Bob Rae contemplates the lessons of Wikileaks.
Some of what will emerge – in the Middle East, in Pakistan, and elsewhere – will compromise sources, practices, and on it goes, but none of it should “shock”. Corruption in Russia, Arab leaders saying privately how worried they are about Iran, Americans razzing Canadians for having an “inferiority complex” and “anti-american” programming on the CBC: there’s nothing new here, and we shouldn’t be so touchy or sensitive that we can’t handle a vigorous discussion. CSIS directors complaining about the “shackles” that courts concerned about charter rights and due process is hardly news.
The internet is full of gossip, hate, mistrust, misinformation, as well as all that is true and valuable. We still want our diplomats and public officials to give us their candid and honest assessment of things, and to keep the spin to a minimum. Maybe if our public comments were closer to reality there wouldn’t be so much amazement at what we are now seeing.