“The people at Wikileaks could have blood on their hands,” Senator Lindsey Graham said Nov. 28 in response to the whistleblower organization’s most recent publications of previously classified State Department documents. “I don’t know what the cables may say, but we’re at war. The world is getting dangerous by the day. People who do this are low on the food chain as far as I’m concerned. If you can prosecute them, let’s try.”
I was amused, though not surprised, to see these words coming from a person who does have blood on his hands. However, Sen. Graham’s response to the most recent actions of Wikileaks sum up the United States government’s general demeanor towards whistle blowing in general – “How dare you reveal the things we have done.” Americans can learn a lot about our government simply from observing its response to an organization like Wikileaks. Let’s consider just three of the dozens of such lessons.
There is no anti-war political party in Washington
The entire point of Wikileaks’ revelations about American foreign policy has been to demonstrate that there is a massive divide between what the United States government claims to be doing around the world and what it actually does. And, despite the thousands upon thousands of documents that have revealed substantial war crimes, abuses of power, and despicable acts that establish a pattern going far beyond a few isolated incidents, not a single major politician in Washington has stated that the incidents being revealed need to be investigated. Instead, Wikileaks is attacked for daring to reveal what the United States government deemed that its people did not need to know.