The Instigator
Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
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Wikileaks poses a threat to United States security.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/31/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,313 times Debate No: 15726
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Con Case
Wikileaks first came under the Government spotlight in November of 2008 when it became a popular site for internet "Whistle Blowers." As the website rose in prominence, its resources grew; and with those resources they managed to procure and publish almost one hundred thousand confidential documents pertaining to the United State's war in Afghanistan, and later almost four hundred thousand documents pertaining to the Iraq war. These Documents entailed troop logs, political meetings, Civilian Casualties, and even friendly fire. This would not have been reported of if it had not been for Wikileaks.
We as the Negative strongly agree in the negation of the resolution Resolved: Wikileaks poses a threat to United States security. And we disagree with the Pro on these three main points.
First, Wikileaks strengthens National Security by showing flaws in our Governments information sector. (Quote+Name) This is because it is beneficial for our Government to be aware of its flaws so it may fix them and improve upon itself. This transparency also makes politicians and diplomats more conscientious of what they say, lest they be quoted in an unfavorable document.
Secondly, Wikileaks is not liable for the information it releases and does not violate the First Amendment. Evan Hansen from the news reporting station "Wired" had to say this about Wikileaks, "Instead of encouraging online service providers to blacklist sites and writing new espionage laws that would further criminalize the publication of government secrets, we should regard Wikileaks as subject to the same first amendment rights that protect The New York Times." Saying Wikileaks is detrimental to our security is the same thing as punishing a journalist for doing his or her job too well, or condemning a newspaper for publishing in depth stories. This is not illegal activity; it is people on the front lines of information gathering fighting for our right to know what our Government is doing. Some might argue that effective diplomacy is held behind closed doors, but those doors also prevent those diplomats from seeing what the people need; and that need is the truth. We need to know where our money is going; we need to know why we are in a war and who is really attacking us. Wikileaks is not putting anybody's life in danger, but our government is putting lives at risk by putting us into war after war with no clear definition of why we are there.
Last of all, Wikileaks is not detrimental to our National Security, but those in the government who are able and willing to release harmful information are. Wikileaks is nothing more than a website; a medium for sharing information. We cannot argue that out of the many hundreds of thousands of documents released are all perfectly harmless. Some might be, but does that still mean that Wikileaks should be held reliable for what they publish? Wikileaks did not steal this information from the government; it was given to them by government officials. And it is those officials who are detrimental to our national security, not Wikileaks. There are still many more mediums to release these documents on other than Wikileaks that these corrupt officials can upload documents onto. If Wikileaks never published those documents then there would be another, or many other websites who would pick up the slack. In regards to our holding in the Middle East, Wikileaks is making our ties there even stronger. Syed Yanha Hussainy of the prominent Pakistani news source "New Pakistan" said that "In Pakistan, right wing conspiracy theorists see the documents as proof of a secret plan to seize the nation's nuclear assets; their counterparts on the American right wing see the documents as proof that Pakistan is secretly working with terrorist militants. In actuality, the documents tell a very different story—one in which US-Pakistan relations are stronger than ever."
Not only is Wikileaks helping us with Pakistan, but the website's help sparked the uprising in the country of Tunisia, and in turn Egypt. Helping the spread of democracy and free choice further into the Middle East, which has always been the goal of our country; to promote democracy and free choice.


In the past year Wikileaks has risen to the public eye. This is due to a large release of government files; including several releases of files that compromise vital security locations and top secret diplomatic cables. It is because of the obvious threat to national security caused by Wikileaks that I stand in firm affirmation of the;
Resolved: Wikileaks poses a threat the United States national security.

For the purpose of clarity I would like to offer the following definition.

National Security- a collective term for the defense and foreign relations of a country, protection of the interests of a country

As defined by Merriam Webster.

Contention 1: Wikileaks puts vital sites in danger.

The Washington Post, December 13, 2010, p. A18 (The writer is director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States and a former U.S. ambassador.)

Courtesy of WikiLeaks comes a secret State Department cable listing sites around the world vital to U.S. national security and public health.
"Leaking a list that purports to lay out critical infrastructure is like painting a target on the companies or the entities which are listed," said former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, who was responsible for the national infrastructure protection plan. The list of overseas facilities goes on for four single-spaced pages. Want to find "the most critical gas facility in the world"? According to the document, it's the Nadym gas pipeline junction in Russia. How about a "critical irreplaceable source of power to portions of northeast U.S"? Hydro Quebec in Canada or maybe the plant in Presont, England, that makes parts "critical to the new F-35 joint strike fighter."
Some elements are not well-protected or well-known," Chertoff said.
Attacks damaging to the U.S. could occur on any continent and in unlikely places that might never have occurred to bin Laden or any other terrorist.
While we may not see the damage caused by the leaks in the short term the possibilities for damage created by Wikileaks is massive. The list of all of these sites leaked by Wikileaks paints a target on places vital to United States security. This obviously harms the interests and defense of the U.S. thereby harming National Security.

