Various websites I read have been going crazy this week over the huge dump of diplomatic documents and correspondence by Wikileaks. The Guardian has given over the whole top of its home page to breathless coverage of various tidbits, focusing on such vital information as the fact that an American diplomat found Prince Andrew rude, rather dumb, and disconcertingly comfortable with the corruption in places like Russia and Pakistan. The various blogs I read have tended to downplay the significance of the information released and I haven’t found much in the way of meta analysis. Until a friend linked to this article from the ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting) website.
The rolling revelations of the WikiLeaks US embassy cables will continue for months but equally interesting is the reaction of the global media.
Many in the British media establishment, not given advance look at the documents, fumed against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and repeated government spin that the release would endanger lives. This is from media groups who claim to believe in press freedom and there is no evidence that any WikiLeaks releases have harmed a soul, something even acknowledged by the US government.
It is expected that governments affected by the leaks would be upset but this week has seen a very clear fault-line expanding between those who endorse an authoritarian mindset towards leakers and others who understand the importance of airing America’s dirty tricks to the world.
He seems to have an axe to grind about Israel and I’m not sure that I’d go as far as he does in condemning the US, but that might be because I’m still a cockeyed optimist. I remember the shock I got as an idealistic and naive 19 year old, when my Political Studies lecturer (an American) pointed out that US activities during the cold war were about as dodgy as Soviet actions. My simple faith in good guys and bad guys was shattered. It would seem that these leaks could shatter the illusions of a lot of people besides me, but the media, to this point at least, show little interest in any kind of analysis.