I’ll admit that my instinctual reaction to learning that WikiLeaks had access to a ton of supposedly classified information from the State Department, and that they intended to make that material available on the internet, was revulsion. As curious as I am to learn the secret dealings of our government, I don’t want our government to be totally helpless to keep its secrets. I listened to arguments from the other side with respect, but I came to the conclusion that the reaction to the leaks basically came down to whether someone saw the U.S. government as thoroughly rotten or just discouragingly bad. To be clear, I was more upset that WikiLeaks had been able to obtain the information than disturbed that they made it available. But the leaks have had far reaching and unpredictable consequences. In one important example, they played a role in the abdication of the “president” of Tunisia. We know now that that abdication started a snowball rolling in the Middle East. Hopefully, this will all shake-out in a positive way, but nothing is guaranteed.
In any case, no one threatened me to get me to say that I wasn’t enthusiastic about the way WikiLeaks has handling the information. But it looks like there was a concerted effort to target Glenn Greenwald to get him to stop lending rhetorical support to them.
You should read what happened, but that’s not what I want to talk about here. Instead, I want to concur with Digby.
I would wonder if the “professional pressure” they planned to exert on supporters was brought to bear on some of the most powerful journalists in the country who seemed to be offended by the very idea that governments and wealthy institutions should have their lies exposed to the public, but sadly, I doubt it. Those people clearly behaved instinctively, siding with the powerful with whom they identify. The governing elites have nothing to fear from the mainstream press.
The fact that they focused on Greenwald pretty clearly proves that, don’t you think?
There’s a fine line between wanting a secure communications network for our State Department and being “offended by the very idea that governments and wealthy institutions should have their lies exposed to the public.” That’s a fault line which divides me from Glenn and digby on a variety of issues (rotten vs. disappointing). But I agree with them completely when it comes to the fact that it was a blogger for Salon who they considered it most important to disrupt, and not the tech guys for any major newspapers or television news outlets. It was just assumed that any truly established media outfit would oppose what WikiLeaks was doing. The fact that they targeted Greenwald proves that our corporate media is self-neutered. There should be at least some establishment journalists who think our government had it coming.
Also, too, this is so creepy.