It is kind of funny to see the reaction of different groups to the WikiLeaks debacle. In many ways, I see Libertarians closer to Liberals in this issue. It seems that the “freedom is king” principle of Libertarians meets the “Government needs to be transparent so we can control it” Liberal idea.
My take on this (which seems to be in line with some conservatives but not all) is that what WikiLeaks did is first of all illegal (not sure anyone really questions that but the 2 groups above think this is ok in the name of a greater good) but above it all that having this data out in the open will not help anyone.
Some people think this is a contradiction: how can you distrust government and at the same time allow it to be secretive? How can you trust them so blindly to just do what is right?
The point here is that I don’t. I don’t trust government at all and my assumption is that they will mess up no matter what. I don’t think it is possible to ‘control’ a government in the same way we control private enterprise. That is exactly why government should be small and limited.
However, we do need government. Most importantly, we need government to control force internally and externally. And in order for it to perform this task effectively, it *requires* secrecy. There is no way to control crime or to conduct a war without restricting information.
So, my reaction to WikiLeaks is based in these assumptions. Actually, the one good outcome that can come out of this whole mess is that maybe people will finally understand just how large and out of control government is.