Heather Hurlburt: Why Wikileaks Is Bad for Progressive Foreign Policy





[Heather Hurlburt is the executive director of the National Security Network.]

...In the last few years, there has been some progress toward classifying fewer documents and using the more rarefied classifications less frequently. This series of leaks will almost surely reverse that progress. A top-secret classification would have kept any of these documents off the shared network from which they were allegedly downloaded by a very junior soldier.

You can bet that the intelligence community will make that point—not only to justify stronger classification of new documents but also to slow the declassification of old ones. Civilian administrations at least since Clinton’s have been trying to speed up those efforts. Now they will go even more slowly, making it harder to learn the whole story of how our government analyzed an issue, treated an individual, or reacted to a crisis.

And make no mistake: You can't get the comprehensive history of a diplomatic episode from Wikileaks any more than someone could learn the comprehensive truth about you by downloading the top 20 e-mails from your inbox right now.

Historians and other champions of truth should not be pleased....



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