Can Embarrassing the Elite get You Executed?

The wrong reaction to WikiLeaks

Jason C. Ditz
Detroit Free Press

It has now been about two weeks since WikiLeaks began releasing its vast cache of State Department documents – and what a time it has been. I can easily say it was the busiest two weeks of my life, as I imagine was the case for anyone working in the coverage of foreign policy.

It has also, however, been a terrifying period domestically, as we learn the shameful way our government has behaved abroad and face not contrition but indignation. It is telling that our government’s officials are so comfortable in their crookedness that, when faced with conclusive evidence, they respond with condemnations of the leakers.

How can it have gotten to this point, that evidence of corruption in America’s ruling party can begin to emerge, and presidential hopefuls in the opposition feel the politically savvy thing to do is openly call for the executions of the people who made Americans aware of this fact? How can it be that a single senator can make a single threatening phone call and get a Web site removed?

Americans ought to be carefully watching not just the leaks, but the responses to the leaks, as this threatens to be the last shot at large doses of uncensored truth the American public is liable to see for quite some time.

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