Contention 2: Wikileaks damages U.S. foreign relations.

The Washington Post, December 13, 2010, p. A18 (The writer is director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States and a former U.S. ambassador.)

U.S. diplomats around the world are having to spend time on rear-guard "management" of the leaks' impacts rather than discussing real political, security, economic and other problems.
Many diplomats in Europe will be deterred from talking with us confidentially. The slowing of information flows will return to the U.S. government, undermining the ability of policymakers and analysts to see and think laterally across diverse issues and problems. WikiLeaks' releases also are adding to regional problems and rivalries, playing into some countries' domestic politics in ways not anticipated by the leaked cables' authors.
U.S. diplomats may face scrutiny over reporting and analysis they may be only vaguely associated with, or they may be rejected by other countries because, in confidential reporting to their own capital, they dared to express criticism or report distasteful information.
With American power and the effectiveness of coercive strategies declining in relative terms, we need agile diplomacy.
These leaks harm that diplomacy, and America's diplomatic effectiveness in a dangerous world will be diminished.
Those are real consequences.

Contention 3: Wikileaks damages the intelligence gathering of the United States.

Gabriel Schoenfeld, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Congressional Documents and Publications, December 16, 2010, p . online

Leaks significantly impact our ability to engage in exchanges of information with allies and adversaries alike. Even routine diplomatic discourse becomes impossible if both foreign and American officials labor in fear that their confidential remarks are to going to end up on the front page of the New York Times via WikiLeaks. Even more dangerous is the impact on intelligence sharing. In any particular instance in which information gathered by an ally is particularly sensitive, foreign intelligence officials can be quite reluctant to share it with our government if it will result in a headline that might compromise their own sources and methods, and possibly lead to the deaths of informants and agents.
Intelligence gathering and sharing plays a key role in the defense of the United States. Due to the fact that Wikileaks damages this; Wikileaks is obviously a threat to national security.


In conclusion, Wikileaks is an obvious and dangerous threat to the national security of the United States. It puts many sites, vital to the interests and security of the U.S., in danger. On top of this, the leaks damage the foreign relations of the U.S., which threatens its national security. Finally, vital intelligence gathering and sharing operations are nearly completely disabled by these leaks. It is for these reasons that I find myself strongly affirming the resolution.

Now I will move on to the contentions offered by my opponent.

In his first contention my opponent discussed the idea that Wikileaks actually benefits the U.S. National Security because it exposes flaws. While this may be true in some situations Wikileaks is simply the poorest way to go about solving the flaws of the government. There are other ways of solving these issues without releasing massive amounts of dangerous and confidential government documents to the entire world; this includes all enemies of the U.S. Perhaps we should increase regulations or take more time to check and recheck our government's policies and methods; both of these examples could be successful without endangering the National Security of the United States.

In his second contention my opponent brought the argument that Wikileaks is not in the wrong because its actions did not violate the First Amendment. While we must support the freedom of speech and press we must also take into consideration national security. If we do not defend the country that protects and establishes these rights; these rights are lost. Without national security we cannot have these rights. As I proved in my case Wikileaks does pose a substantial threat to the U.S. national security. It is because of this that we must disregard this argument.

In his third contention my opponent argued that Wikileaks is not at fault because it does not take the information. However this is simply untrue. I would like to offer evidence from Eric Johnson, a professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business: [The key issue is not how Wikileaks may have sourced its information but rather what it can do with it, the most important thing is that Wikileaks is offers a whole new channel for these kinds of leaks. For the CIO of a Fortune 500 company, it doesn't matter how Wikileaks gets the information. What really matters is that Wikileaks can amplify that information a thousand times.] What this shows us is that while those releasing the information are also a threat; the greatest threat in this situation is Wikileaks. This is due to the site's capability to release massive amounts of information. This sets it above other methods of leaking as well as the informants themselves as a threat. It is this obvious threat that proves that Wikileaks poses a threat to U.S. national security.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


Stan forfeited this round.


To avoid being too abusive I will not post any arguments this round, and give my opponent a chance to post in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


Stan forfeited this round.


I would like to conclude by saying that my opponent has failed to refute any of my contentions or attacks. He has not replied at all; because of this I believe that the vote should be for the Pro. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by psharpep 7 years ago
Hession, whatta boss. Get watered, Stan, my boy is solid.
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