During my hiatus here I have obviously missed a lot of opportunities to talk about WikiLeaks. Thankfully, Lenin's Tomb has written about what is, in some sense, the most important aspect of this whole story, the rape allegations and how they are treated in relation to the rest of the story.
Why the most important? After reading about WikiLeaks for months now, I feel that, at least on the Left, most could agree on the following: what has been leaked is of varying importance, but there is an inherent value in having access to primary source as a means of being able to come to our own conclusions about the veracity of stories we read in the mainstream media. And as much as these leaks may cause the tightening of the security state, it is difficult to argue that it would be better for us not to know anything about what our government is up to in order that such tightening doesn't occur.
But what still needs more examination, and what Richard is inviting us to examine, is not the corruption of others, but our own. Are we looking for heroes? Are we willing to make those that we like, or those that we view as being responsible for good acts, less responsible for the bad acts they may have committed? It is this kind of thinking that leads to despotism, regardless of whether the despot in question purports to represent the Left or the Right.