Wikileaks has released the next wave of classified material and it has made this country infinitely weaker. No country will want to confide, nor help, the US again knowing that they too could be embarrassed.
Ronald Neumann, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007, tells Danger Room he fears the impact of forced candor on U.S. foreign relations. “A man might say things to his wife about his mother-in-law that he would be horrified to hear her repeat to her mother and the doing of which might even put great strain on his marriage,” Neumann says. “That is what a lot of classification is about. I believe it serves the public. There is always an argument for publicizing malfeasance. I do not believe there is one for making more difficult just getting on with the nation’s diplomatic business.”
The excuse given by Wikileaks for releasing the documents? Naive and ignorant:
This document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors – and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
If you take this argument seriously, any confidential communication between government officials should be fair game for leaking so long as it somehow contradicts or questions, however glancingly, state policy. (Hypocrisy!) But of course, they’re not limiting publication to only those documents that undermine official State Department positions; as noted above in the context of Turkey’s foreign minister, a lot of this stuff will simply be bits of intelligence about various international actors and speculation about their motives. Nothing “hypocritical” about it — but mighty embarrassing.
This was done to weaken this country, plain and simple. With a already weak President in office these documents have most certainly caused major harm to this country. I mean think about it. It’s common sense that State Department diplomatic cables would contain some embarrassing facts about different countries and their leaders. Now this country, and Obama, has a much more difficult road ahead:
The President needs his ambassadors to know what he wants; they need to be able to tell him what he can get. So it’s stupid to not be blunt and forthright in private about matters that require a softer public touch.
Think they will be blunt and forthright anymore?
Not gonna happen.
“Wikileaks’ deliberate disclosure of these diplomatic cables is nothing less than an attack on the national security of the United States, as well as that of dozens of other countries. By disseminating these materials, Wikileaks is putting at risk the lives and the freedom of countless Americans and non-Americans around the world. It is an outrageous, reckless, and despicable action that will undermine the ability of our government and our partners to keep our people safe and to work together to defend our vital interests. Let there be no doubt: the individuals responsible are going to have blood on their hands. I stand in full support of the Obama Administration’s condemnation of Wikileaks for these disclosures. I also urge the Obama Administration — both on its own and in cooperation with other responsible governments around the world — to use all legal means necessary to shut down Wikileaks before it can do more damage by releasing additional cables. Wikileaks’ activities represent a shared threat to collective international security.
“It is also outrageous for Wikileaks and its enablers to hide their conduct behind the ideal of ‘transparency.’ As a democracy, our nation has always believed the American people should have access to as much information as possible. But we have also long recognized that — to keep our country safe — some information must be kept secret. This is a balancing act that the American people themselves ultimately control through our democratically-elected representatives and our institutions. What Wikileaks is doing is to short-circuit this entire democratic process — claiming for itself the exclusive, unilateral, and unchecked power to decide what should and shouldn’t be made public. This is therefore not only an attack on our national security, but an offense against our democracy and the principle of transparency.”
As for the information contained in the documents I’m just going to highlight two, and both deal with North Korea. First, do you recall this speech?
Turns out the man was right:
Secret American intelligence assessments have concluded that Iran has obtained a cache of advanced missiles, based on a Russian design, that are much more powerful than anything Washington has publicly conceded that Tehran has in its arsenal, diplomatic cables show.
Iran obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, according to a cable dated Feb. 24 of this year. The cable is a detailed, highly classified account of a meeting between top Russian officials and an American delegation led by Vann H. Van Diepen, an official with the State Department’s nonproliferation division who, as a national intelligence officer several years ago, played a crucial role in the 2007 assessment of Iran’s nuclear capacity~~~
The missile intelligence also suggests far deeper military — and perhaps nuclear — cooperation between North Korea and Iran than was previously known. At the request of the Obama administration, The New York Times has agreed not to publish the text of the cable.
Hmmmm, things just got much more difficult for Obama to deal with regarding the North Korea situation.
Thinking about an eventual collapse of North Korea: American and South Korean officials have discussed the prospects for a unified Korea, should the North’s economic troubles and political transition lead the state to implode. The South Koreans even considered commercial inducements to China, according to the American ambassador to Seoul. She told Washington in February that South Korean officials believe that the right business deals would “help salve” China’s “concerns about living with a reunified Korea” that is in a “benign alliance” with the United States.
This release just gave North Korea an excuse for all-out war.
As Lieberman said above….blood is definitely on the hands of Julian Assange and his wikileaks.