Wikileaks - Is America being imprisoned by free speech?

Authors Avatar by emilymchugh96hotmailcouk (student)

Is America Being Imprisoned by Free Speech?  

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” (George Orwell).

 Julian Assange, founder of whistle-blowing global organisation Wikileaks, is accused of ‘threatening America with the cyber equivalent of thermonuclear war’ by publishing government documents online with louring intent. These leaks contain eight of the biggest leaks in history. Some of which include lists of members from racist political parties, and Afghan war logs. Exposing the transgressions of the powerful is a lasting and honourable tradition, often the primary purpose of free press. However, many of the ‘life endangering’ leaks that are being sited as due cause for prosecution are insignificant and of the ‘Did you know the Pope is a Catholic?’ variety and have yet to prove that they pose any manner of threat to civilians of military operations and national security.

As many citizens of the US desire transparency, elected officials of public servants and services have no defence for continuing to guard its information from public scrutiny. Transparency promotes accountability and reduces government corruption and in extreme cases military dictatorship as it often allows citizens of a democracy to have degree of control over their own government. With little transparency there are fewer opportunities for political influence between elections. Citizens can only elect accordingly and for governments to withhold any relevant information would manipulate the voting system. Therefore Assange opened America’s government on behalf of its citizens revealing government deceptions and political domination to promote a participative democracy and improve the overall quality of decision making for the country.

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 However, for a democracy to exist it requires constant vigilance of the people and their representatives. These leaks were published in violation of the US law and without authorization. This unprocessed information was released without context leaving it exposed to misrepresentation. Assange has aided terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda largely by given them the “gift” of diplomatic cables in thousands. The threat of this is that they are exposing the weaknesses within countries governments and security making them subject to ‘easy’ terrorism. Such negligence at the scale of the World Wide Web could significantly endanger the lives of US ...

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