You have a friend Bobby. Now Bobby, he’s a good enough guy. He’s not exactly your best friend, but you guys run in the same circles and get along okay.
Your friend Sam is interested in doing business with this guy Bobby.
Now, while you get along with Bobby, you don’t exactly trust him with money. He’s had issues in the past.
So your friend Sam, who is a really good friend of yours for some time, says something about how Bobby keeps asking if he wants to do business. He’s hesitant, but leaning towards maybe giving it a shot.
You and Sam go so far back that it wouldn’t be right for you not to warn him. So you have a conversation where you say, listen, I know this guy and he’s alright, but he’s got some issues. He’s had some really bad business deals and isn’t good with money.
Some guy overhears our conversation and tells everyone, including Bobby, about what I said.
This guy’s not even a friend of yours, or Bobby. He just wanted to tell Bobby that you warned your friend Sam about him, for no other reason than he wants him to know.
So now this guy Bobby has a serious problem with you. Because you run in the same circles, it’s going to create a lot of potential problems. Certain friends are going to be put in bad situations, and whereas before you avoided your friend Sam getting hurt, now you have a whole gaggle of problems.
And all because that random person decided to find Bobby and tell him about this conversation he overheard.
That’s kind of jerk move, right?
That’s kind of what I feel WikiLeaks did with their latest round of releases.
There’s a difference between whistle-blowing – as in exposing bad practices or criminal acts – and leaking intelligence cables that say, hey, we don’t trust Pakistan and they have a bad record dealing with terrorists, or that we’ve suspected for some time that certain Saudis may be bankrolling less desirable elements in the region.
Countries around the world have Intelligence communities for a reason. It’d be nice to think that we can just walk around and say whatever we want and have everyone be forthright and not have to face consequences for it, but guess what? We live in the real world where people and countries don’t do and say what they mean, and we have to play accordingly.
It’s the way it’s worked for many years. Not just decades: I’m talking hundreds of years. These “let the truth come out” seem silly when the only thing that can come out of certain portions of the information being leaked is strained international relations.
Not all truths need to be broadcast to the entire world.
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