It is passing strange, to use one of George Will’s expressions, that so many voices trumpet the rule of law with espionage charges against WikiLeaks, while remaining silent on the constitutional 1st Am. protection of the free press to publish in America. Their silence on the fundamental constitutional question speaks more loudly than their proposed enforcement of the rule of law over the very narrow espionage charge.
The taboo lies in the unsubstantiated conclusion that America’s interests have been harmed by these leaks. This is not a proven conclusion. It is unsubstantiated fear mongering. Sure, diplomats feelings have been hurt. America’s true interest lies with informed citizens who now have an opportunity to see the world their unfettered executive branch diplomats have been screwing around with overseas. Diplomats are embarrassed by this disclosure and they should be. The solution is not to censor the internet, as the executive branch has now begun doing. It is not to fortify and further enable a secret domain where unelected functionaries pursue their personal prescriptions for America’s interests, as this Post article calls for. The solution is to raise the bar – the standard against which diplomacy is measured, and hold the executive branch to that higher standard in all diplomatic matters.