Wikileaks Brings Down the House


Connor Harding, Editior-in-Chief

Recently, I asked students of Hubbard High school if anyone had heard of the information hub known as Wikileaks, headed by disgraced mogul Julian Assange. Surprisingly, this reporter could not find a single soul in the whole building who wasn’t familiar with the site, or their recent infamous exposes. Apparently, the Wikileaks phenomenon has more popularity and endurance than the latest novel read in English class or the hardest CCP Math mformula memorized.

When asked about what students thought about Wikileaks’ revealations concerning the presidential election, senior Jared Adler responded, “It’s great. They should have done it even sooner.” When asking others, I was given relatively similar answers. It seems as though the young public appreciates the sharing of vital information, regardless of the means of its release.

The 2016 presidential election came down to the wire at the polls nationwide. Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton held a grizzly political grudge match for months insulting everything about each other, from character to one-another’s “stamina”. Donald Trump may have received the worst of the lashings due to Clinton supporters who were deeply imbedded into the mainstream media. Fortunately for the orange-haired tycoon, now our 45th President, Trump found an unlikely ally in the form of 30,000+ separate documents.  A massive majority of Clinton’s lost emails were hacked or recovered by a crack team at Wikileaks, shedding a great deal of negative light on the once surging Democratic campaign. Everything from personal conversations to embarrassing reports of unnecessary spending were found in the cluster.

The after effects of this information dump were devastating to the Democratic campaign. After a DNC email detailing unfair primary bias came to light, many fans of Senator Bernie Sanders rebelled against their supposed nominee. Though it was barely thought to be possible, Clinton’s approval rating sunk even lower than usual, to an all time low of 35%. Worst of all, the release ignited new interest in a federal investigation into her foundation. This new controversy served to only weaken the Clinton’s already sinking ship. One website had managed to cut what was once a 9% national lead in the polls in favor of Clinton to a virtual dead heat.

The outcome of all of this? Wikileaks profoundly affected the election by bringing a political juggernaut to its knees simply by giving the public pertinent information which was thought to be lost forever.  What Americans have to consider is how we will view these leaks in the future, and how our government will handle the whistle blowers? On January 17, outgoing President Obama commuted the sentence of Bradley Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst and self-styled “transgender” now going by the name Chelsea, who pleaded guilty under the Espionage Act of leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic and military cables to pro-transparency site WikiLeaks. Reaction to Obama’s actions were mixed. As HHS teens become more politically aware, they have to determine where they stand on the actions of whistleblowers and whether or not the actions of Wikileaks are always necessary and admirable.