WikiLeaks induces indifference
It is an amazing commentary on this hi tech fast track generation that our attention span has shrunk so dramatically. As a world we have become so insular and focused on our personal survival that nothing really gets through to us if we are not directly affected.
It is for this reason that the infamous WikiLeaks exercise has had such a short lifespan and, by and large, failed to cause any great schisms between countries. Even the political and diplomatic embarrassment that was the immediate fallout has withered away and there seems to be no overt instance of damaged relationships between any nations even where there were some awkward remarks made in these messages.
What was expected to be a diplomatic disaster has swiftly been converted into an international furor over the endangerment of lives in that those who are in the diplomatic and intelligence gathering business can now be traced. For those of us weaned on a diet of Hollywood spy versus spy stuff it would be naďve to imagine that nations do not engage in collecting data. By that token leaders also have honest moments and can express their innermost feelings as much as the next anonymous person in the normal nine to five office. Taken out of context the message or cable or confidential comment may sound provocative but it tends to neutralise its venom when even the recipient knows he has probably also made certain unguarded statements. Which is why it is unclear why Julian LeSange seeks refuge in the people’s right to know. They may have a right to know but do they want to know is the question. And does it really matter. Any of a 24 hour cycle would say thing that quoted arbitrarily are then forays in malice.
Again, it is also difficult to peg exactly what the aim of the exercise was seeing that the material was ‘stolen’ by a man in uniform who had broken a confidential agreement he had taken a pledge to uphold. There are some things no one needs to know and they remain intrinsic to the security of a nation. Just as much as medical records, the state of a marriage, the financial status of an individual, a will, contracts of confidentiality between employer and employee, governments, too, have a right to a certain amount of concealment in what is the ?greater good.
It would be too dramatic for Lesange to worry about being killed. No one is that upset. It has become a little dreary as an issue and the other two million odd messages he has still to leak are not likely to be bestsellers. On the contrary, the public is indifferent because it does not effect them.