Monday, December 6, 2010

Wiki-Weapons of Mass Distraction Fallout: the Firing Squad is Lining Up Here and There ...

WikiLeaks lawyer threatens release of its "thermonuclear device..."

You know it's only a matter of time...

It took barely 24 hours after WikiLeaks released its first classified cable dump when Slate's Jack Shafer writes that "the leaked cables make it impossible for Hillary Clinton to continue as secretary of state.[...] Diplomacy is about face, and the only way for other nations to save face will be to give them Clinton's scalp."

Huh? Sorry, Jack. We want her to keep/keep her scalp.

On November 30, in a Skype interview, TIME managing editor Richard Stengel asks the WikiLeaks founder whether Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should keep her job.  Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange said, "should resign." 

Did Mr. Stengel actually expected an affirmative answer from Mr. Wiki-Weapons of Mass Distraction? Of course, not, but makes for a good headline.

Meanwhile, it did not take long for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez  to praised WikiLeaks for its “bravery” after the group began to publish 250,000 diplomatic cables and quickly called for Secretary Clinton to resign.

The card carrying member of the 'axis of mischief" made this pronouncement in a state-run teevee, not sure which one, but one where only state views are appropriate food for the masses in the spirit of a free press.   

Scenesetter Venezuela: “Have you seen the WikiLeaks that are coming out?” Chavez asked a group of flood victims in the city -- more than 30 people have been killed the last few days across Venezuela in the worst floods in 40 years.  “They are coming out with the dirty reports and the dirty war the Yankee embassies wage around the world. See how they abuse even the leaders of powerful nations; how they abuse that great friend of ours Vladimir Putin. They disrespect him!”

Right! Worse flooding in 40 years and he talks about WikiLeaks and Vlad!    

Has he blamed that flood on our "evil Yankee empire" yet? No? Don't worry, he'll get around to it. And let's have somebody write a cable about it, shall we? No?  Well, can't blame you -- it's an old chestnut roasting in an open fire ...       

Over in Europe, a political party is urging the recall of US Ambassador Philip Murphy:

"MPs from Germany's junior coalition party, the Free Democrats, have urged the US to recall its ambassador over comments released by Wikileaks. FDP deputy Hans Michael Goldmann told German daily Bild that Mr Murphy could no longer serve as an effective go-between. "Mr Murphy's behaviour is unseemly," he said. "Such an ambassador should be called home." FDP deputy Bijan Djir-Sarai said for his part: "It is more than doubtful whether Mr Murphy can still be a trustworthy interlocutor." But Mrs Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the government would continue to work with Mr Murphy. "The government is most certainly not calling for the ambassador to be recalled," he said. "German-US ties are robust."

Ambassador Murphy says in this interview, "It's up to the United States government to decide how to protect its interests in Germany in the face of [the WikiLeaks publication]," Murphy said, adding "but I'm not going anywhere."

We like this guy more and more everyday.

Philip Shenon in The Daily Beast made mention of US Ambassador to Tripoli, Gene Cretz on the possible shake up that may or may not shake you: 
"The shakeups are most likely at embassies where U.S. diplomats and other officials wrote classified cables—made public by WikiLeaks over the last week, or soon to be made public, with the Americans identified by name and title—in which they were harshly critical of corrupt or incompetent local government leaders.
Officials were reluctant to identify specific diplomats who might have to be removed from their posts. But they did not deny there were obvious candidates, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz, a highly respected career diplomat who wrote in a 2009 cable—revealed in the initial WikiLeaks dump—that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi never travels without his "voluptuous blond" Ukrainian nurse."
That blond bombshell was a state secret? 

In The Sunday talk show, "This Week," our Ambassador to Kabul Karl Eikenberry was a perfect sitting target.  Former US Ambassador to Kabul, Zalmay Khalilzad says Ambassador Eikenberry must go and that  the U.S. Embassy in Kabul needs new staff.  Oh, dear! Mr. Khalizad was the 4th US Ambassador to Kabul after the embassy opened in 2001.  They're almost cousins in service!    

Via ABC News:  "Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, said on the "This Week" roundtable discussion with George Will, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Sakena Yacoobi and anchor Christiane Amanpour that America's current ambassador there, Karl Eikenberry, should go because his relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai had been irreparably damaged by leaks." 
"I think he has -- really, he's been damaged very badly by the leaks that have taken place, here in Washington, before WikiLeaks and afterwards. And a trusting relationship, if that's his objective, and I believe it ought to be, would require, I think, changes in terms of personnel that are responsible on a day to day basis in dealing with President Karzai," Khalilzad told Amanpour.
"There is a huge trust deficit," Khalilzad, who was born in Afghanistan, said. "If we want to deal with the issue of partnership with the government of Afghanistan, if we want to deal with the issue of domestic politics effectively, of capitalizing cooperation, we would need to have a new team to be able to do that."

Fire Ambassador Eikenberry and hire pray tell, who? Let's see -- how about President Obama hire somebody in the ins with the president of Afghanistan, somebody who has great influence with that complicated man over there?  Perhaps somebody who used to dine at the Kabul presidential palace six times a week?

Not content to opine that Hillary should resign, Mr. Wiki-WMD on Sunday also called for the resignation of President Obama:
"The whole chain of command who was aware of this order, and approved it, must resign if the US is to be seen to be a credible nation that obeys the rule of law. The order is so serious it may well have been put to the president for approval," Julian Assange told Spanish daily El Pais.
I'm surprise he did not just call for the resignation of the entire US Government leadership and get it over with.  If everyone in the executive branch resigns (not that they would), would that give the WH to Mr. Boehner of Ohio? Just curious, my civics lessons did not go that far.

Although Mr. Assange is all over the news, we don't know where he is hiding at this time.  We are, almost sure, that he is not/not in Ecuador, because although he was recently offered  residency there that was quickly withdrawn. "In a 180-degree reversal, Ecuador President Rafael Correa withdrew Wednesday an offer by a deputy foreign minister to allow WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange residency in the country. Correa dismissed as 'a personal statement' the remarks on Tuesday by Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas who had said Assange would be offer residency rights."

Just as well, they are evacuating over there because the Tungurahua ("throat of fire") volcano went online.

Meanwhile, Mr. Weapons of Mass Distraction's lawyer has just put out a warning for all you folks out there on the possible release of WikiLeak's "thermonuclear device":
Mr. Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens warned that if Mr. Assange were to be brought to trial on rape accusations he faces in Sweden, or for treason charges that have been suggested by U.S. politicians, he would release the encryption key. The tens of thousands of people who have downloaded the file would instantly have access to the names, addresses and details contained in the file. WikiLeaks, Mr. Stephens said, has “been subject to cyberattacks and censorship around the world and they need to protect themselves ... This is what they believe to be a thermonuclear device in the information age.”

So that's that folks -- the leaking service is now officially called ... what's the word, it's at the tip of my tongue ..... reditus nigri?  I think they used a familiar phrase-- something called an "insurance policy" in gigabits.... blackmail sounds well, quite evil....and bad for PR. 

1 comment:

Connie said...

While I understand that leaks can be damaging, that's why there is such a thing as classifications(!), I also know that anything written down, typed on a computer or spoken aloud, can possibly get away from you and be mis-used. Most sane people realize this. So, Assange is a troublemaker... I think politicians and diplomats, of all nations are, in general, smart enough to realize that this sort of s**t, can, and will, happen.