Monday, November 29, 2010

Don't Blame WikiLeaks for "Cablegate"

The website WikiLeaks yesterday began slowly releasing more than a quarter million United States embassy cables. So far, 278 of the 251,287 confidential documents are available for viewing online. The release has promoted outrage from politicians and government leaders, concerned that national security is at risk as a result of the release. Some politicians, such as Representative Peter King (R-NY), have said WikiLeaks is a terrorist group, putting the website in the same category as Al Qaeda or Al-Shabaab.

However, WikiLeaks isn't to blame. Rather, it's the failure of the United States government under the administration of President Barack Hussein Obama to keep confidential documents secret, and the government now needs a scapegoat to blame. The legitimate person to blame is Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, an intelligence analyst who took the documents and released them illegally. Manning is a disgrace to the good men and women of the United States armed forces who put their lives on the line to protect this country and serve with honor. Manning currently is facing charges (under the Uniform Code of Military Justice) of "adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system" and "communicating, transmitting, and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source." Instead of these charges, which could lead to a 52-year stay in the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Manning should be charged with treason and executed for his offenses once convicted. (If he isn't convicted, then other charges should be a backup plan.)

The Obama administration also needs to take responsibility for the failures and mistakes that led to this leak. Better security measures within the government would have prevented Manning from leaking such a large amount of sensitive information. Additionally, the Obama administration needs to move towards being more transparent with the American people. A government that is excessive in hiding information from the people is not a good government. Think about how much the Soviet Union hid from its people. The United States must take care to not follow that type of model, and act as communists do.

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