Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair got right to the heart of one of the biggest dangers of the ongoing WikiLeaks release of US State Department documents when he said:
‘Another and much more important reason why it is a dangerous (a)ct is that governments, like any other organisations, need to be able to debate, discuss and decide issues with a reasonable level of confidentiality. This is not mildly important. It is of essence. Without the confidentiality, people are inhibited and the consideration of options is limited in a way that isn’t conducive to good decision-making. In every system that goes down this path what happens is that people watch what they put in writing and talk without committing to paper. It’s a thoroughly bad way of analysing complex issues.’
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He wasn’t, however, referring to WikiLeaks—he was writing about Britain’s Freedom of Information Act in his book A Journey, which I’m just finishing reading. He’s still spot on, though.