There’s a lot that the mainstream media hasn’t bothered to mention about WikiLeaks’ embarrassing release of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. documents.
One detail is that U.S. Private First Class Bradley Manning is an activist homosexual who wrote emails declaring that he wanted to hurt America because President Obama has not abolished the U.S. military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy.
Disclosing that fact wouldn’t be politically correct, particularly with Congress debating that allowing homosexuals to serve in the military doesn’t pose serious security risks.
But there are a number of other questions. One is why the U.S. hasn’t knocked out any computer system being used by WikiLeaks – we have the capability. Another is why WikiLeaks hasn’t been declared a terrorist organization. A third would be why its bank accounts and those of anyone working with WikiLeaks haven’t been seized or frozen.
And then there’s the question of why WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange is still alive.
But there are other puzzles
"If electing a black president with the middle name Hussein was supposed to assuage anti-Americanism around the world, Julian Assange didn’t get the message," writes columnist Rich Lowry.
"The first batch of WikiLeaks documents undermined the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, violent conflicts started by the Bush administration."
But the latest batch undermines international diplomacy, the soft art of bargaining and persuasion as practiced by the highly anticipated, engagement-loving Obama administration.
So, Assange seems to want to attack our ability to make war … as well as our ability to end or prevent wars.
"Assange is an equal-opportunity America hater," explains Lowry. "It doesn’t matter if our president is black or white, left or right, with the middle name Hussein or Walker, so long as he’s leader of the country Assange perversely calls a threat to democracy, even as he provides aid and comfort to our violent, undemocratic enemies overseas."
But that’s far from the only puzzle
"Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has positioned himself as a left-wing whistleblower," notes columnist Lee Smith, "whose life mission is to call the United States to task for the evil it has wreaked throughout the world. But after poring through the diplomatic cables revealed via the site, one might easily wonder if Assange isn’t instead a clandestine agent of Dick Cheney and Bibi Netanyahu – and whether his muckraking website isn’t part of a plot to provoke an attack on Iran."
Furthermore, there’s the puzzling realization that America hasn’t been damaged by the release of the secret diplomatic cables.
"Part way through our afternoon’s reading in the latest document dump from WikiLeaks," mused a New York Sun editorial page writer, "the thought occurred to us that maybe Julian Assange is an American agent.
"We don’t have anything to suggest such a thing, other than the thought that when one digs through all the chaff here there’s not much that makes America look bad.
"There are, however, number of things that seem destined, when they start percolating into the diplomatic dialogue, to work to our advantage."
"The classic justification for a leak is to expose malfeasance," notes Lowry. "In all his tens of thousands of released documents, Assange has exposed none, despite his typically delusional boast that the first dump revealed ‘thousands’ of possible war crimes.
"Assange’s goal is wanton destruction, pure and simple. He wants to expose to retribution those who cooperate with us on the ground in war zones. He wants to undercut domestic support for our wars.
"He wants to embarrass our foreign allies and exact a price for their trust in us. He wants to complicate sensitive operations like securing nuclear material in Pakistan and attacking terrorists with missiles in Yemen.
"In his left-wing nihilism, though, Assange shares something of the spirit of the Red Brigades or the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the leftist European terrorist organizations of the 1970s."
His propaganda is exposure
"Assange is too blinded by zeal to realize that the content of his documents runs counter to his twisted worldview."
Tom Joscelyn of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies notes that Assange’s leaked Afghan war materials referred to numerous instances of decapitations perpetrated by the Taliban. The documents told the story of a civilized army struggling to prevail against barbarism while honoring its own norms.
"Our leaked diplomatic cables again do more to vindicate a hawk’s view of the world than Assange’s juvenile leftism," notes Lowry. "The Gulf Arab states are as eager as Israel, perhaps more so, for the United States to strike Iran’s nuclear program. North Korea is transferring missile technology to Iran, in a concrete expression of the Axis of Evil. Syria is arming Hezbollah. And on it goes."
