None of the documents released by WikiLeaks were top secret.
Transparency precludes keeping secrets that should not be secret.
That Afghanistan is corrupt is not news. Just how corrupt is news.
According to a report by Scott Shane, Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins of the New York Times, WikiLeaks exposes how, "From hundreds of diplomatic cables, Afghanistan emerges as a looking-glass land where bribery, extortion and embezzlement are the norm and the honest man is a distinct outlier."
The New York Times report reveals how "...the collection of confidential diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of publications, offers a fresh sense of its pervasive nature, its overwhelming scale and the dispiriting challenge it poses to American officials who have made shoring up support for the Afghan government a cornerstone of America's counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan."
Several commentators have complained of the embarrassment engendered by the WikiLeaks exposure.
Washington Post commentator Charles Krauthammer claims that WikiLeaks have caused more problems than embarrassment.
First, says Krauthammer, "damage to our war-fighting capacity... Second, we've suffered a major blow to our ability to collect information... Third, this makes us look bad, very bad."
As an example of damage to our war fighting capacity, Krauthammer says, "This will undoubtedly limit our freedom of action against (Al Qaeda's) Yemeni branch. Translated into reality, that means the CIA will be constrained from going into Yemen at will and assassinating Al Qaeda suspects on its hit list.
But that's an argument that you might expect from a neocon commentator who pushed for the invasion of Afghanistan and pre-emptive strikes and occupation of Iraq.
Krauthammer's rationale for his second argument reads, "Success in the war on terror depends on being trusted with other countries' secrets. Who's going to trust us now?"
This displays Krauthammer's ignorance of the US classification system.
In the US, information is "classified" if it has been assigned one of the three levels: confidential, secret, or top secret.
If information related to "the war on terror" is vital to other's trust or US security, it should have been classified top secret. None of the documents released by WikiLeaks were top secret.
"By law, information may not be classified merely because it would be embarrassing or to cover illegal activity; information may only be classified to protect national security objectives."
"Third, this makes us look bad, very bad," writes Krauthammer.
"What's appalling is the helplessness of a superpower that not only cannot protect its own secrets but shows the world that if you violate its secrets - massively, wantonly and maliciously - there are no consequences."
If there are consequences that should be imposed, they should fall to the US government. They complained bitterly about how Afghan informants' names were included in the WikiLeaks report, thus endangering the informants.
However, Australian investigative journalist John Pilger reported that prior to the release of the Afghan War Diaries in July, WikiLeaks contacted the White House in writing, asking that it identify names that might draw reprisals, but received no response.
Yet Krauthammer has called the WikiLeaks documents "sabotage" and concludes by saying "I'm not advocating that we bring out of retirement the KGB proxy who, on a London street, killed a Bulgarian dissident."
If that's not what Krauthammer advocates, why does he even mention such a fate in his hammering of WikiLeaks?
Countries and organisations need to protect their valid secrets with the right kind of classification. Laws concerning classifications were not created to allow careless failure to protect legitimate national interests.
At the same time, classification should not be used as a shield to inhibit whistle-blowers and to prevent public disclosures of activity that should be exposed.
Transparency precludes keeping secrets that should not be secret.
Alan Hart reflects on the WikiLeaks disclosures, arguing that "the problem is not the manipulation of WikiLeaks by any foreign intelligence service but, in effect, the manipulation by key players in the mainstream media, in America especially, of the material WikiLeaks is providing".
Some commentators, bloggers and other writers, were quick to jump to the conclusion that the avalanche of documents being released by WikiLeaks is part and parcel of an Israeli/Mossad deception strategy. One implication being that WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange is, knowingly or not, manipulated by Zionism.
"When it learned from Wikileaked diplomatic cables that Arab leaders were at one with Israeli leaders in wanting the US to attack Iran, journalism with integrity would have asked... "Is Iran really the threat to the region and the world it is alleged to be by Israeli and Arab leaders?"."
