The criminality of self-righteous WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange aside, the State Department or other government nincompoops who authored the leaked documents and emails calling Sarkozy a “naked emperor,” etc., deserve to be terminated for extreme doofuss-ness. These days, a school child knows that what you write digitally is forever indelible.
If you have something nasty to say, do it over the water cooler or at a cocktail party, where you can deny you ever said it. Even write it down, if you must, on the back of a business card or scrap of note paper. They can be burned or flushed down the toilet. But for heaven’s sake don’t type it into a computer. There are no shredders for emails and Word docs. Are these people nitwits or do they have the impulse control of a two year old?
Okay, I admit it. Like most of us, I’ve done it myself — hit “reply all,” when I meant “reply,” and spent days cleaning up my mess. But I don’t work for the government. Much as I’d like to think otherwise, if I call Hamid Karzai “paranoid,” it’s of little consequence. If I brand Angela Merkel “Teflon,” it has less than zero affect on our relations with Germany.
Nevertheless, much of what has been released so far is pretty banal stuff. That Kim Jong Il suffers from epilepsy was easily known to anyone who could use Google — and how many have called Ahmadinejad Hitler? (Google that one and you currently get 1,030,000 results.)
Of course, that doesn’t mean it will remain so meaningless. With the number of documents being released, it’s hard to believe anyone knows what’s in them, including the execrable crew at WikiLeaks themselves who are distributing them early to certain “progressive” media organizations, like the New York Times and The Guardian, who are willing to sign agreements with the leakers irrespective of the national security implications, not to mention the possible endangerment to human lives.
Speaking of which, a special shout out is due one organization we here at PJM have often criticized — CNN. The network writes on its website: “CNN has not had advanced access to the documents, unlike some media organizations, because the company declined to sign a confidentiality agreement with WikiLeaks.”
Bravo for them. Giving certain media organizations “advanced access” to these documents negates whatever “transparency” argument WikiLeaks seeks to make in favor of their behavior. They are dribbling out information via filters (and specific liberals ones at that), creating an automatic context that shapes a story before it even happens.
The State Department has a right to be angry, but they should also be furious with themselves. They have indeed been digital ninnies. In an age when some have the smarts to interrupt a nuclear weapons program via computer malware, a mere document dump is less than child’s play — it’s fetus play.
UPDATE: Reading through the New York Times’ new posting from the leaks, just linked by Drudge, there still does not seem to be anything extraordinary here. Perhaps the most meaningful revelation — and something we all knew anyway — is the continued concern with Pakistani nukes. What impresses me about this information, reading through the Times report, is the predictability of it all (an erratic Gaddafi — imagine!). So far, the story remains the leaks themselves.
MORE: On of the most fascinating leaks is that North Korea sent 19 medium range BM-25 missiles to Iran. This was communicated in a cable of Feb 24, 2010 but has remained secret until this date. Why was this hidden from the public – that is the most important of this. After all, that the NORKS have been in an alliance with Iran is known to anyone even slightly interested. The fact that the Iranians are so heavily armed in the missile department has never been documented before. Was the administration afraid someone would want to do something about it? Sounds that way to me.