Wikileaks invokes the sacred, mythical story of
George Washington, who never did say "I can not tell a lie."
(This stained glass window at Mount Vernon is from the 1950s.)
Wikileaks says "One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth." They believe they are justified in releasing confidential U. S. documents because they say the U. S. government is deceptive and hypocritical.
The following statement is from Wikileak’s website:
Wikileaks began on Sunday November 28th publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into US Government foreign activities.Taken from a Wikileaks mirror site>>
The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of February this year, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the cables are classified Secret.
The embassy cables will be released in stages over the next few months. The subject matter of these cables is of such importance, and the geographical spread so broad, that to do otherwise would not do this material justice.
The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in "client states"; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them.
This document release reveals the contradictions between the US's public persona and what it says behind closed doors - and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what's going on behind the scenes.
Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington - the country's first President - could not tell a lie. If the administrations of his successors lived up to the same principle, today's document flood would be a mere embarrassment. Instead, the US Government has been warning governments - even the most corrupt - around the world about the coming leaks and is bracing itself for the exposures.