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Alex the Fey talks about WikiLeaks

Readers have asked, wondered, emailed, chatted, tweeted questions for Alex. For the next couple months, Alexandra Hargreaves will guest post on this blog to answer your questions. If you have a question you'd like Alex to answer, feel free to email her at: AlexandraHargreaves at gmail dot com.


A lot of people have asked me what I think about WikiLeaks. I mean, my mother has even asked me what I think about WikiLeaks. So it seemed like a good topic to start this conversation.

Let's see... WikiLeaks.

The first time Ben saw a desktop computer, he said, 'You're looking at the end of keeping secrets.' He even had a conversation with Bill Gates about the 'idiocy' of putting computing in the hands of individuals. He fought against the tide to turn all US Intelligence over to computers.

Ben knew the first time he looked at a computer that someday, some where, someone would leak whatever they knew to the public. So, all this shock and horror and 'Oh My God How Could This Possibly Happen,' on the part of policy makers, brass, and big wigs is bullshit.  They knew, as they've always known, that this kind of thing was going to happen.

And, make no mistake. The concern is not that our "frienemies" might get our "secrets." Trust me, anyone who wants anyone else's secrets and has the time, money, and energy to make it happen, knows everything there is to know.

The concern is that the public will know what their  government is up to.

Before you say it, yes, most wars are won based on intelligence information. That's a fact.

But you can trust that this intelligence information isn't sent around in memos and emails from diplomats.

Why? Because diplomats are nice, good-looking people who are friendly and can carry a conversation. They are the kind of people who make a party fun. You'd like them and want to invite them to your home to hang out with your friends.

They are not huge brain trusts.

Most of them don't have any idea when or if they stumble upon a noteworthy piece of information. Their job is to smile,  shake hands, make friends, and pass information along to people like me or Ben or Raz. Our job is to connect the dots.

So you have to ask yourself, why is everyone so upset about WikiLeaks? Why doesn't the government want you to know what the intelligence arm is doing?

I can only give you my opinion: the government doesn't want you to know what they are doing because you won't understand it.

Intelligence is a huge chess game. We do this; they do that. When information is leaked, the public only sees one move in a decades long chess game. The one move maybe shocking, unnerving, but it's only one move. If you saw the entire chess game, you  might understand what's going on. But no one is going to show you the entire game. Moreover, not very many people know or understand the entire game.

I'm neither defending WikiLeaks or the need for secrecy. Frankly, neither impact my life or job very much.

If you have questions for me about WikiLeaks, you can leave them in the comments. Email me if you have a specific question about anything, otherwise next week we'll chat about Spec Ops.

>>>>>Alexandra Hargreaves is a fictional character created by Claudia Hall Christian for the Alex the Fey thriller series. Opinions expressed are that of Alexandra Hargreaves and may not reflect the opinions of the author or Cook Street Publishing -----