On Sunday afternoon, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arranged for the release of some 250,000 classified State Department documents via newspapers including the treason-supporting New York Times. The revelations were stunning. The most stunning divulgences: the Saudi royal government asked the US to greenlight an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, even as it continued to sponsor terrorism around the globe; Yemen tried to pass off US military strikes on terrorists as Yemeni in origin; Pakistan refused to turn over fissile material to the United States; Afghanistan’s top politicians are crooks; Hillary Clinton ordered US representatives at the UN to spy on other UN diplomats. Then there was the gossipy State Department slander about British prime ministers Gordon Brown (“paranoid, weak, and unstable”) and David Cameron (“lightweight”) as well as French prime minister Nicholas Sarkozy (an “emperor with no clothes”) and the all-too-obvious information that President Obama has “no feelings for Europe” and wants to “look East rather than West.”
The chief effects of the leaks are all disastrous for US foreign policy. They force Saudi Arabia into the untenable position of explaining to the Islamic world why it wants the West to attack Iran; look for a repeat of the Saudis’ spineless vacillation after the media revealed Saudi-Israeli cooperation on the Iranian nuclear question. They undermine efforts to shore up Afghanistan’s failing security situation; our European allies, who have already rebuffed us repeatedly, will certainly think twice before working with us after Obama’s feelings about them sink in.
The leaks show America as pusillanimous, feckless, and blundering. While the State Department apparently pegs many world problems correctly – Russia is indeed turning away from democracy, North Korea works with Iran, China hires computer hackers to target US websites, and the Iranian regime is Hitlerian – the State Department has no solutions whatsoever to these pressing problems. The same countries we have correctly labeled problematic are treated with kid gloves, handed re-set buttons, and sold US debt.
So here’s the question: why did the Obama Administration allow WikiLeaks to move forward with this information?
It’s not as though this round of WikiLeaks was a surprise. WikiLeaks first posted documents in 2006. They’ve been releasing documents over and over again since.
And it’s not as though the United States couldn’t do anything to stop this. Eric Holder announced today that the Justice Department would begin an investigation into the leaks. “To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law, who put at risk the assets and the people I have described, they will be held responsible; they will be held accountable,” Holder said. Why didn’t this happen before?
Over the weekend, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency seized 82 websites for copyright infringement. Copyright infringement. So they could shut down websites based on violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, but not the Espionage Act?
Why did the Obama Administration do so little to stop this round of WikiLeaks? One of two answers presents itself. First, the Obama Administration is so gutless, so feeble, that they were unwilling to take any aggressive action to shut down WikiLeaks. This fits perfectly in line with the Obama Administration’s history of anti-terror efforts, which have been wishy-washy at best. If Obama believes that
Second, it is possible that the Obama Administration did not care whether such information was released. This would fit with Obama’s modus operandi, which is typically blaming others when things go wrong. If one overriding theme emanates from this round of WikiLeaks, it is the notion that the world is a chaotic place and that America cannot control anything within that sphere of bedlam. In the aftermath of Obama’s disastrous world tour beginning with his idiotic speech in India and ending with South Korea’s rejection of his trade deal (and following hard on the heels of Europe rejecting more overtures on Afghanistan, Russia fleecing him on START, and China calling him out for inflating the currency), Obama has shown himself to be utterly incompetent on the world stage. What better way to justify that incompetence than showing the world the total nuttiness taking place behind the scenes? How can we blame Obama if the world is crazy?
Sarah Palin is exactly right when she posted today, “We are at war. American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms. They are serious about keeping America safe. It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task.”
Their government isn’t serious about that vital task, because our President isn’t serious about that vital task. He sees soldiers as photo ops, and foreign relations as playground for his fabled charm. America and its allies will pay the price.