Thursday, June 4, 2015

Last Call For Buying The Lede

It's no secret that WikiLeaks wants to take down the Obama Administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, and the organization is asking for donations in order to raise $100,000 as a reward for information that will "expose" the trade deal's dirty laundry.

WikiLeaks is now paying for news—in this instance leaks concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord that the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico—about a dozen countries in all—have been secretly negotiating for years.

The secret-spilling site is offering as much as $100,000 to somebody who forwards to WikiLeaks the 26 chapters of the 29 that have not been disclosed so far.

"The treaty aims to create a new international legal regime that will allow transnational corporations to bypass domestic courts, evade environmental protections, police the internet on behalf of the content industry, limit the availability of affordable generic medicines, and drastically curtail each country's legislative sovereignty," WikiLeaks said in a statement.

On one hand, a sensitive international trade treaty is going to have ongoing negotiations that won't be finalized for some time.  On the other hand, we're not party to those negotiations. On the gripping hand, neither the Obama Administration nor Democratic critics of the trade deal have been 100% honest about the process either. 

I understand the need to want to police an American presidency from an outside organization, and to be fair, WikiLeaks goes after powerful in many countries, from Russia to Sierra Leone to Qatar to Mexico.  But who guarantees that they are being honest?  At this point there's a lot of motivation for WikiLeaks to produce something as a "leak" even if it's outdated or completely untrue information, just like there's motivation for the countries involved in the TPP negotiations to mislead in order to protect what they see as their own interests.

Let's just say I don't think WikiLeaks is doing the world a favor here.

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