Letter to the editor: WikiLeaks deserves support



What are the “threats” to public opinion and foreign policy? That they might change in response to the truth? And when is it ever not against the will of government to be accountable and transparent?

The Pentagram is not concerned with the release of tactical secrets, but rather with public relations. WikiLeaks endangers only the war itself, and all the juicy contracts and promotions it enables.

Remember the military’s frantic efforts to suppress the photos of Abu Ghraib prisoners lying in pools of blood while grinning U.S. soldiers pose with them?

These photos were of no tactical importance, but they threatened to arouse the Pentagram’s worst enemy: the public.

Remember when President George W. Bush forbade photography of soldiers’ coffins?

He said this was to protect the privacy of the dead. These photos were entirely anonymous and, of course, contained no military information, but they would have made the public think bad things about the war. Can’t have that.

In the past decade, the military has achieved its wet dream: the separation of its wars of aggression from the critical eye of the US population, which bears both the tax and moral burdens of supporting these merchants of death.

The Pentagram’s wailing against WikiLeaks is not driven by fear of technical data that might get U.S. soldiers killed, but by the revelation of very ugly things the U.S. empire does to people around the world.

The footage of soldiers in a U.S. helicopter having a good ole time mindlessly mowing down city street pedestrians revealed no military secrets, but it showed the world the sadistic butchers that those soldiers were. This was bad PR for the military and for the war.

Secretary of Offense Robert Gates has called the publication of a wounded and dying U.S. soldier “irresponsible.” How? Does the Taliban get useful pointers from the sight of gushing red American meat? No, but middle America might look at it and think twice about the war.

WikiLeaks has released records of U.S. killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan that dwarf the figures published in the New York Times and other official organs of state-approved journalism. The military-industrial complex is worried not that sensitive information will fall into the wrong hands, but rather that a slumbering public will awaken against the war.

Support and defend WikiLeaks. Peace and civilization depend on it.

Levi Lampe

Biochemistry graduate student