Staff Editorial

WikiLeaks: Friend or foe to public knowledge?

As many are aware, whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has been on a roll releasing confidential information regarding a number of matters around the world. And according to its founder, Julian Assange, there are no plans to slow or halt its streak of disseminating safeguarded documents.

Wikileaks sent the media into a frenzy recently by releasing classified material regarding international and foreign relations between various nations. Of course, the controversial website is no stranger to the press. Wikileaks slapped hundreds of thousands war logs onto its servers in October detailing operations in the Iraq War.

A look at its history of leaks reveals much more information which has been radiated in the past. Enough with the background lesson though. More concerning is how Wikileaks is affecting the public.

Critics of Wikileaks have been outraged at its actions. Adversaries of President Barack Obama’s administration have even started to criticize Obama for not intervening or fighting Assange’s machine.

While this controversy is generating plenty of headlines for news publications, is it benefitting Americans?

The method to which Wikileaks obtains all its information is a mystery at times and a subject worthy of leaking by itself. But whether the website has acquired these documents legally or not, it’s generally agreed on that the material is informational and sheds considerable light on political and government matters previously completely withheld to the public.

With documents that could potentially put national security at risk aside, Wikileaks is not doing the American public a disfavor. Sure, it’s not pleasing governments and officials in office, but what is important is that the information is truthful and involves public concern. People have a right to know what’s going on behind closed doors, and despite that these leaks are probably only a glimpse of it, we think Wikileaks is acting in the right direction.


  • Wiki leaks may have knowingly or unknowingly given aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States. This includes terrorist groups. The act of hacking voluminous classified information is by itself a crime. Julian A. seems to have a messianic complex in trying to justify what he did as morally right. Treason? Espionage? The proper charges must be made against those responsible.

    • What hacking occurred here? Three million people in this country's military complex have access to secret and confidential information of the likes of the contents of the wikileaks data. No one 'hacked' anything. Do whistleblowers hack information systems to access their information?

      And remember, think of the children!

    • Jesus, perhaps we should make umbrage with your father as well. Through the good fortune he smiled down on those terrorists he has aided and abetted the enemies of the United States and allowed for their continued action and occasional success. Treason? Espionage? The proper charges must be made against those responsible. Let us work together to bring down the Lord your father so that the glory of America can continue to shine and bring light to the world.

      Assange isn't an American so this isn't treason. Shaming US diplomats for name-calling doesn't help the terrorists. And documents at the secret level rarely reveal more information than can be found on the nightly news. What are you so scared of, Jesus?

    • a democratic society bears responsibility for what it's government does so i'd like to see what's being done in my country's name. the leaked information brought war crimes to light and, so far, has caused exactly zero people to die so i'd say it's worth it.

      and before you go on about what-about-our-troops'-safety, i would rather 100 soldiers be killed in action than a single civilian be murdered. no joke.

  • Julian is a prophet, poet, philosopher, father and journalist. Have any of you read his essays or visited his website
    Do you know he is a physicist – and represented Australia in maths? Julian is not a terrorist – he is a historian. He is a journalist and democracies like the US of A are not supposed to be gunning down journalists – that's for the Russians or Pol Pot and co. That Sarah Palin is calling for Julian to be assassinated beggars belief. She is a monster. The USA is desdcending into mob rule and from the outside folks it's starting to look very very ugly. I love the USA. I am an Australian and we have fought alongside you in every conflict from the Boxer Rebellion onwards. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Uncle Sam but if you gun down our boy Julian the Aussie spirit will break from you and that is a fact. So smoke that and wake up from your nightmare.

  • Who griped when the Watergate papers got released?

    If the government REALLY wanted those documents to NOT be released, they'd store them with Obama's birth and school records <grin>

  • I would like to see a more in-depth analysis by the Cougar Editorial staff. I don't have the impression the author of this post really has much interest or knowledge about this topic. This is the most exciting thing to happen to journalism in a loooong time, so please come with it!

    I am personally riveted by this story as it's unfolding, especially in terms of what it will mean for net neutrality in the future. Sure people are upset about it- but, these are the same people with careers that subsist on manufactured outrage, hate, and fear. The information released through Wikileaks should be a wake up call to America about the bad things that are being done in our name.

Leave a Comment