WikiLeaks and Informational Terrorism

The recent leak of thousands of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, a organization that claims its goal is to “bring important news and information to the public,” has caused quite the international uproar.  In reality, WikiLeaks is an organization that is putting our soldiers, covert operatives, and diplomats in danger, all in the name of trashing the United States.  Previously, WikiLeaks has published so-called “logs” about the Iraq War, revealing alleged “war crimes.”  But this latest document dump, consisting of “251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain,” does far more damage to the U.S. and her allies.

Basically, everyone around the world is pissed to learn that the U.S. State Department basically thinks they are ingrates.  As the Associated Press reports:

Israel’s prime minister says newly leaked U.S. diplomatic memos could have a numbing effect on diplomacy around the world, forcing diplomats to hoard information and not put much in writing.

Benjamin Netanyahu says the risk of exposure means that “it will be more difficult for talented American diplomats to put into cables and reports things they once would have.”

Additionally, the AP reports that:

Nations around the world are condemning the release of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables on subjects such as Iran’s nuclear program and U.S. efforts to spy on foreign officials.

France, Britain, Pakistan and other nations are criticizing the release of the documents by the WikiLeaks organization.

The group made public thousands of State Department documents on Sunday, revealing a hidden world of backstage international diplomacy. The cables show often unflattering U.S. assessments of foreign leaders, ranging from U.S. allies such as Germany, Italy and Afghanistan to other nations such as Libya and Iran.

All of this has led one U.S. lawmaker to call for WikiLeaks to be labeled a terrorist organization.  From Fox News:

New York Rep. Peter King, ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, urged Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute Assange and urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to designate his group a foreign terrorist organization, in letters sent out over the weekend.

“This is extremely damaging to U.S. troops, U.S. interests and U.S. intelligence,” King told MyFox New York on Monday.

He said that labeling the group a foreign terrorist organization would allow the United States to seize its assets and stop other entities from cooperating with it.

“They are engaged in terrorist activity. What they’re doing is clearly aiding and abetting terrorist groups,” King said. “Either we’re serious about this or we’re not.”

The debate made its way to today’s “Happening Now” on Fox News Channel:

Labeling WikiLeaks a terrorist organization, in the traditional sense, may be extreme, but calling the organization’s actions informational terrorism seems like an appropriate response.
This morning on “America’s Newsroom,” former U.N. Ambassador John Bolten was far from amused at the leak:
How is it that the U.S. Government can shut down websites for copyright infringement (see my recent tweet on the matter here),  yet somehow accused rapist Julian Assange was able to disrupt global diplomacy, all in the name of embarrassing the U.S. Government and her allies.  I’m all for transparency, but some things need to be secret for the sake of international diplomacy and national security.

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