perfectly and responsibly? No, but no four-year old media organization can be said to have done so. Wikileaks has (and will) make mistakes–its founder has even admitted that–but so will/has our federal government in its own “attempts” at serving the greater good. The only question remains: who do you think does more damage when they make those inevitable mistakes (the government or Wikileaks?), and therefore, who requires more scrutiny, responsibility, accountability, and fear of being out of control? I (as well as Glenn Greenwald and The Economist) wholeheartedly fear the results of a government out of control more than a Wikileaks out of control. But, in fact (as we move on to the misconceptions) ….