Our view: WikiLeaks leaves unanswered questions

DKS Editors

After this weekend’s The New York Times’ exposé on WikiLeaks, many people are raising questions about founder Julian Assange and his apparent lack of ethical standards.

WikiLeaks, the website where people can anonymously leak important information from governments and other organizations from around the globe, seemed like a promising venture when it was formed in 2006.

To date, the site is credited with exposing numerous secrets from various governments. A case can be made that these leaks made a positive impact. From reports of extrajudicial killings in Africa to the membership logs of a Neo-Nazi group in Britain, there is no denying that some of WikiLeaks information benefits the public.

Although, within the last few months, the actions of WikiLeaks have been rather erratic. The site has continued to publish classified files that were believed to be stolen by Army Intelligence Analyst Bradley Manning.

As soon as more than 90,000 intelligence reports were published on WikiLeaks, the site was faced with a wave of criticism from some of its former supporters. Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders both criticized the action.

At issue were the security concerns for Afghan informants. Instead of blacking out their names, WikiLeaks decided to publish the names of local Afghanis who secretly worked along side American and NATO forces, thus putting their lives and their families’ lives in danger. Since the files were published in July, the Taliban have already formed a panel to track down the names on the list.

Many volunteers within WikiLeaks have pointed to Assange for the flap, according to the Times profile, which documented his increasingly irrational behavior within the organization. As a result, Assange has been accused of having a vendetta against the United States and seems unremorseful for all the danger he put innocent people in.

While the concept of WikiLeaks seems virtuous, the execution of their work has not met the ethical standards one would like to associate with whistleblowers who leak documents for the overall welfare of the public.

The above editorial is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.