Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Greater Good?

The Greater Good
(by R.P.Edwards)

“The greater good”
The traitor’s foil
To pierce
And maim
To wound
And spoil
A license
To perform the deed
That causes innocents…to bleed
A “justified”
For evil ways
The quisling’s permit
To betray
And as he basks in freedom’s nest
And kills the men
That give him…rest
He worries not
Nor deems he should
Till “he” becomes
The greater…good

“WikiLeaks.”  Honestly, I didn’t know about the “whistleblower” site until the recent mega-release of secret military documents by a U.S Army Intelligence Analyst, Private Bradley Manning (alleged), made the news.  Apparently the lad (22) didn’t like what’s going on in Afghanistan so he, with some help, fed the blather buttress a lot of information, some of which (so I hear) could put our soldiers and allies…at risk. 

Okay, just for fun I went to the “source” and copied some of their lofty lingo.  Here ‘tis:

WikiLeaks is a multi-jurisdictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public…
We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies…
It is only when the people know the true plans and behavior of their governments that they can meaningfully choose to support them…
WikiLeaks is a buttress against unaccountable and abusive power…

You know, I can see a place for this kind of thing.  A place where dirty corners are exposed to the light of day.  And then I learned they also published Sarah Palin’s e-mail account…

Alright.  Some brief thoughts.  1. As for Pvt. Manning; I dearly hope the zealous youth, in his naivety, didn’t realize the damage he would do with this release.  Without question there were other ways to express his discontent within the system but, believing the ‘anonymity’ promise of the process he spilled “our” guts…and now “his” actions may claim many lives…including his own. 2. Apparently the horror of collateral damage had much to do with the Private’s actions.  Now, I’ve never walked the alley, or crouched in a foxhole, but I know (and history gives testimony to such) that when humans and ordinance mix…a lot of innocents may fall.  It’s a dirty business, and yes, hindsight is 20/20, but perhaps Mr. Manning should have been given a little more time in the field before he was married to the keyboard.  And 3. Once again our detached existence with cyberspace comes back to bite us.  Raised in a culture where “avatars are us” we are slow to realize that our actions in the “office” have consequences in the real world.  Consequences…that may kill.

And so, today it is the “duty” of WikiLeaks to publish all; even if it puts lives at risk.  How ironic it would be if, in the future, American GIs are called upon, once again, to save those who, in time of safety, treat their protectors with utter contempt.


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