On the ABC News this evening we heard the Republican leader in the US Senate declaring that Julian Assange is a "hi-tech terrorist" and should be treated as an "enemy combatant". Of course since we've been fighting a "war on terror" it's become a lot easier to say such things. But just who is Assange and his Wiki-leaks army terrorising?
Well, although new bombshells are exploding every day they seem to be entirely of the metaphorical sort, and I don't recall anyone ever being killed by a metaphor. Of couse, it's possible that amongst the material there is confidential information which might compromise the safety of, say, an intelligence operative or informer, and this would be of some concern. Australian Observer, a former senior Defence and Foreign Affairs official, strongly doubts it - the security of such contacts is much tighter than that.
It seems that the main people being terrorised are diplomats and politicians, quaking in their boots as they wait to see if that stupid thing they said or wrote will make the front page. It's always embarassing when your dirty laundry is aired and people find out you're not exactly the person they thought you were. Tiger Woods was certainly embarassed when his wholesome image was trashed by his wife trying brain him with a golf club after discovering his latest piece of infidelity. Yet while we will never see him the same way again, he might actually become a better person as a result.
And this is the whole point. In case you haven't noticed, things haven't been going too well lately on the international relations front. The war in Afghanistan seems unwinnable, and we're pouring billions and sacrficing young lives to prop up a corrupt regime. North and South Korea are on the brink of war, as are India and Pakistan. International climate change negotiations are a farce.
If things were going well, we might be inclined to trust our governments and leave their dirty secrets alone. But this ain't working. Maybe its better to get the whole sorry mess out in the open. In the short term it will hurt. We'll lose some credibility, some money and even a little skin. Some people might lose their jobs. But perhaps in the long term it can help get some things out into the open. Jesus says:
There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.
Slightly out of context, but the revealing of everything is the beginning of salvation. Perhaps once the torch is shone on the sorry mess that is international relations, we will be able to begin the heal it.