Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, notes:
[D]iplomats as a class very seldom tell unpalatable truths to politicians, but rather report and reinforce what their masters want to hear, in the hope of receiving preferment.
There is therefore [in the cables released by WikiLeaks] a huge amount about Iran’s putative nuclear arsenal and an exaggeration of Iran’s warhead delivery capability. But there is nothing about Israel’s massive nuclear arsenal. That is not because wikileaks have censored criticism of Israel. It is because any US diplomat who made an honest and open assessment of Israeli crimes would very quickly be an unemployed ex-diplomat.
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange when asked by Time magazine what effect he is seeing from the publication of the diplomatic cables said, among other things:
[W]e can see the Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu coming out with a very interesting statement that leaders should speak in public like they do in private whenever they can. He believes that the result of this publication, which makes the sentiments of many privately held beliefs public, are promising a pretty good [indecipherable] will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran.
But if Assange actually believes Netanyahu is rallying to the cause of transparency, he’ll be disappointed to read this from Sami Moubayed:
Last summer, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed off on a law extending classification of state archives related to the early years of the Jewish State’s foundation. That means all documents related to the war of 1948 and its monumental aftermath will remain under lock and key until 2018, exactly 70 years after what the Arabs refer to as the Palestinian Nakba, or “Catastrophe.”
Documents about the 1967 Arab-Israeli war will, therefore, remain classified until 2037, while anything related to the 1982 siege of Beirut will remain off-limits until 2052. Records of Yasser Arafat’s 2004 death will not be opened until 2074 while Israeli archives of what happened in Beirut on that fateful day in February 2005, when a massive bomb killed Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, will hauntingly remain labeled “top secret”” until 2075.
Meanwhile, US government employees are being instructed to shield their eyes from the corrupting influence of US government documents. Christian Science Monitor reports that both State and Defense department employees have been instructed not to visit the WikiLeaks website.
At The Nation, Tom Hayden writes:
Informed sources say that the current deluge of Wikileaks documents will continue for another week and grow in significance.
Leading US human rights lawyers Leonard Weinglass and Michael Ratner have joined the defense team for Julian Assange and Wikileaks. US officials are employing cyber-warfare and prosecutorial steps to deny any safe haven for the Wikileaks operation with a fervor comparable to their drone attacks on Al Qaeda havens in Pakistan and Yemen. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange was placed on Interpol’s “most wanted” list as US authorities intensified efforts to suppress the whistleblower organization’s deluge of classified US diplomatic cables. Assange’s location was not immediately known. His choices are to turn himself in or be tracked down by local police. If outside of Sweden, he could face extradition on charges to stand trial there. Or the US could seek his extradiction on charges of espionage or theft of classified documents.
Two cyber-attacks have been reported against WikiLeaks servers this week. The Justice Department is seeking indictments on espionage charges from a grand jury quietly impaneled this week in arch-conservative Alexandria, Virginia. Assange is in London, facing rape and sexual harrassment charges in Sweden, which he denies. Extradition could be sought by the United States at any time from either venue.
Why is this drama important? Not because of “life-threatening” leaks, as claimed by the establishment, but because the closed doors of power need to be open to public review. We live increasingly in an Age of Secrecy, as described by Garry Wills in Bomb Power, among recent books. It has become the American Way of War, and increasingly draws the curtains over American democracy itself.