Tuesday, 30 November 2010

WikiLeaks and Cablegate

I've been a bit underwhelmed by Cablegate. I thought there were going to be revelations that would shake the US government to its core. Are people genuinely surprised that:
  • Iran is considered a menace to the region and the world?
  • Prince Andrew is an utter arse ?
  • There are fears about Pakistan's nuclear materials getting into the wrong hands?
  • China considers North Korea to be an embarrassing burden rather than a valued strategic partner?
There's more to come but so far I haven't read anything that has particularly amazed me. Of course these are the sort of conversations that take place in the diplomatic world - I'd be more amazed if they didn't. The really startling thing about the leak, the truly embarrassing aspect, is the leak itself. The leak itself is the story - how could such vast quantities of sensitive information be so easily exported and distributed?

I'm not convinced that WikiLeaks's motives are always so pure, either. There seems to be a persistent anti-American strain. First the Afghanistan war logs, then the Iraq files, now Cablegate. Their next big dump of data, due in early 2011, will apparently unleash "devastating" revelations against a "major American bank" (Goldman Sachs? It must be). There only ever seems to be one geographical target. As David Aaronovitch said on Twitter on Sunday:
Imagine that, for once, the #wikileaks treasure trove contained hundreds of thousands of Iranian, Chinese or even French documents.
Or Russian. Or Saudi Arabian. That would be very interesting. Then, I suspect, we really would see some murky information. But, like David, I'm not holding my breath.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah you are back. Prince Andrew an arse - surely you mean a genius. Insulting the French, the Guardian journos and by implication their readers and some tin-pot dictator all in one lunchtime - sweet
Make that man the Duke of York