Wikileaks did yet another document dump. Some applaud it, thinking it shines sun on the diplomatic process. Others, like me, worry about private citizens, journalists, informers of crimes inside their countries, named in the cache of documents who now find their lives and those of their families at very real risk of torture and murder.
The lesson for all is that the United States is not to be trusted with sensitive information because we can't keep a secret. The bureaucracy is out of control. Too many people have access to information to which only a few should be privileged.
Witness Private First Class Bradley Donovan, now in prison, who downloaded thousands of documents and provided them to Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks, and is in all likelihood the one who provided the sensitive documents now being showcased around the world. What on earth was he doing with access to this kind of information?
My hope is that the PFC and Mr. Assange will both have espionage charges lodged against them. The Espionage Act, 18C93 appears to lend itself to this when it comes to someone transmitting unauthorized documents relating to or harming our national defense as well as aiding our enemies. According to our State department and Department of Defense, this is precisely what happened here. Any person involved in this shall be guilty of espionage. The fact that Julian Assange is not on U.S. soil or a citizen of this country doesn't protect him from the consequences of his actions. He can be charged as a spy, tried and executed, as can PFC Manning and any who have helped them. I'll, in advance, offer my services in pulling the switch for both of them.
How are our various security organizations now supposed to get people to talk to them about threats to this country when they know they run the risk of a Wikileaks publishing their names? How are diplomats who need to have serious, out of the box, conversations about other countries supposed to feel free to do that with the United States?
I'm personally curious about the motive of Julian Assange. He doesn't strike me as a stupid man who doesn't understand the consequences of what he's done. Weird, yes. Where is he getting his marching orders and who is paying him?
Before the leaking of the cache of documents occured - and we were given ample warning by the creepy Mr. Assange - our President could have issued an order enabling a cyber command established after 9/11 to disable Wikileaks. Some Generals begged Obama to issue this command. But he didn't. He's no doubt still considering the pros and cons. Or it suited his world view to let the information out.
This command is so powerful that despite the fact that Wikileaks services are spread over several undisclosed international jurisdictions and is a mirrored site that allows another location to take over if one is disabled, it will work. No one is supposed to know how it works, but it does.
I daresay the methodology will be published by Mr. Assange in the near future.