WikiLeaks’ critics will say that foreign policy cannot be conducted in public. As stated, that assertion is false. It is only an imperial foreign policy that cannot be conducted in public. A policy of global policing and intervention does indeed require secrecy and intrigue, but the pacific foreign policy envisioned by Jefferson and George Washington – “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible” – does not.
It is the rejection of George Washington’s advice that has caused Americans to be concerned about their safety, especially when flying.
Many foreign policy “experts” hype the “dark, violent side” of Islam. Yet anti-American terrorism originating in the Muslim world has been solely in retaliation for US military invasions, occupations, and covert wars that have taken countless innocent lives. The work of Robert Pape, founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, establishes this beyond a reasonable doubt. How would Americans react to a foreign occupation?
Moreover, foreign intervention and the inevitable retaliatory “blowback” have brought a frightening devaluation of our privacy and other civil liberties. As the late professor Chalmers Johnson put it, either give up the empire or live under it.