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What Glenn Beck and WikiLeaks' Julian Assange have in common

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Assange himself appears to believe he's in the vanguard of a struggle against an entire international system that he clearly abhors. Consider this Dec. 31, 2006, blog post on the website, owned by Assange, titled "The non linear effects of leaks on unjust systems of governance."

"The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie," he wrote. "This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive 'secrecy tax') and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power."

'Secrecy tax' and 'stovepiping'

In the US, former State Department and other government officials have worried that just such a "secrecy tax" – with the recompartmentalizing of information flows that were relaxed after 9/11 to improve US intelligence analysis – could be a result of WikiLeaks' release of 250,000 State Department cables to several news organizations, along with their gradual publication on WikiLeaks' website.

Wayne White, a retired senior State Department intelligence analyst, told the Monitor last month that he worried that a rolling back of intelligence reforms could be WikiLeaks' biggest legacy. "I helped work on trying to end the suffocating stovepiping that led to flawed decisions," Mr. White said. "They’re going to re-stovepipe, which is precisely what we spent a decade trying to stamp out, with the US government's left hand often not knowing what the right was doing."

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