Quote of the Day – WikiLeaks Edition

Humor me for a moment: if your life was in danger, would you trust Julian Assange to keep your identity a secret? - Joshua Foust

Humor me for a moment: if your life was in danger, would you trust Julian Assange to keep your identity a secret? – Joshua Foust

That pretty much sums it up.  As skeptical as I am about government, on matters of national security I’d rather trust the checks and balances of our system than the whims of unaccountable individuals with an ax to grind.

FILED UNDER: Intelligence, Quick Takes, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    James, you’re better than this. Assange never took an oath to keep other people’s secrets. Assange never volunteered to be entrusted with other people’s lives.

    To tie this into your earlier posting on these leaks, while it’s not ok to reveal secrets like this because you disagree with the policy driving them, what if you believe the secrets are concealing actual violations of the law? Protecting murderers? Putting more servicemembers’ lives at risk by keeping them in dangerous situations they don’t need to be in? Situations we ourselves _made_ dangerous?

    One of the big reveals of this dump is that our intel was funding major Pakistani intel operations, while knowing full well those same people were actively collaborating with Taliban terrorists killing our soldiers. How exactly is that acceptable? How long do you think it would be before “checks and balances” even revealed such information naturally, let alone stopped it or punished the people responsible?

  2. James Joyner says:

    Assange never took an oath to keep other people’s secrets. Assange never volunteered to be entrusted with other people’s lives.

    But he’s serving that function now. He’s making the call on classified information that was stolen and delivered unto him against the law. That makes me decidedly uncomfortable.

    One of the big reveals of this dump is that our intel was funding major Pakistani intel operations, while knowing full well those same people were actively collaborating with Taliban terrorists killing our soldiers. How exactly is that acceptable?

    I disagree with it but it’s a policy call made by lots of people with more information than available to me. Across two administrations of two parties, incidentally. We need Pakistan and they’re cooperating. But they don’t control their whole territory and the ISI is working at cross purposes with the ostensible chief executive.

    How long do you think it would be before “checks and balances” even revealed such information naturally, let alone stopped it or punished the people responsible?

    We’ve pretty much known this to be the case for years. I simply can’t imagine that the chairs of the House and Senate intel committees weren’t fully aware of this.

  3. legion says:

    I don’t doubt that many people were aware of this… but that just proves my point: there are times when the government cannot be trusted to police itself, and secrets that threaten the government’s legitimacy must be revealed to force a change.