News and views from inside the media bubble
PARSING THE UNITED STATES’ DIPLOMACY SCANDAL
In the wake of WikiLeaks’ massive release of US diplomatic cables on Sunday, there is no limit to the number of angles to consider in international intrigue and antagonism, general cattiness, not to mention backbiting and gossip (Moammar Gaddafi’s “voluptuous blonde” Ukrainian nurse — how can you not love it?) among the rulers of the earth. More than anything else, the fallout reveals how cretinous the Obama administration has become. If you were on the campaign trail in 2008, you might have thought a Democratic victory would usher in a new era of media transparency, international goodwill and sane foreign policy. The lesson appears to be that the prerogatives of power generally lead to government that places self-advancement over common good. Going back to the US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold The New York Times’ right to publish the Pentagon Papers, we’re supposed to have a cherished history of defending the right to publish leaked documents. In a just world, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be too cowed by public opinion to consider accusing WikiLeaks of putting human lives at risk. As a matter of fact, the opposite could be argued: When Arab leaders are intriguing to get the United States to attack Iran, Yemeni leaders are lying to their citizens by covering up the fact that US bombs are killing their citizens, and the US government is consorting with the Afghan president’s brother, who is believed to be corrupt and a drug trafficker, then exposing such foolishness actually protects innocent lives. Likewise, the US Justice Department’s bluster about prosecuting WikiLeaks — we have a right to know what our government is up to. Does our government work for the people, or is it the other way around?