So now, thanks to Wikileaks, we see the innards of American diplomacy displayed for the entire world to see: the entrails of secret conversations, the arteries of secret operations, and the guts of policy. With hundreds of thousands of cables produced for a global audience, we know only a small portion of what they reveal. Some have tried to make the case that the Wikileaks revelations are not such a big deal. After all, the State Department had advanced knowledge so they could prepare their employees for any backlash. And certain names were said to be redacted from documents to protect sources. So everything is okay, right?
I’m not a big believer in secrets. In my mind, the federal government has too many of them already. But the government needs some things to be secret, notably our conversations with other countries. If we can’t keep these discussions secret, even our closest friends will no longer be candid with us. We are getting quite a reputation in this area, thanks to Wikileaks. This is the second time now a large batch of documents have been published that will make our allies around the world flinch at the thought of working with us in the future.
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This needs to be dealt with–swiftly and firmly by the Obama administration. What happens if we do nothing? We can count on not just Wikileaks, but copycats to pop-up and spit out more of our secrets. And we can expect our relations with allies around the world to crumble. Without the confidence that what they tell us will stay under lock and key, most leaders in vulnerable countries simply won’t cooperate with us. Like personal friendships, alliance partners need to know you can keep a secret.
Read More: by Peter Schweizer, Big Peace