28 November 2010

Wikileaks hardly undermines US policy

Let's look at the latest revelations, for which Bradley Manning faces 52 years in federal prison.  (This post will likely be updated several times)
  • Despite incessant pressure even from Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, the US has exercised a surprising amount of restraint against Iran.  Especially considering the border incidents between Iran and US forces in Iraq.  The rest of the world seems just as concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions as the US is.
  • Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's "frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest".  Say it isn't so.
  • The New York Times alludes to links between the Russian government and organized crime.  (Or maybe this is just the plot of most 1990s-era action movies...)
  • There are also allegations of inappropriate behavior within the British royal family.  (Has Wikileaks become The Sun?)
  • Iran is described by US sources as a "complete dictatorship".  Who would have thought?
  • Kim Jong-Il, the Dear Leader of North Korea, is believed to have experienced physical and psychological trauma as a result of his stroke.  (Awww, he's just ronery...)
  • Libyan leader Moammar Qadaffi is "just strange", according to one source.  Shocking.  
  • Jackpot!  Here's a State Department cable on Qadaffi's eccentricities.  According to the cable, Qadaffi likes Flamenco dancing.  (Bad mental image)  Not to mention, according to my web hits, Qadaffi's female Ukrainian nurse,  Alyna Kolotnytska, is clearly the most popular item in all of Wikileaks' latest releases.  Julian Assange, I can't hate you now.  You've truly done the world a service, though not quite the service you had in mind.  
  • The US State Dept. believes that the 2009 coup against Honduran President Zalaya was illegal, yet still somewhat understandable.
  • The US is concerned about Africa?  What the fuck?!
  • Russian President Medvedev plays "Robin" to Russian Prime Minister Putin's "Batman".  You know what this calls for?  
  • On a serious note, North Korea supplied Iran with long-range missiles.  Spencer Ackerman speculates that this might be the impetus behind Europe's recent defense shield.  
  • A 1966 cable indicates that the Argentine Navy's recent claims of "preferential jurisdiction" out to "200 meter isobar" does not include the Falkland Islands.  Whew, glad to know they won't be trying to invade and annex the Falklands or anything...
  • OMFG--US sold F-4E Phantoms to the Shah Iran in 1972.  Color me shocked.
Chris Albon sums up the ambivalence towards Wikileaks thusly:  "Want to turn the public against Wikileaks? Leak them Gmail's database. The only secrets people care about are their own."

He also produced a diplomatic cable, dated this morning:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this series of posts. I left a few irritated comments at KoW - and wish I hadn't. I'm on the side of the whistleblowers but a document dump like this just seems so irresponsible. Who knows, though, maybe people will be more careful in the future. How does this much information get handled by one person?

- Madhu