Intimidating Wikileaks Won't Work

08/09/2010 05:34 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Wikileaks, the Internet whistle-blower, has outraged the Pentagon time and again after it published what appear to be classified Pentagon documents on how the war in Afghanistan has been carried out by NATO forces including the United States.

While no one can deny that there are indeed legitimate National Security reasons for keeping secrets classified by governments, one can also point to many examples where governments, including the US, have abused this privilege, for instance, to hide murders and the killing of innocent civilians. The recently leaked documents contain many such examples.

Wikileaks exists because of the vacuum that governments themselves helped create: after 9/11 the US, and Western governments in general, have become overzealously more secretive in their dealings. This secrecy has allowed the US government, for instance, to carry out mass renditions, torture and disappear people. Had these governments been more forthcoming about their new tactics Wikileaks would have not seen the light of the day.

What is interesting is the fact that the US government becomes upset when leaks of such nature happen. Yet the same government is quite happy to see leaks appear in the media if it serves its purpose. One such good example is the selective leak of video footage showing Canadian Omar Khadr (who is still detained in Guantanamo) building a bomb in Afghanistan, which came at a time when public opinion was going his way. What about his safety and well being? Isn't this a legitimate concern as equal as that to National Security? May be not according to the US government.

The Pentagon tactic of intimidating Wikileaks will not work. To the contrary, it will help create more Wikileaks. It will be interesting to see how Wikileaks reacts to these latest threats from the Pentagon.