Monday, November 29, 2010

Thoughts on the Shitshow

I really wanted to dig up some super huge scandal from the wikileaks, or at least be able to make some well founded predictions for the state of the US's place in the world in the coming decade. These leaks though - jeez - either the State Department was forceful in demanding the NY Times not print anything interesting or (more likely) the State Department is somewhat clueless. Not totally clueless, but about as clueless at a sophomore writing a paper about foreign relations or IR. The Arab countries don't want Iran to have the bomb? Really? Putin has a lot of power in Russia?? Really??? Mugabe is smart, but also totally psycho??? Those questions marks were supposed to denote heavy sarcasm. Don't get me wrong, obviously this stuff is interesting, and I will read all of them because I am a dork (not all 250,000 of them. All of the ones the NYT puts on the web - I'm not that much of a dork), but it is more History Channel than Woodward and Bernstein (who was married to Nora Ephron!).

Also, I'm really curious about the guy who originally downloaded these documents. Don't get me wrong, I don't really have a problem with what wikileaks or the New York Times has done (although I don't think it'd be totally repressive and crazy for the government to take them to court), but I am a little unclear about the original leaker's motives. Does he believe that people working for the State Department abroad don't, in fact, have the right or need to communicate privately with their employer? Does he believe that citizens have the right to know every secret of the government? Or does he believe that these documents will expose some specific failure of the government that is so terrible that the public has a right to know? 

Anyways, awesome. I am glad I am not in college now, because I'll but I would have ended up trying to write a paper that would have involved reading all 250,000 documents.