No, I’m not writing about The Secret, as I have been for days now. No, I’m finally writing about Wikileaks.
Like much of the world I have been obsessed with reading about the Wikileaks cables. Julian Assange cutting his creepy albino Bond villain poses has weaseled his way into my brain and will not let go. But beyond the revelations that are getting great coverage as analysis of the cables starts to flow from nearly every news media outlet in the world, is the other story of the ridiculous attempts to suppress knowledge of the cables from government employees, contractors and even prospective government employees.
First there was the news that the Library of Congress was blocking Wikileaks itself because government employees without clearance aren’t supposed to read them. Then there were the Columbia University students who were warned that their prospects for government jobs would be hindered if they were to read the cables, especially if God Forbid! they discussed it on Facebook or Twitter. And then came the even more mind numbing move of the U.S. Air Force blocking entire news websites where the cables might be discussed, like the New York Times, the Guardian UK, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, El Pais, and dozens of others.
Let me explain why this is utterly stupid, by referencing a recent episode of Glee.
Right before the Glee club go to perform at sectionals, the word gets out that Finn slept with Santana before he and Rachel started dating again. But Finn had lied to Rachel saying that he was still a virgin, because he knew how much the truth would hurt her. So Finn was forced to tell her the truth and they were working through it with the school counselor. But then when Rachel and Kurt were having a little reunion dish at the sectionals competition she lets slip that she discovered that Finn slept with Santana and she was upset about it. Kurt says “You didn’t know about that?” And then had to bolt to be on stage. So Rachel gets pissed! She confronts Finn and says, “You told Kurt?” Finn says he didn’t. Mercedes says that she thinks she told Kurt, and then Quinn says that she told Mercedes and that Britney told her and that Santana told Puck… Rachel throws her hands up in the air and says “Everybody knew about this but me?!”
Yeah, everyone does.
This, my friends is what American diplomacy is turning into.
You can’t hide this shit from people, no matter how hard you try. Everyone and their grandmother is out there reading about Wikileaks and they have every right to. It is now a matter of public record, whether the U.S. Government likes it or not. To try, and try poorly, to keep government employees in the dark about what is being made public is like lying to your girlfriend to try to protect her from the truth. Eventually she’s going to find out anyway, so you might as well come clean about it now. Seriously, what sense does it make to try and block everything that could ever possibly have anything to do with Wikileaks when there are dozens of mirror sites and articles in every major newspaper and television news service. You wind up pulling shit like the Air Force did and overblocking legitimate news sites and thus keeping your troops intentionally under-informed.
Here’s a newsflash: When everyone around you is in on the secret, it’s not a fucking secret any more.