"What the Wikileaks documents reveal is not a conspiracy of any kind," agrees Smith, "but a scary and growing gap between the private assessments of American diplomats and allies in the Middle East and public statements made by U.S. government officials.
"The publication of these leaked cables is eerily reminiscent of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed a decade-long attempt by U.S. officials to distort and conceal unpalatable truths about the Vietnam War, and manipulate public opinion.
"The difference is that while the Pentagon Papers substantially vindicated the American left, the Wikileaks cable dump vindicates the right.
"Here," writes Smith, "are eight of the most obvious examples from the initial trove of documents that has appeared online:
"1. While the Israelis are deeply concerned about Iran’s march toward a nuclear program, it is in fact the Arabs who are begging the United States to ‘take out’ Iranian installations through military force, with one United Arab Emirates official even proposing a ground invasion. Calling Iran ‘evil,’ King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly urged the United States to ‘cut off the head of the snake’ by attacking Iranian nuclear installations.
"2. It is not just Israeli leaders who believe Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reminiscent of Hitler; U.S. officials think so too, as do Arab leaders, who use the Hitler analogy to warn against the dangers of appeasing Iran.
"3. North Korea, an isolated country that enjoys substantial diplomatic and economic backing from China, is supplying Iran with advanced ballistic missile systems that would allow an Iranian nuclear warhead to hit Tel Aviv – or Moscow – with a substantial degree of accuracy. Taken in concert with the North Korean-built nuclear reactor in Syria, it would appear that North Korea – acting with the knowledge and perhaps direct encouragement of China – is playing a significant and deliberate role in the proliferation of nuclear equipment and ballistic delivery systems in the Middle East.
"4. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not a model Middle Eastern leader who has found the right mixture of religious enthusiasm and democracy, as U.S. government officials often like to suggest in public, but ‘an exceptionally dangerous’ Islamist. U.S. diplomats have concluded that Erdogan’s anti-Israel rhetoric is not premised on domestic Turkish electioneering or larger geo-strategic concerns but rather on a personal, visceral hatred of Israel.
"5. Tehran has used the cover of the ostensibly independent Iranian Red Crescent – a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, whose pledge of neutrality allows it access to war zones – to smuggle weapons and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force into Lebanon during the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war, and into Iraq, to fight against U.S. soldiers.
"6. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his intelligence chief Omar Suleiman are more worried about Hamas than about Israel and are staunchly opposed to the expansion of Iranian influence in the region.
"7. The Amir of Qatar is a dubious ally, who plays Washington and Tehran off each other. ‘The Amir closed the meeting by offering that based on 30 years of experience with the Iranians, they will give you 100 words. Trust only one of the 100.’
"8. America’s Arab allies do not believe that the Barack Obama Administration can separate Syria from Iran through any foreseeable combination of carrots and sticks. According to one cable, the United Arab Emirate’s Sheik Mohamed Bin Zayed ‘showed no confidence that Syria could be separated from the Iranian camp’ and quoted him directly as saying ‘If you want my opinion … I think not.’ He advised that Syria would continue hedging on key regional issues for the foreseeable future.
"If these cables make many on the right look in touch with reality," writes Smith, "it is hardly a surprise that their domestic U.S. rivals are trying to spin the Wikileaks cables to their own advantage.
"For instance, leftwing academic specialists on the Middle East who have argued that the peace process is the key issue in the region and that the Gulf Arab states do not want the United States or Israel to bomb Iran are nonetheless celebrating the Wikileaks documents, even as their argument is now disproved.
"The New York Times is trying to make the case that in the wake of George W. Bush’s mismanagement the Obama Administration has managed to build a strong sanctions regime against Iran that includes Russia and China.
"Unfortunately, the cables prove only that Russian envoys are working to frustrate the U.S. effort by selling the Iranian position to the Arabs.
