Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks Can Kill מנלן?

The Wikileaks documents are out and world news organizations are trying to find the best stories out of them to share with the world.

Before they were even released, they were being condemned by American leaders in the strongest terms:
Long Island Rep. Peter King told 1010 WINS the release of the information put “American lives at risk all over the world.”

“This is worse even than a physical attack on Americans, it’s worse than a military attack,” King said.

The Torah has lots to say about revealing secrets as well. This page on the Daat website has a plethora of information about the topic.  And the following information comes from that page.

Among the statements from Haza"l about revealing secrets, one at least shows that revealing secrets can kill. This is from an old Midrash (בית המדרש, שהוציא לאור א' ילינק, חלק ג, עמ' 126, מתוך 'מדרש גדול וגדולה' ) that says:
גדול כסוי הסוד, שכל המגלה סוד חברו, כאילו שופך דמים, שנאמר (ויקרא יט, טז): 'לא תלך רכיל וגו' [לא תעמוד על דם רעך]'. 
Great is covering up secrets for whoever reveals his friend's secret, it's as if he has spilled blood, as it says (Vayikra 19:16): 'Do not go as a peddler... [Do not stand on the blood of your friend]'.
The Menorat Hama'or explains this juxtaposition of verses:
כל המגלה לאדם דברים שדבר עליו אחר בסתר נקרא רכיל... ולא עוד אלא שיוכל להיות סבה לשפוך דם, לכך כתב סמוך לו 'לא תעמוד על דם רעך'. וכתיב (יחזקאל כב, ט): '(אנשי)[הולכי] רכיל היו בך למען שפך דם', אולי יהרוג זה לזה בסבת הרכילות.
Whoever reveals to a man words that another man spoke to him secretly is called a 'peddler'...And not only that, but it could be a reason to spill blood. Therefore, the verse is juxtaposed to it: 'Do not stand on the blood of your friend'. And it is written (Yehezkel 22:9) 'Those who walk as peddlers were among you in order to spill blood.' Perhaps, they will kill each other due to gossiping.
So, Rep. King isn't too far off.


At Mon Nov 29, 01:38:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Shimshon said...

These documents are only secret because the government, NOT individuals, said they were. Likewise, since the Nazi government made the release of documents describing the genocide of Jews in WWII secret, was releasing THEM a sin? Now, before someone gets all hot and bothered about bringing in the dreaded Nazi metaphor, get a grip.

The US government is not pure as the driven snow. It is composed of very ambitious and arrogant individuals who have no respect for life or liberty (or Jews, for that matter). Madeleine Albright was recorded openly saying that half a million Iraqi dead would be worth it to achieve the American government's objectives. That attitude is endemic. And, agree with it or not, it is without question a murderous attitude. As far as I am concerned, releasing these documents, and ANY documents that government elitists want to remain secret, is a tremendous mitzvah.

At Mon Nov 29, 01:43:00 AM 2010, Blogger Devorah said...

Julian Assange (wikileaks) was asked what motivated him. He replied that he is motivated by "crushing bastards". He seems to be doing a good job of it.

At Mon Nov 29, 02:52:00 AM 2010, Blogger yaak said...

Shimshon, there are times when revealing secrets are justified. I'm not convinced that this is one of them. I would definitely not call it a Mitzvah.

That said, see my next post.


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