Listening to a discussion on the SLC station KRCL about the Wiki-leaks thing (click) I have a couple of random thoughts:
– On the whole I think they were a good thing. Obviously, government is doing a really crummy job of guarding its secrets, and that’s a good thing to know. When the state Driver License Division says your Social Security number, driver license, birth certificate and other forms of highly misusable ID are perfectly secure, ask yourself “Are they as secure as the State Department’s most sensitive secrets?”
If they are, you might as well post them on the DMV bulletin board. And, yes, you know, you really know, that some TSA guard somewhere is keeping a file of the “fun” X-ray scans. If the President of the United States and the entire US Marine Corps dedicated themselves to nothing else in the world but preventing such a collection, it would still get made.
– I kind of like knowing that the Saudi Arabians are playing a lot more double game than even I, most cynical of people, thought they were. Then again, they’ve been playing those games for thousands of years. We’re amateurs, and they see us as rubes to be manipulated, chickens to be plucked.
Saudi money funded 9-11, Saudi money continues to fund the people shooting at our soldiers in Afghanistan today because the Wahabi religious leaders look at the Taliban and admire their technique, but the Saudis want us to take out Iran? While they keep their conniving with Israel on this secret so they can continue to call us infidels in public and hold public telethons to raise money for suicide bombers in Israel?
Yeah, I like knowing that. And guess who would be the first to condemn the US if the war in Iran went wrong? Saudi Arabia, bet on it.They’d probably declare themselves Iran’s staunch ally when it counter-attacked Israel, too.
My thinking on this: Take Saudi Arabia’s $65 billion for military hardware (cash, no checks) and tell them to go fight their own damn war.
– I liked seeing how the Obama administration did a nice job of finessing the balance between Saudi Arabia and China and Russia to build a stronger set of commercial sanctions around Iran. Bush, for all his bluster, didn’t do that, and all of his bluster probably made it harder.
– How come everyone’s angry that Wikileaks might be outing secret agents, but nobody’s mentioned that the previous President of the United States was involved very actively in the outing of a CIA agent, Valerie Plame?
Only one person in that administration had to go to jail, and Vice President Cheney was angry that Bush didn’t pardon him. “You don’t leave a man behind,” is how he put it, a clear indication that the outing of Plame to get back at her husband was an operation conceived directly in the West Wing top offices.
– The last caller on the show, John from Ogden, made some excellent points: The vast majority of the public hasn’t got a clue about all this stuff, Obama hasn’t said anything yet, and we haven’t heard of any agents actually being hurt from this (although I doubt we would. I watch too many spy movies, though.)
His first point was the best. The great unwashed don’t sit and read the NYTimes on line. They get their political wisdom from the TV news (The world in 60 seconds!) and political commentary on Fox and MSNBC. The Standard-Examiner has gone hyper-local to survive on the assumption that people get national news elsewhere, but they really don’t.
Those are the very people who NEED to know that the government is feeding them a line, that the government is playing footsie with Saudi Arabia which is playing a double game with us. It’s their kids who can’t find any career these days but the military and will end up over in some god-forsaken pile of sand fighting for their country, or being told they are, probably by some PR specialist on a $5 million contract subbed out from Halliburton or KBR.
Sadly, these people never know and are more comfortable living with the lie anyway because it promises them low taxes and something they think is “freedom.”