"What comes through most strongly from the Wikileaks documents, however," writes Smith, "is that U.S. Middle East policy is premised on a web of self-justifying fictions that are flatly contradicted by the assessments of American diplomats and allies in the region.
"Starting with Bush’s second term and continuing through the Obama Administration, Washington has ignored the strong and repeated pleas of its regional allies – from Jerusalem to Riyadh – to stop the Iranian nuclear program.
"Perhaps the most disturbing revelation in the documents is the extent to which both the Bush and Obama Administrations have concealed Iran’s war against the United States and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and the Arab Gulf states, even as those same allies have been candid in their diplomatic exchanges with us.
"U.S. servicemen and – women," writes Smith, "are being dispatched to combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan where they are fighting Iranian soldiers and assets in a regional war with the Islamic Republic that our officials dare not discuss, lest they have to do something about it."
Will Hillary have to resign?
"The leaked cables make it impossible for Hillary Clinton to continue as secretary of state," writes Jack Shafer in Slate magazine. "A U.S. diplomat must possess patience, poise, and tact. He or she must also be attentive to cultural differences, a good observer, and proficient in several languages."
Indeed, when called upon, a diplomat must use skills as a negotiator in their country’s national interest.
"No matter what sort of noises Clinton makes about how the disclosures are ‘an attack on America’ and ‘the international community,’" writes Shafer, "she’s become the issue. She’ll never be an effective negotiator with diplomats who refuse to forgive her exuberances, and even foreign diplomats who do forgive her will still regard her as the symbol of an overreaching United States.
"Diplomacy is about face, and the only way for other nations to save face will be to give them Clinton’s scalp.
"There is no way that the new WikiLeaks leaks don’t leave Hillary Clinton holding the smoking gun. The weakened and humiliated Secretary of State will have to pay."
The New York Sun’s editors are puzzled by a number of the disclosures.
"For starters, feature the disclosure that the Arabs want an attack on Iran’s nuclear program. Heretofore this point has been getting only vague focus. Via Wikileaks, however, this is put into sharp relief."
Due to the incredible number of documents released by WikiLeaks, the journalistic community is having trouble reading all of them, much less reporting the details.
The Jerusalem Post focused on a secret diplomatic cable from the American embassy at Riyadh which described a meeting in 2008 between the Saudi king, Abdullah, and the American ambassador, Ryan Crocker, and General Petraeus.
According to the Post, the cable quotes a former Saudi envoy in the U.S., Abdel al-Jubeir, as recalling "the King’s frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program."
Cut off the head of the snake
The king, according to WikiLeaks, pleaded with America to "Cut off the head of the snake."
"Ordinarily it would be awkward for America to get this kind of diplomatic cable traffic out in public," observed the New York Sun. "Now we have Assange to the rescue.
"Or take the disclosures about the United Nations. The UN, after all, is a body that has taken American money for years – and in incredible abundance – but has become a runaway institution."
So, how could the U.S. communicate to the UN just how low they are regarded by even the leftist Obama administration?
"Why not have old Julian Assange leak a trove of documents?" asked the Sun.
The New York Times focused its attention on a cable signed by Secretary Clinton listing ‘information-gathering priorities to American staff members at the United Nations headquarters in New York, including ‘biographic and biometric information on ranking North Korean diplomats.’’
The Times noted that international treaties prohibit spying at the United Nations.
"So how could the United Nations be put on notice save for Assange?" asked the Sun.
"Then there is the matter of Italy under Prime Minister Berlusconi," observed the Sun. "How could the Americans get a message through to billionaire premier in respect to just how inappropriate his behavior has been?
"How about having someone like Julian Assange leak a lot of cable traffic about the prime minister’s penchant for such sex parties as would make a President Clinton or a JFK blush? Or sending, via such cables, a message that we are onto his questionable deals with the Russians?
"No doubt," admits the Sun, "it is ridiculous to imagine that Assange is an American agent. However, there was speculation along these lines in the Iranian press."