UPDATE: Something else which has come out of the WikiLeaks dump is that when President Obama met with King Abdullah last year, he scored himself a tirade for having spent all his time bloviating about the importance of the Arab/Israeli conflict when what Abdullah really cared about was Iran and their nukes.
That, again, isn’t exactly news. It does, however, indicate that the people in charge of our foreign policy are informed by left-wing pontification rather than reality. And it’s already cost us in terms of our credibility with the people we’ve got to deal with there – and nothing good can come of that.
ORIGINAL: There’s a lot here, but it boils down pretty simply.
First, this Julian Assange guy isn’t American, so he isn’t really a candidate to be tried for treason by the U.S. government. He does appear to represent a clear and present danger to American national security, and as such it should be no surprise if he were to break his neck falling down the stairs or get killed in a one-car accident. If ever there was a guy who ought to have a black-bag job done on him it’s this cat. We don’t like the idea of our government engaging in murder of individuals, but on the other hand what Assange is doing is inimical to the national security interests of the United States and he’s a foreigner. If we can send Blackjack Pershing down to Mexico to take out Pancho Villa, we can send an operator or two out to liquidate Assange.
Second, the Bradley Manning twerp who fed all the documents to Assange that put this site on the map can’t be hung fast enough. Manning IS an American citizen, and what’s more he was with Army intelligence. Trying him for treason ought to be an open-and-shut case. There is evidence that Manning is out to get America because of our policies regarding gays in the military, and he’s said he’s trying to create chaos and anarchy. He needs a speedy trial and a long drop from a short rope.
All that said, and recognizing that the idea of WikiLeaks’ existence and activity in and of itself is a bad thing – these people are making it difficult for the U.S. government to keep national secrets when those secrets are necessary to keep us safe, and while we’re big fans of civil liberties we don’t find any constitutional protection for Australian poofters publishing classified material on the internet – the actual leaks themselves in the current batch aren’t any particular big deal.
The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs has an interesting wrapup of the latest dump in its latest e-mail blast (link isn’t yet available on the JINSA site)…
Stipulating that we are not at all sanguine about this and acknowledging that the fact of the leaks may ultimately be more important than the result of the leaks, the first headlines from Wikileaks mainly confirm what we think we already knew, and some things we’re happy to think the American government was doing. The New York Times and Reuters report, inter alia:
- The United States has been gaming an eventual collapse of North Korea and discussing prospects for a unified Korea with our South Korean ally.
We were doing that in the early 1950’s when the Korean War was going on, and there is zero reason why we would have stopped doing it. The theory here is that our planning for a unified Korea with the ROK is likely the main reason we take such a passive position with the Norks. After all, the South Koreans saw it take better than a decade for West Germany to absorb East Germany, which was the cream of the crop among communist countries, and it has to be at least a somewhat horrifying prospect for South Korea (population 50 million) to take on North Korea (population 23 million). Think about this in American terms – it would be like the U.S.A. annexing Mexico, Cuba and Haiti as part of our country. Sure, we become bigger and more populous. We also become inundated with tens of millions of uneducated, unskilled and unassimilated shlubs who currently live their lives in poverty and essential slavery. Oh, and by the way, they’ll all get to vote. If that prospect stinks to you, now you understand why South Korea would rather not push the issue of North Korea. Particularly not when the likely road to such a dubious reward is a war which destroys Seoul, which is New York, L.A. and Chicago all rolled into one in South Korean terms.
So it’s no surprise that we’ve been gaming this one out, and the South Koreans don’t think the game is much fun. No surprises on this one – Manning and Assange get a nice “No shit, Sherlock” for this entry.
- Turkey’s dependability is in doubt and its leadership is divided and permeated by Islamists.
- Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi is eccentric.
In other news, the Lions can’t beat their meat on Thanksgiving Day and Rosie O’Donnell is fat. Assange is risking a syringe full of air bubbles injected into his jugular for this?
- In 2006, one week after Bashar al Assad promised not to send “new” arms to Hezbollah, the United States government knew he was providing increasingly sophisticated weapons.
It’s news, but it’s not a surprise. It makes Nancy Pelosi look like an even bigger dumbass for having donned a headscarf and trucked it to Syria in 2007 when everybody told her not to, though. She didn’t exactly redefine the terms of our relationship with Assad while there if memory serves.
