The claims are that the release of classified documents by WikiLeak is damaging to our relationships with other countries and that human rights are damaged. An attack on the international community, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it. But is anyone really surprised that our diplomats and their staff tried to gain valuable information about their host country, that they were instructed to spy on their counterparts? Is anyone surprised that Iran got sophisticated missiles from North Korea, 19 advanced, Russian-designed missiles, capable of delivering nuclear payloads, and capable of hitting major cities in Western Europe, or that China assisted this transaction?
Is it a news flash for anyone who follows world news that Saudi King Abdullah and other Arab leaders don't want Iran with nuclear weapons, or that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak agreed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Israel and the Arab countries with the same goal, taking out Iran's nuclear sites, is certainly a good thing, but nothing new. President Barack Obama apparently paid no attention to the Arab requests.
(It is important to note that the Stuxnet virus, not mentioned in the document dump, which may have been the result of three countries working together, slowed down the nuclear process in Iran but failed to stop it. Details here. It is also important to note that someone is killing Iranian nuclear scientists, perhaps Mossad, or the U.S., but that will be for future classified documents dumps also.)
Are we surprised that Iran used Red Crescent ambulances and airplanes to smuggle intelligence agents and weapons into Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 while telling the world they contained medical supplies?
Is it news that the Chinese hack into US computers, spying through Google, aiding North Korea and Iran? Don't even mention the recent plume shown in a video taken by a news helecopter that was likely from an ICBM launched from a Chinese Type 092 Jin class ballistic missile submarine. It will take a few years before there are any leaked documents on that.
Is it breaking news that the U.S. would try to control Pakistan's nuclear materials?
Intended to be read by officials in Washington up to the level of the secretary of state, the cables are generally drafted by the ambassador or subordinates. Although their contents are often startling and troubling, the cables are unlikely to gratify conspiracy theorists. They do not contain evidence of assassination plots, CIA bribery or such criminal enterprises...
One reason may be that America's most sensitive "top secret" and above foreign intelligence files cannot be accessed from Siprnet, the defence department network involved. (Guardian UK,)
One must ask why an American, Private Bradley Manning, who commented on what he had done saying, "Everywhere there's a US post, there's a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed. Worldwide anarchy in CSV format ... It's beautiful, and horrifying." ... "Information should be free. It belongs in the public domain."" would turn against his country and take these documents and why Julian Assange of WikiLeaks would be so thrilled about leaking them to the world. The answer is simple: First they hate America and want to destroy her position in the world, (just like our current President Barack Hussein Obama) and make America look weak and untrustworthy. Second, they wanted the publicity. (Photograph: Associated Press/AFP/Getty Images)
Ambassador John Bolton, who says he may run for President in 2012, said any American involved in providing these classified documents to WikiLeaks should be tried for treason. Generals on Fox News say any American involved should be executed. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) calls WikiLeaks a terrorist organization, an enemy of the state, saying "WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States". Sen. Lindsey Graham agreed. PFC. Bradley Manning is in jail and is the only person charged with the leak at this time.
The big question for me is will our military around the world, our diplomats and others be in greater danger because of these leaked documents? There will be many embarrassed individuals because of failed endeavors and shady deals. Does it change the course of world events one bit if everyone knows "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is compared to Hitler, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is called an “emperor with no clothes," or Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is "driven by paranoia"?" No I don't think so.
However, with 1.6 gigabytes of text files on memory stick containing millions of words in the form of 250,000 leaked state department cables is being portrayed as devastating to United States foreign policy. It is really? We are told that the batch released Sunday included 'vivid details about current operations and the sausage factory behind foreign policy, delivered by officials in 270 overseas posts worldwide over the past three years'. That sounds huge but what I have read so far doesn't seem all that devastating to anyone.
On more than one occasion during the George W. Bush administration documents vital to national security were leaked to the New York Times and printed by them. The only outrage was from conservative Republicans and a few RINOs. If the WikiLeak documents are a combination of embarrassing statements and events and items vital to national security, I'm not seeing the latter in the media, yet.
I am completely against anyone leaking classified documents. What has been done by Manning and Assange is wrong and they should be tried and punished to the full extent possible. If there is any loss of life, American or otherwise, their blood is on the hands Manning and Assange.
Sausage making is not pretty whether it is foreign or domestic. Sometimes we have to play dirty in order to keep our country safe. When diplomats and others speak their mind, give their honest appraisal of leaders in other countries, it should remain classified. When we need to bribe or make ugly deals, that doesn't need to be made public.
Let's make an example of Manning, Assange and WikiLeaks. America needs to show some strength here and so far I've seen nothing but weakness from Obama and his administration.
We must ask the question, what if there were real state secrets in these documents? What if there were transcripts of assassination plots, war plans, deals that would have life-threatening consequences? WikiLeaks would leap at the opportunity to publish them and certain media outlets would be quick to do the same.
There must be consequences.