This blog, more or less successfully, keeps to foreign policy and development matters (though not much on the latter as I’d like to keep my job until I find something in the private sector that is not funded by some government). To the extent that Wikileaks touches on foreign policy, I am happy to address issues and revelations that are exposed in their publication of official documents.
However, let me first say this (caveat - I loathe US Republican congressman Peter King, the ranking member of the House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee, and virtually everything he and his fanatic, screw- the- country-we-want- to- be- in- power party stand for):
Legally, it might be in the future for Wikileaks to be labeled as an international terrorist. Although I do not see Wikileaks being designated as a foreign terrorist organization - difficult at best to prove since the criteria to be applied are narrow; nevertheless, the criteria for applying penalties for international terrorism are not so tight (I happen to think they are far too broad – but the law is the law). The definition of "international terrorism" states that the activities must be "dangerous to human life" and "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion". If brought to court, any reasonably competent lawyer should be able to mount a vigorous and probably successful case against the application. But maybe not. That’s not the point.
The point is that classified documents that could harm the government and affect foreign policy in the short-term have been published. I would expect the necessary actions against those who did it and they should be willing to accept the consequences of those actions. If you’re going to be a revolutionary or are so upset with the current order that it is necessary to undertake actions that, though possibly illegal may change the order, that’s great. Don’t whine, however, if the forces of order come after you.
Ok. Having gotten that bit of moralizing out of the way, I have to say that from what I’ve read so far, the revelations are not so astounding. Saudi Arabia wants the US to “cut off the head of the snake” by taking out Iran? Wow. Saudi Arabia’s government is a prime target of Iran from a geopolitical and religious standpoint so their position is not so surprising. Interesting to note, though, how many Arab governments are all for an attack on Iran – by someone else, of course.
Is it surprising that US foreign policy advisers are unsure of the direction and intentions of the government in Ankara? So is everyone else, including its neighbors who are none too eager to fall under the sway of a new Ottoman Empire.
I personally liked the reference to the Russian leadership team as Batman and Robin. Wikileaks strikes again.
Frankly, so far, the fact that diplomats say things in private that are not reported in public should not be the cause for earth shattering tremors.