The government has secrets. Most of these are designed to protect our lives and livelihood and the lives of those actually fighting to protect our lives and livelihood. One of the most obvious things that is necessary to keep secret is movements of people and equipment in theatres of war. Other things that should be kept secret are things like how to build a nuclear weapon or any other W.M.D.
Of course, anyone willing to put in a little time and effort can find most of what they need to know to build such a weapon on the internet. But there’s no reason to make anything easy for people. Honestly the concept of a nuclear weapon is simple. The actual process to build one is prohibitively expensive. Most countries simply couldn’t afford the parts, let alone the process.
These secrets should be protected.
Then there are the dirty laundry secrets. Things that diplomats agree on behind closed doors that the general population doesn’t like to know about. I didn’t say things the general population doesn’t like. They really just don’t want to know.
Most people believe that the government is shady, even if only about half would actually use the word “corrupt.” It’s been a couple weeks now since the big expose of secret documents on Wikileaks and there has been no overwhelming outcry for government reform. It’s come to light that we let other governments take responsibility for our military’s actions. We now know that we have military actions in countries that we’re not at war with, so far with documented knowledge and acceptance of those countries. But would anyone really be surprised to learn we’ve sent special-ops teams into dozens of countries we’re not at war with, without that country’s permission? I’m not saying it’s happened or hasn’t; I’m just saying we wouldn’t be surprised.
So when it comes out that Yemen would willingly take responsibility if we attacked known terrorists there, no one is really surprised. Face facts, Americans don’t care about Yemen. If a news story comes out about terrorists in Yemen, Americans read it as Terrorists somewhere over there. My wife’s best-friend’s husband is from Yemen. I can honestly say that I know exactly where Yemen is on the map. Most Americans don’t, but I’d like to think most would assume it’s a Muslim country somewhere in the Middle East. Still, if a single American (Outside of the state department) lost a minute of sleep over the revealed secret, I’d be a bit surprised.
Internationally, the world already thinks of America as the bully nation. They expect us to involve ourselves where and when we want. The newly exposed secrets only show that this has been sometimes true. Again, no surprise. Reading through the secrets that have made it into the mainstream media, (I’m too lazy to peruse Wikileaks itself and, having served in the U.S.A.F. I’m actually morally opposed to the exposure of secrets), there is nothing in the Wikileaks exposed secrets that hasn’t been suggested already in the mainstream media.
I mean is anyone shocked that Israel’s Islam neighbors offer support to the Islamic militant groups within Israel in the form of military equipment?
In the end, the deep dark secrets of international diplomacy are things we all already “know” about just by paying attention to what’s already available in the media. We’ve never had it outright confirmed. We didn’t want to have these secrets confirmed anymore than we want it confirmed that our parents had sex. That’s what diplomatic secrets are to us. They are the same as our parent’s involved in intercourse. We know it’s happened, we just don’t want to know and we certainly don’t want to see direct evidence beyond our existence.