The Economist weighs in on the latest WikiLeaks “whistle-blowing” that tries to serve up vignettes from the standard global diplomacy dance with a hefty slathering of ZOMG TEH SEEKRITS clandestine sauce. (Who knew that our diplomats don’t divulge the same information to all their foreign counterparts? Shocking, that.)
At this point, what WikiLeaks is doing seems like tattling: telling Sally what Billy said to Jane. It’s sometimes possible that Sally really ought to know what Billy said to Jane, if Billy were engaged in some morally culpable deception. But in general, we frown on gossips. If there’s something particularly damning in the diplomatic cables WikiLeaks has gotten a hold of, the organisation should bring together a board of experienced people with different perspectives to review the merits of releasing that particular cable. But simply grabbing as many diplomatic cables as you can get your hands on and making them public is not a socially worthy activity.