Subjective Objectivity – The Blog of The Reasonable Man

November 29, 2010

Secrets are terrible things. Except when they’re not.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikeshotgun @ 10:25 pm

I can’t really post objectively on Wikileaks because for reasons I’m not actually sure of, I’m very one sided as to the merits of that particular organisation (SPOILER ALERT: I fucking hate the presumptuous holier than thou pomposity of Julian Assange and his crew of self-appointed moral arbiters). So, I’ll just go ahead and agree with everything that Mark Kleiman says here:

The notion that governments should have no secrets sounds attractive until you run the game back one step: if there can’t be any secrets, then you can’t write down anything you don’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times. That’s a sure formula for making executive-branch deliberations as content-free as Congressional debates.

The choice is not between a world with secrets and a world in which all the citizens know whatever the government knows. The choice is between a world in which officials can share information and carry out reasoned debates with one another and a world in which nothing can be written down. Really, that’s a not a hard choice.

Reasonable people can disagree with that. But for me, listening to the self-serving justifications of those newspaper editors who got the scoop was kind of nauseating. 

Cross-posted at Something Quotable


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