MEXICO CITY (AP) – The U.S. ambassador to Mexico faced a harsh choice as the release of secret cables made his job nearly impossible: Quit to rescue one of Washington’s most strategic relationships or weather the storm to show that diplomats should not suffer for doing their jobs…
This kind of “casualty” does not involve death or physical injury but it is still an unfortunate kind of collateral damage. I hope the US government will minimize the harm for those who don’t deserve it by reassigning them to good positions. Nonetheless, this kind of collateral impact may be a small price to pay for a greater good, which is exposing those in government (ours and others) who are not serving the best interests of their citizens.
If we were more supportive and protective of whistle-blowers they might have the resources to go through tens of thousands of documents and remove those that serve no compelling public interest. It seems clear to me that whistle-blowers usually operate under such conditions that they do not have that luxury. Leakers may or may not succeed in removing materials that could endanger innocent lives (Julian Assange and WikiLeaks certainly tried to do so in leaks of military documents), but they usually cannot go through huge volumes of leaked material with a fine-toothed comb to remove information that may hurt the careers or reputations of some who have done no wrong other than doing their jobs side by side with others who HAVE behaved very badly. That’s too bad, but it is far outweighed by our need to be informed about the misdeeds of those who work in government in our name but who do great harm to us and to others around the world.
We the people need to honor and protect whistle-blowers who act in our interest at their own peril, and we need to provide them with resources that can help them to minimize the collateral damage that is too often the price of our freedoms.
This is a must-see video: Daniel Ellsberg and Julian Assange Talk WikiLeaks
“Following the leak by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks of almost 400,000 secret US army field reports from the Iraq war between 2004 and 2009, tune in to hear Julian Assange at the Frontline Club in conversation with one of the most famous whistle blowers in history, Daniel Ellsberg, who was responsible for the leak of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.”
- Time to Reevaluate the Importance of Bradley Manning’s Alleged Leak? (emptywheel.firedoglake.com)
- Daniel Ellsberg: We Need Whistle Blowers to Stop Murder (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)