Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Lux fiat

WikiLeaks casts a light on diplomatic double-dealing

In its third major release of leaked classified documents, this one mostly consisting of diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks threatens to do more damage to the secret dealings of the United States and its allies than with both of the previous releases combined, despite the sometimes explosive revelations comprehended in the latter. This is because the whole world now gets to read of the skullduggery practiced by ally against ally: of how, for example: “According to London-based daily Al-Hayat, the documents could show that Turkey helped al-Qaeda’s operations in Iraq while the U.S. colluded with Turkish rebel group PKK, which has been waging a decades-old fight against Ankara. This despite Turkey being a key NATO ally of the U.S. and Washington’s classification of the PKK as a terrorist organization!”

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Make no mistake: As far as the US is concerned, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the Great Satan. We now read that rape charges made against him in August over a post facto dispute in a case of apparently consensual sex have been reinstituted, the Swedish high court has declined to grant him an appeal of his arrest warrant, and he is now being sought by the Swedish police and has made the Interpol most-wanted list.

All of this seems to many observers like the stuff of B movies: The protagonist offends the wrong person and finds himself framed for a crime he never committed. And, as in B movies, Assange may feel that he has to evade capture as he values his life. Thanks to Sarah Palin and several senior US and Canadian officials, there are now calls for WikiLeaks to be branded a terrorist organization and for Assange to be assassinated; once in custody, he would have little protection against an “extraordinary rendition” or a convenient “accident.”

But the decentralized architecture of WikiLeaks is such that, even if Assange is removed, the project will continue. Similarly, threats to use “cyber tools” to permanently disable the site, as suggested by Palin, ring hollow because mirror sites have been established around the world as insurance against such a development. And even if the entire project were successfully obliterated, it would be only a matter of time before a new WikiLeaks would appear, and the entire drama would start afresh.

Like it or not, the US and its satrapies face a changed world thanks to WikiLeaks. No more can they betray one another and their own citizens in the shadows of secret diplomacy, for today and henceforth a pervasive light will dog them, and all of their duplicities, deceptions and double-dealings will stand illuminated for all to see.

Originally published as a review of an article on WikiLeaks’
release of diplomatic cables.

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