From One Transparency Advocate to Another

Friday, July 30, 2010


WikiLeaks leaked the biggest collection of classified documents in U.S. history, a fact that should make government-transparency advocates proud. But even some of WikiLeaks most likely allies have mixed feelings about precisely how this leak took place and how WikiLeaks operates. Longtime open government writer Steven Aftergood makes his case.

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Comments [9]

David Mitchell from Berkeley, CA

Interesting story. However, have you contacted Julian Assange and asked him to speak on your show? I'd be interested to hear his responses to Steven Aftergood's comments.

Aug. 05 2010 05:14 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Well said, RZ and Time, as well.

Meanwhile, the WikiLeaks controversy puts me in mind of John Brunner's Shockwave Rider, the first novel to be touted as based on Alan Toffler's work Future Shock and postulated a future computer worm that forced the release of all information, all the time. It is coming, so we might as well learn to ride the wave.

For example, if Faisal Shazad - the Times Sq. Bomber - actually sang like a bird, as we have been told, let us release the names of those who inspired and so poorly schooled Shazad in bomb-making. It both exposes them and shames them at the same instant! Then our Pakistani "allies" have no excuse, nor any reason, to avoid arresting and trying them.

Aug. 05 2010 10:56 AM

Check out the recent cover of Time magazine which is a singular example of an atrocity from the same people that brought you the massive atrocity of 9/11.
"Journalistic vandalism" in a time of war will bring on macro and micro terror as it is cheered by "progressive advocacy journalists". Power to the people my foot. Freedom and human rights is not on their agenda.

Aug. 01 2010 08:06 PM

Why did you feature two interviews critical of WikiLeaks, with no one to support the outstanding work that WikiLeaks has done? Why can't NPR get behind transparency and honesty? I have to agree with Not a Chance - NPR and other media are threatened by someone who just wants to show what is really going on - in other words, doing the job that NPR and other media outlets should be doing.

Aug. 01 2010 03:53 PM
Not a Chance

... The whole thing reminds me of the collaborative effort by the government and the media to rush America into the Iraq War through propaganda boosterism in the media and the demonization of those wanting Americans to become informed and think for themselves.

Aug. 01 2010 11:32 AM
Not a Chance

The government and the media which serves the corporate elite clearly have one goal with regards to wikileaks: turn public opinion against WikiLeaks so that a "free information" website can be shut down and its founder incarcerated without too much public fervor.

WikiLeaks is a thorn in the side of the american Elite, and they fear people like Assange being emulated and made into populist heroes.

The fervor over the recent Leaks is well orchestrated and wholly manufactured for effect.

The fact is that nothing was released that america's enemies couldn't amass and organize for their own intelligence purposes... a capability they have and a task we know they accomplish regularly, WikiLeaks or no.

What the document release accomplished had no significant benefit to our enemies, but rather served to bring into public discourse the nature of failures in the Afghan war effort... it has shored up publicity for a side of the war ignored by the media.

Americans should fear greatly the concerted effort by the government and the media to squelch the enlightenment of the American people... they should cheer WikiLeaks.

Aug. 01 2010 11:29 AM
Toby Saunders

Brooke, -that was awesome... Aftergood did seem like he was 'waving a sword artfully' while Wikileaks actually acheived the goal. His argument was like 'let us be keep secrets so the US will be more politically powerful', -what a disgusting comment of his.

Aug. 01 2010 11:23 AM
David from Lawrenceville, NJ

Of course, there has been another significant leak going on for the last couple of weeks - that of the JOURNOLIST listserv leaks. And THAT leak has real MEDIA implications - is it okay to forget independent thinking and consensus-build to impact a story? Why not cover THAT story, because I've heard this one on WikiLeaks done quite well on All Things Considered. Jeff Toobin is in your rolodex - let's here why he doesn't think this is a problem!

Jul. 31 2010 12:41 PM
Not a Chance

Thank your lucky stars and stripes for WikiLeaks.

Information = empowerment

The governemnt for and by the people has no right to keep "the people" in ignorance.

War should not be sanitized for the sake of big business.

If a war is fought in OUR name, we should be well aware of the real costs imposed on any country in the world, including the US.

The military can't account for hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars "spent" in Iraq and Afghanistan; wars are waged without clear motives or well defined benefits to the American people; the depraved are making or stealing billions at the expense of the American taxpayer; our young men and women are dying and being conned into killing others for an unjustified cause.

WikiLeaks must continue unabated and foster the growth of many more like it world wide.


Jul. 31 2010 09:49 AM

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