Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

What’s so heroic about WikiLeaks’ wiki-dump?

I am no enemy of Democracy, but I’m having a hard time with the massive wiki-dump from WikiLeaks.

One thing I will grant WikiLeaks. If a journalist had to use the Freedom of Information Act to get all of 250,000 cables, it wouldn’t have happened. It would have come back super-redacted with so many blackouts it would read like an undone New York Times crossword.

Still, the sheer almagamation of stuff is mind boggling, as opposed to the little details which are kind of interesting, but not screaming front page headlines.

A deluge, however, is still a deluge. 

Got to hand it to the New York Times, which has become the de facto Cliff’s Notes of the Wiki-dump. As a sub-sub-leaker, the paper leaked in true old-fashioned  journalistic style. It went to the Obama administration and asked for more redactions, some of which it followed. But then it published it anyway because it didn’t want to be left out in the cold when WikiLeaks let everything out anyway.  Hard to be a journalistic purist in the age of the net. It was the same kind of thing when the Times quoted the National Enquirer in salacious stories. Hard to be a prude when everything’s exposed.

Still, if the best headlines are what’s been in the Times so far (the Yemenis, China hacking Google, “Let’s make a deal” for Guantanamo prisoners, South Korea and the U.S. baffled over China, and Qadafi’s blonde nurse),  I still don’t find anything as outrageous as the fact that some diplomats are getting personal  info on foreign dignatiries.

In other words, the diplomats are working as spies which can be used for surveillance and data mining. That’s not supposed to happen. And if it is, then you wouldn’t want to expose our spies, now would you?

Some critics are calling for Hillary Clinton’s head over this. I’m not sure it’s at that level yet. But the leaks have shown that our diplomatic efforts are far less diplomatic than they appear.

Is that something to thank WikiLeaks for? I don’t think so. They just stripped our diplomatic force of their dignity making it harder to carry on and do the work they must do if we are to avoid the stupid wars we find ourselves currently involved in. That’s not worth the gossipy tidbits that seem to excite the foreign policy wonks.

Check out my other post at www.aaldef.org/blog

Ling and Lee are free: All it took was a former president

If you were wondering where Al Gore has been in the  diplomatic effort to free his two employees jailed in North Korea, Bill Clinton provided you the answer.

Gore wasn’t big enough.

It takes a former president with with enormous global charisma to do what was needed to produced  Laura Ling and Euna Lee. the two journalists with Gore’s Current TV found guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time in North Korea.

Jimmy Carter wasn’t big enough. Bush I and II? Are you kidding?

The North Koreans wanted Bill Clinton over for dinner.  And they got him.

Once I heard Clinton was heading to see Kim Jong Il, I knew it would be just a matter of days that the pawns in question  would be produced, safely in all  his high drama.

Now the question is what does the U.S. give up in exchange. Clinton is a start, but it’s just the beginning to a real transition to…..?

It’s unclear. Currently, there are no official diplomatic ties between the U.S. and North Korea. So Clinton going as an unofficial offical keeps the status quo both in check, but potentially in flux.  Obama and Clinton can maintain their hardline. But Kim Jong Il gets to show all his people that he still has standing, with or without nukes. He’s got Bill Clinton over for kimchee  and a photo op.

Americans are supposed to be puzzled as to what’s next.

But if you’re in North or South Korea, you’ve got to be in awe.

If you’re starving in North Korea, you have hope today.  U.S. recognition brings the possibility of change.  If you’re in Seoul, you have to worry.  If you’re in either country and you  doubted the power of his hairness in North Korea, you are simply starstruck. The guy who looks like he’s on his death bed still has some juice. He got Bubba to stop b,  and all the players got a little something.

Clinton got to ride into the sunset the hero. You think Clinton hesitated to be in that role, one-upping both his wife and the current president (both of whom were admittedly hamstrung).  Clinton’s stock rises.

It certainly was worth it to Kim Jong Il.

And Laura Ling and Euna Lee ?

They now come home safely, with the story of their lives.