I was pointed to this article, as a argument not to support this petition (which I did sign..)
Basically, the argument in the article goes like this: ‘leaking is dangerous, because it will cause only more secrecy from the state’. I find this argument rather dumb, and much more dangerous than any leaking can be.
Even Julian Assange has said that the state must have some secrets. Nobody wants the exact location of any nuclear bombs to be known to the public, for instance. (Then again, I don’t want any nuclear bombs in the Netherlands at all… and Wikileaks showed us that there are… even when the government in it’s usual, weasely way denies nor confirms this….) If you are at war, you don’t want the plans for a attack leaked to the enemy, etc, etc.
But still. These are not the kind of things leaked by Wikileaks in this instance. When they did leak ‘military secrets’ some months ago (the infamous film with the attack on civilians) I think we can state that this was a legitimate leak.
The point is, that the whole stated purpose of Wikileaks is precisely to deny the state this kind of secrecy. Why, in a democratic society, should so many wheeling and dealing of the state be secret? Even in the supposedly open Dutch society, it remains awfully hard to get the document to release any documents at all. (There is a law, even named ‘Openness of Government”. But wielding it against the state takes so much time, that any release of documents will cost you more than half a year… While thus made legal if is very much impractical.)
I think that Wikileaks shows us that while not very surprising at least a disturbing amount of hazy deals are being made – in the name of the public…! Let us not forget that most of these people claim to represent that citizens that elected them. We did not elect them to keep secrets. And Wikileaks is preventing just that.