No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post
The Wikileaks document dump was really tough to keep up with. Lots and lots of stories:
- We’re bombing Yemen, and Yemen’s government is covering it up.
- Afghanistan is even more corrupt than you may have imagined.
- America is contributing to and not combating it, too.
- America is compromising the Spanish legal system. Scott Horton’s analysis.
- Britain’s inquiry into the Iraq war was compromised as well.
- Iran’s government is not terribly bright either. Although they can be forgiven for being a little jumpy.
Lots of analysis too. Spiegel: “It is now possible to view many political developments around the world through the lens of those who participated in those events. As such, our understanding of those events is deeply enriched. That alone is often enough to place transparency ahead of national regulations regarding confidentiality.” The Economist (via):
As Scott Shane, the New York Times’ national security reporter, puts it: “American taxpayers, American citizens pay for all these diplomatic operations overseas and you know, it is not a bad thing when Americans actually have a better understanding of those negotiations”. Mr Shane goes on to suggest that
“Perhaps if we had had more information on these secret internal deliberations of governments prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, we would have had a better understanding of the quality of the evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”
I’d say providing that information certainly would have been a socially worthy activity, even if it came as part of a more-or-less indiscriminate dump of illegally obtained documents.
Some stars shine through the banality such as the heroic envoy in Islamabad, Anne Patterson. She pleads that Washington’s whole policy is counterproductive: it “risks destabilising the Pakistani state, alienating both the civilian government and the military leadership, and provoking a broader governance crisis without finally achieving the goal”. Nor is any amount of money going to bribe the Taliban to our side. Patterson’s cables are like missives from the Titanic as it already heads for the bottom.
In other big media fail news (and in the “credit where credit is due” department), the New York Times certainly seems to have a double standard when it comes to disclosing private correspondence. And it knows which angles to play up on the cable dump, no?
Tom Levenson: “When we make more secrets than knowledge we can share, that ever-growing Fort Knox of unknowing will inevitably draw its safe crackers.”
Have sex without a rubber and Interpol will put out a red notice so fast it will make your head spin. Commit war crimes and they’ll mull it over - but only if you may be guilty of something completely unrelated. I’m not sure if I should feel reassured or alarmed by the fact that international law appears every bit as compromised and corrupt as American. Misery loves company and all, but it would be nice if someone would act like the lords of the earth are as subject to the law as we are assured.
Ron Paul is consistently better than his supporters. Aspiring libertarian leaders take note!
The warrantless wiretapping FISA debate from a couple years back was partially about the larger trend towards government unconstitutionally infringing on Americans’ civil liberties. Lose that battle and you’ll likely start losing others as well. Sure wish there were some freedom loving asshole teabaggers taking an interest in this. This too. (Bonus John Cole headline goodness.)
Attorney General Eric Holder: “Let me be very clear. It’s not saber-rattling. To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law…they will be held responsible.” Ha ha! Just kidding on the link. Actual quote is here.
In “it’s all about me!!!” news, in the mid-90’s I spent two years in Tanzania as a Peace Corps volunteer, and mefloquine was part of our anti-malarial prophylaxis. Seeing that it was given to Guantánamo detainees had particular meaning to me. I’m sure the dosages and frequency were far different, but still.
Jeff Kaye is an underappreciated voice in the blogosphere. His posts are almost always excellent. This week in addition to the drugging story he wrote this too.
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke loathes ordinary American citizens in practice, empty public statements of concern notwithstanding.
Oh, and Shailagh Murray and Perry Bacon Jr. rendered useful service to the plutonomy with their ominous and dire warning of a “tax increase for virtually every American worker.”
Probably just bluster, but could shake things up if it came to pass. And it would have the best party convention EVER.
”Greenpeace takes ‘corporate spies’ to federal court.”
ECONNED EXCERPT from page 27:
Even worse, the Fed chairman and other senior policy makers appear unable to question a defective framework. It is as if they are unable to process what has happened since 2007. It isn’t simply that they are trying to restore status quo ante; they seem to believe that the only possible operative paradigm is the status quo ante….Seeing the world as you’d like to see it may be comforting, but basing policies on what amount to romantic views comes with considerable risk. And in the case of the United States, it has come with considerable costs, with the accounts yet to be fully tallied.