On the basis of the first two or three days of the Wikileaked revelations as reported by the mainstream media, in America especially, there most definitely was a case for saying that the agenda best served by the leaked diplomatic cables was that of the Zionist state of Israel, its lobby in America and its many stooges in Congress. The essence of the case was in the message that Iran is the biggest single threat to the peace of the region and the world not only because the Israelis say so, but also because Arab leaders agree with them.
In a previous article of mine I quoted Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security advisor, as saying he thought it was possible that Wikileaks was being fed and manipulated by intelligence services. And I stated my own belief of the moment that the question of whether or not this is so was worthy of investigation.
But as the flow of leaked cables increases, and with time for reflection, I no longer believe that such an investigation is necessary.
The problem is not the manipulation of WikiLeaks by any foreign intelligence service but, in effect, the manipulation by key players in the mainstream media, in America especially, of the material WikiLeaks is providing.
And here's just one example to make the point.
When it learned from Wikileaked diplomatic cables that Arab leaders were at one with Israeli leaders in wanting the US to attack Iran, journalism with integrity would have asked something like the following question: "Is Iran really the threat to the region and the world it is alleged to be by Israeli and Arab leaders?"
If that question had been asked, the honest answer would have been: "No, of course it isn't!."
"... even a nuclear-armed Iran would not pose a threat to Israel's existence or that of the states of the impotent and repressive Arab regimes which are more or less content to do the bidding of America-and-Zionism."
As I and others have pointed out a number of times, even a nuclear-armed Iran would not pose a threat to Israel's existence or that of the states of the impotent and repressive Arab regimes which are more or less content to do the bidding of America-and-Zionism. To really believe otherwise (as opposed to not really believing but saying so for propaganda purposes) is to assume that a nuclear-armed Iran would at some point launch a first strike. That would never happen because Iran would be inviting its own complete destruction.
If Iran does end up with a nuclear bomb or several, it will be for the purpose of deterrence only. (As I said in my previous article, if I were an Iranian, even one who hated the regime of the mullahs, I would feel more secure in the face of Israeli and American threats if my country did possess a nuclear bomb for deterrence).
Though much of it was confirmatory for informed journalists and politicians, the Wikileaked information is new but the real problem is not. It is (generally speaking) the mainstream media's lack of integrity, in America especially; a lack of integrity which, in its reporting of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, manifests itself in one of two ways – in some cases by knowingly peddling Zionist propaganda, in other cases by self-censoring the truth about Israel's crimes out of fear of offending Zionism too much or at all.
In my view, Assange has damaged his own cause by releasing details of facilities around the world which US authorities regard as being vital to America's national security. By doing so he has given his enemies in governments everywhere what they did not previously have – a fig leaf of justification for their efforts to silence him.
If they succeed, the threat to what passes for democracy in the Western world, in America especially, will be even greater than it currently is.
Being happy–is it good for the Jews? "Before Professor Dershowitz accused me of being an anti-Semite (news to me), I was a happy person. Since then, I'm still a happy person". –Michael Santomauro
An antisemite condemns people for being Jews, I am not an antisemite.--Michael Santomauro
Most of us are mentally trapped to think Jewish. Actually, it is safe to say that virtually every mainstream publication or or other type of media organ is "nothing more than a screen to present chosen views." The great battle over the last century has been a battle for the mind of the Western peoples, i.e., non-Jewish Euros. The chosen won it by acquiring control over essentially the complete mainstream news, information, education and entertainment media of every type, and using that control to infuse and disseminate their message, agenda and worldview, their way of thinking, or rather the way they want us to think. Since at least the 1960s this campaign has been effectively complete. Since then they have shaped and controlled the minds of all but a seeming few of us in varying degree with almost no opposition or competition from any alternative worldview. So now most of us are mentally trapped in the box the chosen have made for us, which we have lived in all our lives. Only a few have managed to avoid it or escape it, or to even sometimes see outside of it, and so actually "think outside of the (Jewish) box." --Michael Santomauro