It seems like only yesterday I was writing about WikiLeaks releasing the Iraq War Diaries, a four hundred thousand page document dump about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, only a month later Julian Assange ‘s WikiLeaks is slowly releasing another two hundred and fifty thousand documents containing diplomatic cables between the United States and just about every other country on the planet.
For some reason the diplomatic cables are receiving more attention by the press and greater condemnation from the Obama Administration then the revelation of further torture and civilian casualties that the Iraq War Diaries revealed. So much more important in fact, the media has even seen fit to give the cables a nickname “Cablegate”.
So far it seems the only real damaging cable is the one that says that the State Department asked its diplomats to collect DNA samples and other personal information about foreign leaders, a leak that could cost U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton her job.
The other diplomatic cables up until now appear to be nothing more than embarrassing foreign leader portrayals and facts that don’t come as much of a surprise. So far I would have to sum up “Cablegate” as something worthy of the political version of the National Inquirer.
Anyone who follows the news regularly already suspected North Korea of helping Iran with their missiles, already figured Saudi Arabia wants to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear ambitions and let’s face it, who hasn’t thought of French President Nicholas Sarkozy as “thin-skinned and authoritarian” or Afghan leader Hamid Karzai as “extremely weak.”
While the impact of these new leaks so far being negligible with minimal damage, it’s strange to me seeing all the hot air blowing out of Washington and the rest of the United States. Some see WikiLeaks as that gossip girl at work that just won’t shut up, while others such as hothead Fox News man Bill O’Reilly said those responsible for the leak should be “executed or put in prison for life”. Sarah Palin is blaming President Barack Obama for the leaks as if he can magically make Julian Assange disappear. Obama is currently looking into any legal steps that can be taken to stop further information from getting out. Clinton aside, he does stand to take the brunt of the embarrassment.
I don’t condemn WikiLeaks for releasing this new bit of info, in fact I hope they continue. It will be interesting to see in the next few weeks what else was said behind closed doors even if it’s just more bad language or protocol. Besides, I like seeing politicians and diplomats red in face.
The diplomatic game will obviously never be the same and maybe that’s the whole point to this story. Where ever you work, whether it’s at McDonald’s or the United Nations, one always should be accountable for one’s words whether or not these said words are spoken in public or in secrete. In this day and age especially, you never know where there might be a camera, a tape recorder or someone who knows how to use a flash drive.