Friday, July 30, 2010

Taking a WikiLeak

Dear Solitary Reader:

Coursing along the silvery tubes of the interweb these days is the story of massive amounts of military intelligence, which I always thought was as real as “city planning” and “the Easter bunny,” gracing the pages of WikiLeak. *Gasp* says one side “the enemy has our battle plans from 12 years ago! This must be quashed!” “Huzzah!” says the other side. “Score one for the freedom of the press!” Or words to that effect.

And there’s me in the middle, not knowing who to listen to and not caring enough to find out; which is no big change.

I’ve always considered Freedom of the Press in this day and age to be something of a myth. While I’m sure most (okay, some) reporters care about bringing information to the public, the news corporation itself really doesn’t seem to care much for fact or presentation.

In an age where the pundits of CNN yell their news at you, trying to sell you their version of events over MSNBC’s version along with a Slap Chop and a Snuggie news doesn’t seem, to me, to be dependable. Honestly, one look at Nancy Grace and Dan Rather would roll over in his grave.*

To put it bluntly, the press is free to report what it wants but bound by the dictates of modern marketing and capitalism to report only what sells.

But there’s the other side of the coin. Should these documents have been leaked? Does the public have a right to know? Well in this case, when the public includes the side you’re at war with having the ability to find your battle strategy on the Internet, maybe not. But the positive, the green light if you will, from this is that the military just discovered a bit of a flaw in their security. It’s similar in principle, if not in fact, to a company hiring a hacker to test its Internet Security. Gubment – you gots some work to do.

Maybe the furor from the side of the politicians is that the documents could likely uncover to the public a string of lies and incompetence to the general public. That and the emperor has no clothes. News flash (Brought to you by the Fortress of Verisimilitude’s Deep Fried Ice Cream in a Can! As Cold as Ice, as Hot as Spice) government people – we don’t vote you into office because we think you’re more competent than us; we vote you into government because someone has to do the job no one else wants to do and you… are… it.

Besides, maybe hope is not lost. Maybe Osama Bin Laden is like me: if he doesn’t find the answer to his query on the first page of Google’s results he gets impatient, call’s the Internet “stupid” and just goes to his Facebook page and plays Bejewelled Blitz.
I think the US Government doesn’t have too much to worry about in all of this anyway.

I’d be willing to bet there are more people out there Googling Mel Gibson and Oksana Griegorieva (which incidentally is on the first page of Google results when you search for the answer to the math problem of what happens when one train leaves a station in LA at 60 mph on the same track as a train leaving from New York at 45 mph, where do the trains collide?**) then there are searching for US Military Strategy.

* Yes, I know Dan Rather isn’t dead, but I assume one look at the Medusa like visage of Nancy Grace would kill him. Then, after a period of mourning in which Television spent at least 6 weeks replaying Dan’s most important news stories and the shame and scandal in which he retired, they would finally bury him. About two days after that the horrible memory of Nancy Grace’s meat haunch face would force him to roll over (because you don’t want to throw up while lying on your back).
** Answer: On the Internetz

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