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The newest Wikileaks release has begun. I actually have very mixed feelings about this. While the public really should have been informed that Saudi donors continue to fund terror even as both Republicans and Democrats genuflect to Saudi leadership (and Saudi tourists remain off the suspect categories even though they accounted for nearly all of the 911 attackers), I do think that the release of information which puts dissidents in danger and tends to discourage candid conversation with other world leaders in the future is detrimental, whether legal. On the other hand, I do think Americans have the right to know that the Chinese government is trying to sabotage American computer systems even as we maintain most favored nation status so the WalMart set doesn’t have to pay living wages to the people who make their crap.
As a legal matter, Wikileaks is safe. It is not unlawful to receive materials which had been confidential. Whoever leaked the materials to them did break the law.
The NY Times, which published the Pentagon Papers so many years ago, defends its decision to publish this leak. I do find their arguments persuasive.
Fox News has posted an Onion reference to a fictitious Obama email, but neglected to mention that it is satire. A prank? Manipulation? Oversight? Stupidity?
In the wake of some odd homophobic statements by Family Research Council leadership, the Southern Poverty Law Center has added FRC to its list of “hate groups.” FRC President Tony Perkins isn’t happy about it.
Despite the largest Republican win in House races ever, RNC head Michael Steele is in trouble again.
Okay, I’m a firm believer in the “family-is-off-limits” rule, but Bristol Palin has earned her own attention with this ad. It’s painful to watch due to bad scripting and worse acting, but the main point is that I’m not even sure what the ad is trying to say. Is it promoting abstinence, or safe sex? You tell me.
Addendum: The Guardian has much more on the Wikileaks dump.
Second addendum: TPM lists its five most astonishing revelations from the Wikileaks documents. I think number 5, the reliance of US foreign policy on blog gossip, is bound to be a source for humorists over the week.
But the number 1 item is probably the most alarming, and that’s that nearly every country in the Middle East has expressed support for a military attack on Iran. That is bound to lead to some yelling and screaming, or worse, in those countries, and probably those leaders will be hesitant to discuss anything with the U.S. in the near future. That’s not good. The downside for this release for peace activists, is that revelations 1, 3, and 4 actually provide political cover for such a bombing, and I suspect that conspiracy theorists will argue that the leak was a deliberate move on the part of hawkish elements in the military with the more embarrassing portions thrown in to give the leak credibility.
In any case, somebody has played a very dangerous game.