The WikiLeaks disclosure of the tightly kept secrets in US documents dealing with over 100 countries may change the world scenario drastically. Julian Assange, the Web site’s founder, went ahead with his plan to release over 250,000 classified US documents despite Washington DC’s desperate attempts to prevent it. The US warned the Web site owner that what he was going to do was against the US law and, therefore, he must be ready for the consequences. WikiLeaks was also advised to abandon its plan as this might endanger many innocent lives and strain relations involving various countries. No trick worked with Assange, an Australian, who launched the whistleblower Web site a few years ago. His counter-argument was that nothing happened when WikiLeaks made public the secret cables relating to the US-led military strike against Afghanistan and Iraq a few months back. The details have, of course, torn US reputation to shreds, which is not the Web site’s problem.
Embarrassing comments by US diplomats on certain world leaders like former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown may lead to serious political consequences. Likewise, the relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan may get strained because of the Saudi ruler’s disparaging remarks about President Asif Zardari having become public. The situation that has arisen with the WikiLeaks style of journalism calls for a world-wide debate. Diplomats have to keep their governments back home abreast of the developments in the country of their posting. So far they have been feeling free to comment on issues and personalities, thinking that their communication would remain secret. That is why they have had the habit of using the kind of language they are not supposed to do. How they will function now remains to be seen.
But the US and the rest of the world are worried about how to handle the crisis that has been caused by the WikiLeaks disclosures. Declaring the website owner a terrorist will not do. In fact, this kind of a knee-jerk reaction will weaken the fight against global terrorism. The US may be accused of taking recourse to an extreme measure when its own holy and unholy acti-vities have been exposed. Technology has created a situation, in which nothing can be called secret today.
Courtesy: The Tribune