Julian Assange, of wikileaks has, in the past, released reams of documents regarding the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, he's released internal comuniques between US embassies regarding (as I understand it, please correct me) such things as negotiations about the new START treaty, internal assessments of the situation in the middle east, and even day to day (mostly uninteresting) accounts of happenings in various embassies. I would post some links to CNN, but you guys are clever enough to do your own google searches. The question is this: to what degree is the statement "The Public has a right to know" true? I can buy this argument from people concerned about, say, civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq. I can buy the argument from people who want a public record of the behind-closed-doors decisions which have real consequences in terms of human lives in those countries. Certainly, if you think that the current US conflicts are immoral, then you agree that full disclosure of such documents is important in establishing motive. That's fine, and while I don't necessarily agree with you, I can understand your point. However, releasing confidential diplomatic cables is a different story. Negotiations regarding, say, the START treaty are in everybody's best interest. The US and Russia have established a very fragile status quo, I think, which is in the interest of the US, Russia, and the rest of the world. Releasing such documents, in my opinion, can only serve to destabilize that relationship. Let me put it another way---if the common goal is to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, then the two people who have the most nuclear weapons need to eliminate those stockpiles. (This is true, and cannot be argued.) If they are to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, they have to trust each other enough to reduce their stockpiles bilaterally---that is to say, the US isn't going to suddenly decide to decommission all of our nuclear deterrent without the Russians making similar commitments. Then, what good does a document release like this really do, other than splash communications which were never meant to be public across the front pages of newspapers around the world? Such an action seems to be wholly counter-productive to the nuclear disarmament process, in my mind. At the heart of the issue is this---to what extent does the "public's right to know" conflict with other goals? To what extent should the public's "right to know" be curtailed, when it clearly conflicts with things like public safety, or world peace? Given that, is the release of documents which could reduce safety across the globe by destabilizing relationships between nuclear powers a good idea? I probably won't comment in this thread, but I will keep up with it. I also want to point out that it doesn't necessarily matter what the actual content of the document dump is---I was interested in more of a theoretical discussion about the general issue.