Reflecting on the Wikileaks issue – see Perry’s post on Samizdata on Saturday – it occurs to me that one group of folk who must be a bit miffed by the leaks are parts of the anti-war side, especially those of a conspiracy theory cast of mind. For example, where is the leaked memo that “proves” there was some evil Jewish/neo-con/international banker/armsdealer/insert villain of choice conspiracy to blow up the WTC and then blame it on bin Laden? And I note that one of the leaked cables suggests that the Saudis are very alarmed by the geo-political ambitions of Iran, and want the West to contain it. Well, that surely fits with what a lot of those supposedly bloodthirsty neocons around George W Bush had been saying. And so on.
The leaks have done damage, no doubt about it, and unlike Perry, I am not so sangine about the overall impact of Wikileaks as far as rolling back the state is concerned. This is one of those things I find hard to be able to prove conclusively one way or the other; generally speaking, the more openness, the better, and the fewer hiding places for governments, the better. I also think, however, that leaks of secrets that may harm self defence efforts of genuinely liberal states against terrorist groups, if they occur, are enough to send such leakers to jail on the grounds of being reckless in offering, however unintentionally, aid to such groups.
But it is, nonetheless interesting that none of the dottier conspiracies swirling around 9/11 have yet to appear. The reason is that such conspiracy theories are bunk.