Coyote Blog | Warren Meyer | Backwards
Well, as usual, the progressives have the rights and roles of private individuals vs. government exactly backwards, from Kevin Drum:
As I said earlier, I’m on the fence a bit about whether an indiscriminate release of thousands of U.S. embassy cables is useful. After all, governments have a legitimate need for confidential diplomacy. But when I read about WikiLeaks’ planned financial expose [release of private emails from a private corporation], I felt no such qualms. A huge release of internal documents from a big bank? Bring it on![...] Drum may be gleeful now, but someday he just might be regretful of establishing a precedent for consequence-free theft and publication of private information. Had, for example, the words “big bank” in the paragraph been replaced by, say, “Major newspaper,” we would likely see Drum in a major-league freak out, though the New York Times corporation has exactly the same legal status as Citicorp."
It may sound like a lot of fun to have Assange publish some internal documents from banks' archives, but how are people going to feel if it was Fannie, or Freddie, or the FHA's archives being dumped? Hell, how did people feel when it was East Anglia's Climate Research Unit getting this treatment? IIRC Drum wasn't so pleased about that.
We don't have freedom of religion because we all take the concept very seriously, we have it becase we disagree about who is going to Hell. We don't have freedom of speech because we value the principle, we have it because we disagree about who should shut the hell up.
Mutatis mutandis privacy and we think ought to have their dirty laundry hung out in public.
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You've got to do the same sort of what-if-it-happened-to-my-allies thinking when you see stories like this:
Spanish judge was threatening to declare Bush a war criminal.* That sounds great until you think about what some country might want to do to your guys: sue Prince Chuck for advocating policies which doom millions to die in famines? Sue the NY Times for apologizing for Israeli "war crimes"? Sue WTO protest organizers for impeding peaceful trade agreements?
There are six billions people on the world, most of whom disagree with you about something you find dear. Do you really want your boys to have to answer to any of them that grab a gavel and robe?
* That judge was charged with Abuse of Power earlier this year for a similar over reach. Didn't see that widely reported.