The pro Wikileaks argument sounds an awful lot like the music piracy thing. "Information wants to be free." The corollary is, "We have a right to know everything our leaders are doing and saying."
That is total bullshit.
And what is so fascinating about this is that the same people who make these arguments (like the EFF) are the ones up in arms about our loss of privacy. The issues are two sides of the same coin.
All information does not want to be free. My private information deserves to remain private. And if I must share it with the government for some reason, that doesn't mean that I should lose my right to privacy. If I have an opinion, or a need, or a "situation" and I share it with an ambassador, or the state department, or my local congressman, that does not mean that I am OK with that information being broadcast over the Internet for all the world to see.
To be clear, I am sure that there are things that are in the Wikileaks trove that should be public. But there is a huge difference between providing curated information that the public has a right to have and a need to know (like the Pentagon Papers), and broadcasting absolutely everything with the ethos that if the government is involved then we as citizens all have a right to know.
The reality is that we are not the government. We (hopefully) elect our government, and they act on our behalf. One of the ideas behind government is that it should act on our behalf, but that it must also keep our individual confidences, and the confidences of other nation states with which we deal. This is a huge issue because to the extent that government cannot be trusted to keep anyone's confidence, a hugely important role of government no longer works.
For example, we cannot negotiate with other states if everything they say will immediately be broadcast. There will be no dialog and no opportunity for understanding. And because many of the governments on the other side of the table (think North Korea, China, etc.) do a much better job of keeping their secrets, they will just know that they cannot trust any discussion with the US to not go public. This has no effect other than to make us more isolated.
This is not just hypothetical. One of the things the Wikileaks trove reveals is how difficult it is to deal with a foreign government when you know nothing about the leader or that country. We have been reduced to guessing what we should do and what North Korean might do and why. To be clear this information void is not because of Wikileaks (in fact the knowledge of the void is because of Wikileaks), but the point is that lack of information creates very difficult problems. And because other states are much less likely to have such leaks the US will be the only state that can't be trusted to communicate with.
Further reducing the US information flow making us a less effective state operator is not a good thing. One of the things that is clear from Wikileaks is that while there are unquestionably a few bad acts, the vast majority of the leaks reflect a US government that is trying to keep the world from blowing up, employing, at times, extraordinary statesmanship. There is nothing shocking in the Wikileaks release which is why everyone is spending so much time talking about the context of the release and not the actual content. So far, the most interesting leaks are personality issues such as our views of Karzai, Putin and Berlusconi. These are leaks that do nothing to improve our relations with these countries, and they do not in any substantive way help our citizens understand the world in which we live.
The bottom line here is that privacy has its value, not just between members of the public, but between citizens and their governments, and between government officials. Everything does not need or deserve to be public. There is a line. And while I certainly would not elect myself to decide where that line is, it does exist. And to those that say such a line is unneeded or inappropriate, I call bullshit on that. Of course whether we can do anything about it is a different matter.