Unless you have been vacationing on mars for the last few weeks, you probably noticed the latest influx of wikileaks. They contain an overwhelming amoung of classified information of various kinds. Thus, they have kindly done the work for many a lazy journalist in need of a quick scandal or frontpage story. But apart from that, political leaders have referred to wikileads as swines and terrorists, whereas those with a thing for public transparency have been celebrating…
Now, we have learned that Saudi Arabia fancies a war with Iran and desperately tries to convince the americans that this might be a feasable venture. We have learned that Angela Merkel is an administrator with no courage or creativity. We have learned that Barack Obama have tried bribing countries such as Slovenia into taking Guantanamo prisoners in return for photo opportunities with celebrities such as himself…and the list goes on forever.
So…is it valuable information or a criminal act to release such info? Well basically, most of it is irrelevant, a bit amusing or non-surprising slander … theres a couple of potentially destabilising pieces of intelligence such as the correspondence regarding the middle east and north corea – but does that constitute the exposure being a dangerous terrorist act. Of course not. First of all, you have to be a bit more naive and narrowminded than George W. to imagine any of this came as a surprise to the involved parties. Iran isnt just likely to be well informed about the attitude towards them among their neighbours (they do afterall have a fairly efficient intelligence service of their own), they have indeed gone out of their way to manifacture it – had they wanted friendly and trusting neighbourly relations, it probably wouldnt have been first on their list to invest in a nuclear program, long range missiles pointing in all directions and having their political leaders giving speech after speech threatening and harassing the very same neighbours, that has now been exposed as “a bit grumpy”. Surprise surprise.
And North Corea. So, they have a military at the border, so they keep plotting malicious activities…or in other words – nothing has changed since the corean war and everyone know about it. It certainly wont have been scandal of the year in the South Corean ministry of defence that they might be wise to keep a lookout on the northeners and their continued efforts to provoke, militarise and cause havoc. Surprise surprise.
Should we continue? Angela Merkel being a bit boring, Sarkozy being “bizarre”, Anders Fogh Rasmussen cutting deals under the table, Barack Obama acting as though he is trying to bullship his way to winning the next round of Big Brother …. yeah, thats all astonishing news in the “terrorist exposure” end of things we would have never figured out ourselves. Wikileaks is public service, or rather – wikileaks is a nice service for journalists who cant be bothered to dig up their own stories and a marvellous reminder to those of us who briefly forgot what common sense would have told us about international politics and relations, had we thought about it for a second…not much more, not much less.
- For years we have debated the influence of money in politics. We have looked at wealthy businessmen and lobbyists buying elections. Studied how TV commercials flooded living rooms and turned the polls around. In America the Super-PACs came storming onto the scene after an election funding reform with more or…