Secrecy v. Transparency — Wikileaks and the Gospel
There are good secrets and bad secrets. Things to be concealed and things to be revealed. Some people want to know, others want to hide.
On the other hand, transparency is also valuable. For instance, without whistle blowers, the American people would never have learned about the torture of Iraqi prisoners of war at Abu Ghraib and the United States would not have recently apologized for purposely infecting 696 Guatemalan prisoners, soldiers, and mental patients with syphilis in the 1940s. (For that story, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/01/us-apology-guatemala-syphilis-tests)
In the age of the Internet, information can be shared on a worldwide basis at the speed of light. The recent Wikileaks revelations of State Department communications, which were dispersed through the established media, have caused a great deal of embarrassment for the United States diplomatic corps, and may in fact harm international relations. In response, we can expect that it will be more difficult for representatives to operate, and we can also expect attempts to curtail freedom of speech.
They have also showed the American people the precarious situation in which we find ourselves by trying to balance between competing national interests. For instance, we are economically tied to China which has been sharing technology with Iran. But we are tied by oil to Saudi Arabia whose leadership wants the U.S. to attack Iran.
Other leaks from other sources have showed us that the Federal Reserve secretly bailed out General Electric and other U.S. companies to the combined tune of trillions of dollars. The Fed had long said that it needed complete secrecy to run the U.S. economy and we can only hope that revelations along these lines will not hurt our international credit rating.