The Wikileaks Catastrophe
Vol: 110 Issue: 26 Friday, November 26, 2010
It was a good idea in theory; Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claims that the purpose of his website was to ensure that “good triumphs over evil.”
And it would still be a good idea – provided Julian Assange’s definitions of good and evil were the same as mine. But alas, they are not.
Indeed, Julian Assange’s definitions of good and evil are mirror images of mine, turning evil into good and good into evil. (That means woe unto somebody for sure.)
Assange, who could be devoting his efforts to exposing al-Qaeda terrorists or Mexican drug lords or North Korean dictators, has instead decided that the United States is the greater evil.
So this past July, WikiLeaks published more than 76,900 documents on the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, and then in October it released about 400,000 documents connected with the war in Iraq.
I found the following assessment of the Wikileaks catastrophe in, of all places, the Moscow Times:
“The only problem is that Assange’s leaks make it easier for the Taliban to capture, torture and kill the secret informants in Afghanistan who are working for the U.S. military. For this, al-Qaeda counterintelligence should bestow Assange the Bin Laden Award for outstanding service in the fight against U.S. infidels.
Making his contribution to the fight against the global center of evil and tyranny, Assange decided not to linger long in any one place. In September, he flew from Stockholm to Berlin, checking his bags containing three laptop computers with encrypted information. The computers disappeared, and the computer wonder boy was shocked.
“We have been attacked by the United States,” he complained to a New York Times reporter.”
In the aftermath of the “attack” on Wikileaks “by the United States,” Assange needs to buy three new laptops and avoid Sweden until the rape charges blow over.
Some “attack”. Anyway, as the Moscow Times’ piece goes on to point out, in any case, Assange attacked the US first.
Assange clearly wants to be seen as a courageous crusader against evil and corruption. He likes to be called the “Robin Hood of hackers”.
But why go after the United States instead of Iran, or al-Qaeda or North Korea or the Mexican drug cartel?
Well, if he had, he’d be dead already. That’s an excellent reason.
Wikileaks announced on Monday through its website that it is about to dump another wad of secret intelligence information that it claims is seven times the size of the previous dumps about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since the announcement, US diplomats around the world are visiting their host governments to warn them that the most intimate secrets they’ve shared with the United States government are about to show up on the internet.
The cables, for instance, could reveal that senior government officials in other countries are the sources of embarrassing information about the inner workings of those governments, thus making it more difficult for the State Department to obtain such intelligence in the future, noted the Washington Post.
“Without getting into specifics, typical cables describe summaries of meetings, analysis of events in other countries and records of confidential conversations with officials of other governments and with members of civil society,” said State Department spokesman PJ Crowley. “They are classified for a very good reason. They contain sensitive information and reveal sources of information that impact our national interests and those of other countries.”
Crowley added that “the lives of people who provide us valuable information and perspective are being put at risk. They help us understand what is happening around the world and inform our policies and actions.”
With spectacular understatement, Crowley noted that the release of the documents will “probably” erode trust in the United States as a diplomatic partner.
U.S. ambassador to Canada David Jacobson phoned Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon to inform him of the matter, the Foreign Affairs department told the Canadian Press.
Canadian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Melissa Lantsman said the Canadian Embassy in Washington is “currently engaging” with the State Department on damage control.
The CBC noted that U.S. officials say the documents may contain accounts of compromising conversations with political dissidents and friendly politicians and could result in the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from foreign postings.
That can’t be good. But it gets worse.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and other agencies in Canberra, including the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, met to discuss the leaks, which a senior Australian government official said had prompted a “strong measure of concern,” according to the Australian newspaper.
“The whole thing is pretty big,” the official said, (proving that American diplomats have no corner on understatement.)
The US Embassy in Tel Aviv has informed the Israeli Prime Minister’s office that some of its most embarrassing secrets are soon to be handed over to its enemies worldwide.
The London-based newspaper Al Hayat reported yesterday that the documents show that the Turkish government allowed money and weapons to flow across the border into Iraq in support of Al Qaeda forces there.
Obama kicked off his World Apology Tour 2009 with a speech to the Muslim world delivered from Turkey in which Obama wanted his agenda to be perfectly clear:
“Make no mistake, though: Iraq, Turkey, and the United States face a common threat from terrorism. That includes the al Qaeda terrorists who have sought to drive Iraqis apart and to destroy their country. That includes the PPK.”
The PPK is a Kurdish independence group seeking to carve a homeland out of parts of Turkey, Iran and Iraq. It has been designated by the US State Department as a terrorist organization.
Among the documents about to be released by Wikileaks is a US military document referring to the PPK. ”warriors for freedom and Turkish citizens” and said the US had set free arrested PKK members in Iraq.
The documents also say that US forces in Iraq have given weapons to the PKK.
Although Wikileaks has been around since 2006, it wasn’t until after Obama took office that Wikileaks suddenly developed a pipeline into the super-secret inner workings of the United States government, the US diplomatic corps and the Pentagon.
According to the Obama administration, the source of all this damaging information about the United States is a traitorous super-spy who the government says had access to all these top-secret ultra-krypto eyes-only diplomatic cables and secret Pentagon war reports.
The traitorous super-spy that provided Wikileaks with something close to eight million different top-secret documents from all these different agencies is a 22 year-old Private First Class named Bradley Manning.
That’s their story and they are sticking to it.
An insane conspiracy theorist, or maybe a ‘birther’ or a racist might connect the dots and come up with a plot that links the document dump to an organized effort to collapse the current system in order to fundamentally transform it.
But not me. Nope. I believe that a 22 year-old gay Army private was given access to more inter-agency top secret intelligence that the 9/11 Commission determined was available to CIA Director George Tenant in the months leading up to the attacks.
It would be crazy to think that it goes any higher up the chain of command than PFC Bradley. Why, I remember the unrestricted access to top-secret ultra-krypto intelligence files that I had when I was a PFC in the Marine Corps . . .
(Actually, I didn’t have clearance to see my own Service Record Book. Neither did any other PFC I ever met. Especially not one whose known sexual preference made him an automatic target for blackmail and therefore a classic security risk. )
But there is no way I am going to risk being labeled a racist or a Tea Bag or a birther or a conspiracist by noting the timeline during which Assange’s pipeline into America’s secret files opened up and suggesting some connection.
Nope. Others might. But not me. I wouldn’t even allow myself to think something like that. That would be crazy talk.