The furor over the WikiLeaks diplomatic cable dump reveals as much about international diplomacy as do the contents of the cables themselves. National leaders are concerned the revelation they are human is a threat to democracy. We are told it is a matter of national security to discover American diplomats consider French President Nicolas Sarkozy a touchy, authoritarian leader. We are made to believe our civil rights hang in the balance because it is revealed German Chancellor Angela Merkel is someone who avoids risk and I talian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is incapableble and a late night partying playboy. Moreover, national security is under attack because Russian Prime minster Vladimir Putin is termed an alpha dog
Apparently this information was obtained via an illegal act on the part of a member of the US military; I cannot condone that. Nevertheless, I believe this kind of information should be available to the American people at any time. Yes, “top secret” information is best kept under wraps but none of these Wikileaks fall into that category.
Our public servants live in a fantasy world. They believe life as we know it depends upon what they do or do not do. They think that apart from their expertise, the man on the street is on a collision course with the apocalypse. This simply is not true. As reported in Politico, “‘I don’t see the world ending … but lots of red, sputtering faces in D.C., embassies and capitals,’ a senior American diplomat told POLITICO early Sunday, just before the release of the documents, which chronicle the sprawling growth of the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence corps after the 2001 terrorist attacks” (read more here). Frankly “red, sputtering faces” is a good thing. It is a good thing to bring our civil servants into the real world from time to time and if this helps facilitate that event, then good for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks
I am of the opinion that international diplomacy should be conducted out in the open. I do not believe we benefit from closed door negotiations and deliberations that take place in smoke-filled rooms away from the “prying eyes” of tax paying citizens. They work for us, remember, and we have the right to know what they are doing. As a Christian libertarian I believe the less government we have the better off we will be – including government meddling at the international level.
Our need for international “diplomacy” would be greatly decreased if we would mind our own business. The United States of America has nearly 800 overseas military outposts and thousands upon thousands of government employees representing our “interests” abroad. I do not care to be a citizen of a n empire and I do not appreciate my tax dollars being used to prop up and expand an empire. Yes, Julian Assange has obtained this information by illegal means but the result is healthy nonetheless.