Transparency: ideology vs practicality

There are some who are dismayed at the likes of Amazon and others to deny Wikileaks I’net services. These folks seem stuck into an ideological fix that blinds them to such things as courtesy, propriety, and copyright not to mention more abstract ideas like national security and established legal doctrine.

The leaked documents were meant (according to the Wikileaks leader) to embarrass the United States and expose American hypocrisy and underhanded operations, but the result was quite the opposite. The U.S. was shown trying to do what it said, publically, that it was trying to do. But many other nations were shown to be quite different in their private conversations, than in their public ones. [Why Wikileaks Backfired]

The whole thing is really about trying to put one on the ‘man’ – an envy and greed thing rationalized by proclaiming the ‘man’ was evil, corrupt and didn’t deserve nominal social courtesies. In this case, the ‘man’ is represented by the U.S. and the effort is just a part of the ‘hate America’ ethos that shows in so many forms. The creates a dissonance that often results in unexpected outcomes.

Those conversations take place mainly because everyone wants something from the United States, and unless you establish a relationship with American diplomats or officials, nothing will happen. Moreover, many foreign officials found the revelations useful, as the leaks got out into the open things (like Arab relationships with Iran and Israel) that could not be discussed openly at home. For the most part, Wikileaks confirmed what was already known, something the Wikileaks crew assumed could not be true.

In other words, while those with ‘pure thoughts’ are using immoral or unethical means to express their feelings about the ‘man,’ others are trying to get their share of what he has. Since the ‘man’ is not what the ideologue wants him to be, they end up making fools of themselves. Instead of showing “hypocrisy and underhanded operations” on the part of the U.S., the leaks show a global community trying to get what they can of the wealth and prestige of the U.S. The revelations do more to show why the U.S. is in its position of world power than anything else and the reasons revealed are a significant contrast to what the transparency ideologues envision.

What remains to be seen is what this sort of behavior does. The leaks were made possible by a transparency within government that was created to help fight terrorism. That effort was abused. That often means that there will be less transparency rather than more. The implications of that could be tragic in many ways.

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