Cui Bono?

Robert Stacey McCain raises an interesting question about the whole WikiLeaks thing:

The investigation to find the persons inside the U.S. government responsible for these disclosures should be a top administration priority, and Congress should hold hearings into the evident laxity with classified information. The White House issues a bland statement, but am I the only one who has noticed that WikiLeaks didn’t seem to have unfettered access to America’s top secrets until the Obama administration came to town?

(Emphasis added)

A fascinating question, with several possible answers.

1) The Obama administration is either actively allowing the leaks or tolerating them. They have made it clear, by word and deed, that they view certain things as a zero-sum game: if something makes the Bush administration look bad, then it helps them. The majority of the WikiLeaks material have been from the Bush years.

2) The Obama administration simply isn’t seen with the respect and — yes, fear — of prior administrations by would-be leakers and enablers. They feel confident that they can release these documents with impunity; they have no fear of prosecution or other forms of retaliation.

3) The “democratizing” of the world, largely driven by the internet, simply makes it far, far easier for individuals to gain access to and disseminate information.

4) WikiLeaks, feeling empowered by the laudations it collected for its release of U.S. military records, has decided that it would find even more success and acclaim by continuing to embarrass the United States government.

This brings up an interesting sidebar: Originally, WikiLeaks was mainly devoted to “primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.” They ran into a critical money shortage about a year ago, but somehow got enough money to be back in business last February. And since then, their primary focus has been exposing the secrets of the United States. Could there be a connection between the sudden infusion of cash and their shift in focus?

A lot of very interesting questions, but so far no answers. What we could use is someone to pull a WikiLeaks on WikiLeaks itself.

"It is a funny sort of global crisis"
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