Presented very genuinely with no implied support or belief, but just because I read Illuminatus! at a tender age and enjoy paranoid contemplations: Is Wikileaks not what it seems?
*Historian of the neocons Jacob Heilbrunn at the National Interest on cui bono? from the latest leaks? Obama bono! (Or Cui Obama!, I ain't no Roman, mea Americanus!)
the documents should create a comforting feeling among the American public that officials aren't asleep at the switch. President Obama may not be able to say that Karzai is a pathologically corrupt nutjob, but it's clearly what he and his emissaries think. Nor do they have any illusions about Iran. Or North Korea. So much for the myth that Obama is clueless. That would be one incentive for the administration to secretly welcome the release of the documents.
But there is more. Most of the foreign leaders quoted in the documents are stating the obvious. It's been clear for years that the Saudis and various other moderate Middle Eastern countries would like to see America and Israel deliver a knockout blow to the Iranian mullahs. But they were afraid to say so publicly. Now the WikiLeaks have done it for them. At the same time, the Obama administration has upped the psychological pressure on Iran, which has also just seen one of its top nuclear scientists assassinated. The message is clear: work for the regime and you will pay a price. Maybe there will even be a new WikiLeak about it in a year, showing that the Mossad arranged the hit.
The truth is that the American government engages in gross overclassification of documents, something that the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan inveighed against and that the redoubtable Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists continually battles. Maybe the WikiLeaks is a way of circumventing those restrictions. Getting American threats on record, while pretending to deplore the loss of secrecy, could be a potent weapon. If this is the case, then Obama may be craftier than anyone has assumed.
*Steve Clemons at Washington Note finds actual former national security insiders from Zbiggy Brzezinski to W. Bush's former national security advisor Steven Hadley suggesting some agenda-driven fishiness in what has been released:
As I get deeper into reading some of these cables, I increasingly realize that I and others are seeing the equivalent of raw intelligence, massive amounts of it. And some of it—even the statements by leaders in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE about the Iran threat and what to do about it seems to be missing larger contextual framing.
I know personally that there is a diversity of views around the Saudi King and among his closest national security hands—and know that the same is true in the UAE. Those parts are missing from the Wikileaks material. And yet I know that there are cables about these views and statements as well—but they aren't part of the records in the dump.
Again, I'm intrigued by Brzezinski's query about covert ops—and have my doubts about his formulation, but it does provide a good cautionary warning not to just take everything in the Wikileaks material at total face value.
*The Daily Bell on how many "establishment narratives" can be supported by the leaks, from "we need tighter security against deranged perverts" to "mainstream gov't-ass-licking papers are really anti-establishment rebels" to "everyone realizes we gotta nail Iran" to "the Chicom are busting our security."
*And if the government was really mad at Assange….? Assange's lawyer insists that if governments want him, they totally know where to find him: somewhere in Britain.
Remember: Nothing is as it seems! Except for those times when it is.