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WikiLeaks Controversy- Do they Do Good or Do Bad?

OP/ED by BigRed

Unless you’ve been under a rock lately its safe to say you heard about Wikileaks coming out with a new round of government information. Some classified some almost classified.

In a nut shell Wikileaks is a serious big dog when it comes to info on what’s going on in the world due to the fact a lot of what the get is from the “inside”. So yes, there is some whistle blowing going on. Or someone’s a rat.

The big claim to fame was when back in about April 2010 they released a video of an ’07 incident in Iraq where civilians got killed by U.S. forces.  A few months later they came out with the “Afghan War Diary” which is a compilation of damn near 77,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan. Shortly after that they dropped the “Iraq War Logs”. That one was about 400,000 documents, both of which were never available for the public.

Now Wikileaks has been around since ’06 and has come up on the radar prior to the Afghan War Diary release in good ways and bad. They’ve had censorship issues with China, Thailand, Australia, Germany and the U.K.  Now when I say censorship issues its not some you can’t show boobs on tv type stuff. This is behind closed door government secret “I’d tell you but then I have to kill you” type stuff. Well, that might be a stretch but you get the point.

Now some plus sides for them would be they received awards from Amnesty International(’09) and Index on Censorship(’08). And due to the new happening with the release of new cables Ecuador made an offer to  Julian Assange the founder of the site basically free passage to relocate to the country to live and conduct business there.

Now the new round of document leaks has damn near everybody in the U.S. Government down right pissed. Some want them brought up on espionage charges, some are calling them a terrorist organization and that they are a threat to national security.   The majority of the docs are unclassified, followed by “confidential” and only 15,000 are dubbed secret. Yup, 15,000 is the low end. This round of leaks is just over 251,000 cables. These cable(documents) have text on countries that are allies and countries who are not so much on our good side. Things regarding Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and both Koreas.  There’s tons of other countries on the list.

Now here’s a quick background on founder Julian Assange. Before starting the site he was a math and physics student, computer programmer and a hacker. He was busted in ’91 and he pleaded guilty to about 24 hacking charges in Australia. Now here’s the funny part, on sunday the web site Wikileaks was hit with a distributed denial of service attack. Better known as DDoS. Now when I first heard this I thought of our buddies over at Anonymous. So I do a little poking around and it looks like they didn’t. So far the credit goes to Jester. And his reasoning for doing it is so simple, and beautifully patriotic. Ready for this? He did it because he feels it puts our troops in harms way. Somebody buy this man a beer. Or a pony. That just sounds like good old patriotism to me. I’m loving it.

Now here’s the part where I give my opinion and tell you what grinds my gears. I started out thinking Wikileaks was a bunch of no good god damn rats. Now they have come out with some rather good pieces in the past so I’ll give them credit for that. But, and its a BIG but, I can’t get over some of there past leaks. This new round included. I understand wanting to know what goes on with in government, and keeping tabs, poor mans checks and balances.

But when you put troops and people at an added risk, for what? That’s what grinds my gears. Rats.

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