Wikileaks meets the Grand Wurlitzer
The most recent release of wikileaks docs has provoked all the standard reactions we have come to expect. The punditocracy, both governmental and media, have thrown everything they could think of at them hoping something will stick.
We are told that the docs are an attack on our national security and not just that but the international community. Then we are told often by the same people that they are of no importance, that they are full of mistakes and inaccuracies, that they are essentially gossip, that foreign leaders say even worse and more impolitic things about our leaders.
We are told that Julian Assange and wikileaks could well have blood on their hands. The people who tell us this should know because they have the blood of thousands, both civilians and American soldiers, on theirs, acquired in the prosecution of their endless, meaningless imperial wars. It seems almost superfluous to point out that they have never, despite their best efforts, come up with a single instance with which to accuse Assange.
Instead we are regaled with the usual smears. Assange is an unstable, thrill seeking, attention grabbing, computer hacking, likely rapist. There are mutterings of treason and espionage, although neither apply. So while Assange and wikileaks have done nothing illegal by releasing this material, wikileaks is hit by a denial of service attack and suggestions are made that something (extra-judicial) should be done about Assange.
Then we are told that this could all be a setup, that wikileaks is being duped, that it is being fed targeted info embedded in the wider background of the leaks. The suggestion is that this is being done by foreign players, even though these are American diplomatic cables.
We are also told that because of the document release our government will lose credibility, that those whom Hillary Clinton has set her spies/diplomats on will be reluctant to speak candidly with us, not mind you because she has done this but rather because what they say might someday become public.
We are told that really all the cables show, as with Iran, is that the government is saying the same things in private that it is saying in public. Then as with Afghanistan and Pakistan, we are told the opposite of this.
It is all a monumental exercise in hypocrisy and misdirection. What I see almost no discussion of, especially on the networks, including PBS and cable, is what this says about American foreign policy.
Karzai is completely unreliable and his government is totally corrupt. So why exactly have we made him the indispensable man and his government the focal point of our efforts now extended 4 more years? Why do we continue to rely on such a perfidious, backstabbing "partner" like Pakistan, or its totally corrupt leadership? Nor is it ever explained that Saudi belligerence toward Iran extends only so far and as long as its American, not Saudi, asses that are getting shot at. Nor is anyone raising questions about Honduras. The embassy there communicates that the coup against Zelaya was illegal and unconstitutional in every possible meaningful way, and the Obama Administration? It simply let it slide.
That is the great untold story here. The wikileaks documents raise all kinds of red flags, not just about how American foreign policy is run, but its content. Virtually all the coverage though is on the atmospherics. What little substance there is is coming from the foreign papers that were given the cables: the Guardian, Der Spiegel, El País, and Le Monde.