BAER: WikiLeaks, I think it’s a catastrophe. I mean, here our most sensitive diplomatic sources are all being exposed and it’s the trustworthiness and creditability of the United States – I mean, in terms of what it’s done to our national security is much worse than any car bomb that could possibly go off.
THE DEADBOLT: As a former spy yourself, how would you deal with your cover being blown in a leak like that?
BAER: You tighten up security. There are certain communications that are protected. The New York Times doesn’t put its sources out on the net, so why should the government? I mean, I believe in openness, too, but not in all cases. Does everyone want their medical records out on the internet? Does everybody want their credit and where they went to dinner last night on the internet?
Society does feel a little less confidential and the State Department has just got to get into the position where it learns how to classify things and not send them everywhere in the world for people that don’t need to see them. It’s need to know.
THE DEADBOLT: Since the internet makes car bombs so accessible, and now that we have WikiLeaks, do you think there needs to be some form of government regulation to control the internet?
BAER: No. No, I don’t think we should touch it. They just need to tighten it up at the State Department. If there’s a protected conversation with a head of state like Saudi Arabia or Yemen, or anywhere, it’s candid and obviously not off the record but not meant to see public light. You just simply classify it and you limit the distribution. There’s no reason for a corporal in Iraq to have access to all of our diplomatic communications. That’s just stupid.
Majestic is gadfly emeritus.