A Few Notes on WikiLeaks

New York Times: Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels

In the New York Times’ latest piece on the distribution and contents of the leaked material, a number of items have found their way into the paper early.  From those, a few that struck me right away:

Bargaining to empty the Guantánamo Bay prison: When American diplomats pressed other countries to resettle detainees, they became reluctant players in a State Department version of “Let’s Make a Deal.” Slovenia was told to take a prisoner if it wanted to meet with President Obama, while the island nation of Kiribati was offered incentives worth millions of dollars to take in Chinese Muslim detainees, cables from diplomats recounted. The Americans, meanwhile, suggested that accepting more prisoners would be “a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe.”

We don’t want terrorists in our country.  The House GOP even introduced legislation looking to prevent just that from happening.  Should it come as a surprise that other nations feel the same way, so much so that what amounts to diplomatic bribery needs to be undertaken in order to facilitate such a transfer?

Unfortunately, this administration cares so much about appeasing its far left base that it would rather spend what diplomatic capital we have on achieving the goal of shuttering Guantanamo Bay–and thus putting our national security at risk purely for the sake of politics–than reserve our capacity for deal-making for times in which we truly need it — perhaps in the ongoing fight against Islamic jihad at its roots overseas.

Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government: When Afghanistan’s vice president visited the United Arab Emirates last year, local authorities working with the Drug Enforcement Administration discovered that he was carrying $52 million in cash. With wry understatement, a cable from the American Embassy in Kabul called the money “a significant amount” that the official, Ahmed Zia Massoud, “was ultimately allowed to keep without revealing the money’s origin or destination.” (Mr. Massoud denies taking any money out of Afghanistan.)

This is the sort of thing which brings out the isolationist in me.  The way I look at it–and I could be wrong–there are two probable sources for that $52 million which was found in the possession of the Afghani vice president: the sum is either a product of that nation’s drug trade, or it was part of the billions in support provided to the Afghani government by the United States.  Even worse, even if it is the former and not the latter, it is not as though Washington, D.C. doesn’t have a storied history of funding the Taliban, both during the Bush years and more recently.

I can imagine that, on the eve of the release of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables which would likely have remained secret for decades longer, flunkies on all levels at the State Department are scrambling to assess exactly what will be released and do damage control where possible.  As for those who have wrongfully acquired and disseminated the information, it leaves me wondering exactly what it takes to glean a charge of “Treason” nowadays.  Certainly, those involved with the leak have provided aid and comfort to our nation’s enemies, and have only undermined efforts to keep us safe.

It makes me wonder — if those responsible had been right-wingers instead of documented leftists, would the administration act differently toward the entire situation?



  1. Gail B. says:

    This whole thing just makes me sick! Our government spends our hard-earned dollars (and yes, I’m retired) like it’s a reservoir (not a bottle as we are used to seeing) of bubble liquid to be blown by straight-line winds through a ferris wheel that had been dipped in the stuff. Add to that the additional spending/bribes/payoffs exposed by the leaks. Kinda makes me wonder which is greater! No wonder they don’t want to audit the Fed.

    Jeff, you had not left your “footprint” here at AR since before Thanksgiving, and I was beginning to worry about you. When the Drudge Report page was all but blank, I really got nervous and checked to see if AR was still operating.

    Leave us a note, would you?!

    On a happier note, I heard from one of our readers who lost her job this summer and did not have access to a computer to read AR. She has a job. She lives up north in the central part of the US, and her job is 33 miles from where she lives. Her family bought her tires for her car and new brakes. She needs our prayers that all goes well.

    I heard something on the radio a while ago something about the Wikileaks website being shut down. At least, that’s what I hope I heard! We’ll see.

  2. Gail B. says:

    I clicked on the Trackbacks link and discovered Conservatives for America–AND THIS:


    I knew nothing about it!

  3. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Thanks for the concerns, Gail. Just having trouble with time, considering extended family at home and a work emergency or two. On the bright side, with regard to the latter, this weekend I was able to get a five-year-old child out of an abusive situation and back with the loving father. A great day.

  4. Gail B. says:

    GOOD for you!!! (Is the abusive home still standing?)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t WikiLeak leak some Obama life history?
    Once again the Supreme Court has shown lack of gonads.

  6. Boston Blackie says:

    It just baffles the mind that this info is accessible to state department workers without any bells and whistles going off. Are there not different levels of security which would need another’s approval to access. What else has been accessed by employees in the past, “just for the fun of it”. I don’t even want to get into the IRS and who is looking at people’s files. Let’s see what would happen if an employee at Harvard did the same thing with Obeyme’s application and school records.
    “As for those who have wrongfully acquired and disseminated the information, it leaves me wondering exactly what it takes to glean a charge of “Treason” nowadays.”
    It is almost like this admin didn’t pursue charges because it only put the former admin in a bad light. Now that the light shines on Obeyme, let’s see how they will react.

    Glad to hear that you rescued an innocent victim from an abusive situation, that is a lot harder than most would think – well done.

  7. Boston Blackie says:

    Thanks for the link, love the flag of mASSachusetts on the site. The latin phrase sums up just how I feel about this state.

  8. Gail B. says:

    Boston Gal–

    I didn’t take Latin, but the translation I figured out was “We are very stupid.”

    Is that what you got?

    Jeff, Boston’s right–and you are to be commended! You are gonna be just fine in the law field. Did you hear Eric Holder being questioned by (I believe it was) SC Lindsey Graham? It was the topic of discussion on WSB Talk Radio over the weekend. Audio clips were played, and one had Graham citing the law to United States Attorney General Eric Holder! I nearly wet my britches laughing! I thought, “Bar Exam or no Bar Exam, Jeff Schreiber is smarter than the U.S. Attorny General!

  9. Dee says:

    I’m with Boston Blackie. How many people have access to “classified” information? How is this person continuing to release this information? Surely,he has been arrested by now, right? I can’t believe that this is being allowed to happen. Does the administration want this info out there? I am simply amazed and can only guess what the media would be saying if this happened under the Bush administration. Although, somehow I am sure that it is George Bush’s fault that this is going on.
    Good to hear from you, Jeff. I was concerned also and afraid that you were giving up the site. Take care.

  10. Ima SoBelle says:

    Great article. Watcing the talking heads on Fox tonight and this was a topic of discussion. This sort of thing has been going on (in a smaller scale) for some time now (remember the releaseof the identity of some of our spies overseas?). I cannot understand why nothing is being done to stop it. It is treason. While some of the information is ho-hum, a lot of it is damaging to our relations with leaders and diplomats of other nations, who I hope are our allies. It is also compromising our national security. With this kind of junk floating around, all we can do is attempt damage control. Shut this nut down!

    On another note, thanks, Jeff, for all you are doing not only here on AR, but in your “real” job as well. I am thankful for AR and to live in a country that so far still allows freedom of speech.

  11. Boston Blackie says:

    What is the most shocking of all regarding these leaks is that the American who supplied the info is NOT even a state department employee. He was a Army private stationed somewhere in the Middle East. He had access to this info and copied it while pretending to be downloading / listening to Lady Gaga!?! More disturbing is that over 600,000 people have access to the same info.

    You are correct – we are very stupid

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