- The Saudis finance Sunni terrorist groups including al Qaeda, while Saudi King Abdullah asked the United States repeatedly to attack (Shiite) Iran and destroy its nuclear program, asking Gen. Petraeus to “cut off the head of the snake.” King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain, where the HQ of the U.S. Fifth Fleet is located, seconded the message.
You mean the Saudis are backstabbing liars, play a double game and want others to do their dirty work for them? Quel surprise! Certainly it’s understandable that they’re stroking out left and right over this at the State Department, as the one thing not documented in this latest dump is the extent to which American ex-diplomats and government officials rake in Saudi bribes – and if the extent of the perfidy and manipulation the Arab states have been practicing were fully understood by the American people that gravy train would have to close up shop sharpish.
- Washington and Yemen agreed to cover up the use of U.S. planes to bomb al Qaeda.
Interesting stuff, though since for Yemen to have drones they’d have to be powered by rubber bands it would seem fairly apparent that al Qaeda bad guys were being blown to smithereens by missiles from drones they’d be U.S. drones. Our appropriate response to this is, “Yeah, so?” and then a tripling of the Marine contingent providing security at our embassy in Sana’a.
- Diplomats called Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin an “alpha-dog,” said Afghan President Hamid Karzai is “driven by paranoia,” and German Chancellor Angela Merkel “avoids risk and is rarely creative.” The German foreign minister is described as “arrogant.”
These are examples of a phenomenon known as “opinion.” They’re hard to argue with, in fact, though characterizing the conservative and reality-based Merkel as “rarely creative” is par for the course among the lefty Ivy League pukes who populate the State Department.
- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is compared to Hitler.
If he’s not, he damn sure ought to be. Ahmadinejad echoes Hitler in so many ways it’s frightening. Incidentally, this comparison appears in the WikiLeaks documents not from America but from Gulf-state Arab diplomats.
- London and Washington are worried about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. If the country faces economic collapse, government employees could smuggle out enough nuclear material for terrorists to build a bomb.
Hardly earth-shattering, though certainly this is a significant issue our responsible officials ought to be kicking around.
- The United States government suspects corruption in the Afghan government.
Noooooo! You don’t say! How could corruption in the Afghan government be possible when Karzai’s brother is the biggest drug dealer in South Asia? This is earth-shaking stuff.
- U.S. officials have been instructed to spy on the UN leadership.
One would certainly hope so, given the behavior of said leadership since the founding of the UN.
- Iranian Revolutionary Guards helped Hezbollah in 2006 Lebanon War, disguised as Red Crescent officials.
We certainly didn’t need WikiLeaks to disclose that one.
- Qatar’s security service was “hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals.”
This might be news, but again it’s not surprising. Since al Qaeda and its allies are a lot more trigger-happy when it comes to killing Muslims who don’t share their religious views than America and our allies are when it comes to killing Muslims who are insufficiently allied with our geopolitical point of view, calculating double-game operators like the Qataris are naturally going to think twice before helping us.
- Slovenia, Kiribati and Belgium were pressed to take prisoners from Guantanamo – Belgium and Slovenia were told it was a good way to get Washington’s attention.
If anything is truly embarrassing in this latest round of dumped material, this might be it. Shopping Gitmo bad guys to pipsqueak countries like Slovenia and Belgium and telling them it would be good for them to take these clowns off our hands just reeks of weakness. Meanwhile, it’s two years since Obama was elected and Gitmo is still going strong because it is and has always been the best place to salt away the scum of the earth – at least until we get smart and build a Gitmo at the South Pole.
- Defense Secretary Gates told the French that, “Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was an oligarchy run by the security services… President Medvedev has a more pragmatic vision for Russia than Putin, but there has been little real change.”
It comes off as undiplomatic that Gates may have said this, of course, but it’s what the Russians who care about democracy have been saying for the better part of 20 years. At least, they’ve said it before somebody irradiated their breakfast cereal or shanghaied them into a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
In other words, this is a colossal story and it will likely dominate the news across the world all week. And perhaps not unjustifiably so. The idea that some dork in front of a computer would blow a hole in the operational security of our military and diplomatic communications is a very big deal.
But in a way, the WikiLeaks thing is somewhat comforting. It suggests that the folks in charge at our State Department might not be so completely removed from the views ordinary, informed Americans have. While we certainly don’t appear to be making diplomatic headway anywhere and we certainly won’t be making much in the near future with this latest spewing of our communications all over the internet, at least our people appear to have something of a clue about what’s going on in the world.