One of the perplexing truths of human history is that even the most noble aspirations get turned to the most devious ends. Nothing endowed with a will of its own, or placed in the hands of a being possessed of such will, ever stays purely good or purely evil for very long, if it even started out that way.
To my mind, the protestations of transparency by the wizards of Wikileaks are dangerously disingenuous -- such profound opacity from the champions of transparency is not to be trusted. The necessary evil of dipomacy has always depended on simple veils and elaborate obfuscations. Shorn of those elements, none of the players in the diplomatic game is safe.The release of sensitive communications will cost the lives of mid-level operatives and will ensure that government retreats further from the reach of its own citizens.
There's only one good that can come of this:
Less communication will be trusted to technology. Diplomacy, and its subsequent analysis, will be carried on in face-to-face encounters. Words and gestures will be synthesized and analyzed using sensory apparatus. Conversations will be had.
The near-term result of Wikileaks -- and the constant invasions of privacy that our media, electronic and otherwise, virtually and ceaselessly demand -- is that people will have to resort, once again, to talking with and touching each other, in direct encounter and in each other's physical presence, in real time.
The sad part is that they will have to do so out of the range of gunship helicopters and in rooms swept for electronics.The range of human discourse and human freedom is shrinking exponentially. It will survive, but it will have to do so out of the reach of all the technology whose invention began with a burst of creativity and an altruistic dream of universal benefit.
Soon we will live in bubbles, and only speak and interact within those bubbles.
Otherwise, nothing will be sacred, and nothing real will be spoken, ever again.