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Is the State Department Wiki Leaks the Beginning of a Nightmare For Open Government?

After three days of consuming the best of cuisine during Thanksgiving holiday, I have once again experienced my usual holiday epiphany to become inspired. It is usually around this time of year, that I personally and professionally aspire to take my goal setting to the next level. Honestly speaking, I am excited about expanded hopes for our country, our employment opportunities, our hopes for small business, and hopes to empower institutions to engage in the “knowledge industry” in which we now live. In-spite of the political challenges, the exhaustive debates between the new Congress and White House that we can expect may impede formulating real solutions for our economy, I feel a strong shield protecting me against anti-progressive forces. This is a shield I earnestly hope for all of us as America works its way out of the recession.
Then came the Wiki Leaks at the State Department. For those of us who are ambassadors for transparency, who preach collaboration, and who encourage increased public participation in government, the State Department is now facing a potential global nightmare having to explain away email communications and files that reveal the most secretive of comments clearly not meant for public viewing. This may make our dreams, our convictions, and our aspirations for a more Open and innovative Government a questionable proposition two years after the declaration for Government to become Open.
According to today’s Sentinel Source, WASHINGTON — U.S. diplomats and officials said they’re bracing for at least three newspapers and WikiLeaks to publish today hundreds of thousands classified State Department cables that could drastically alter U.S. relations with top allies and reveal embarrassing secrets about U.S. foreign policy”. U.S. diplomats frantically have been reaching out to their counterparts around the world as intelligence officials pleaded with WikiLeaks and the newspapers, including The New York Times, the Guardian in London and Der Spiegel, a German newsweekly, to not publish information that could endanger lives and U.S. policy. Some of the documents are expected to reveal details about how some U.S. diplomats feel about top foreign leaders.

So determined to remain upbeat about closing out 2010 and gearing up for a super 2011, let me suggest to my fellow Gov loopers to use this opportunity to come together, collaborate with each other, and information share ideas on how critical it becomes for OGD to become even more the reason for appropriating a marketing budget to branding Open Government.

For those of us who are fully committed to the precepts of Open Government, and have already seen how OGD becomes a way of doing business, let’s lead by example. Let’s begin our own branding campaign to promote the benefits, the economic upside, and the global diplomacy value associated with a structured, “regulated” Open Government.

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