access to information

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/03/27/wikileaks/index.html

The war on WikiLeaks and Why it Matters by Glenn Greenwald

…All of this has made WikiLeaks an increasingly hated target of numerous government and economic elites around the world, including the U.S. Government.  As The New York Times put it last week:  “To the list of the enemies threatening the security of the United States, the Pentagon has added WikiLeaks.org, a tiny online source of information and documents that governments and corporations around the world would prefer to keep secret.”  In 2008, the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Center prepared a secret report — obtained and posted by WikiLeaks — devoted to this website and detailing, in a section entitled “Is it Free Speech or Illegal Speech?”, ways it would seek to destroy the organization.  It discusses the possibility that, for some governments, not merely contributing to WikiLeaks, but “even accessing the website itself is a crime,” and outlines its proposal for WikiLeaks’ destruction as follows…

…In other words, the Pentagon is furious that this exposing of its secrets might enable others to engage in exactly the type of “perception management” which the aforementioned CIA Report proposes the U.S. do with regard to the citizenry of our allied countries.

All of this is based in the same rationale invoked by President Obama and the Democratic Congress when they re-wrote the Freedom of Information Act last year in order to suppress America’s torture photos.  It’s the same rationale used by all governments to conceal evidence of their wrongdoing:   we need to suppress our activities for your own good. WikiLeaks is devoted to subverting that mentality and, relatively speaking, has been quite successful in doing so….

…The public and private organizations most eager to maintain complete secrecy around what they do — including numerous U.S. military and intelligence agencies — are obviously threatened by WikiLeaks’ activities, which is why they seek to harass and cripple them.  There are numerous ways one can support WikiLeaks — donations, volunteer work, research, legal and technical assistance — and that can be done through their site.  There aren’t many groups more besieged, or doing more important work, than they.

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