Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weakie Leaks

I was let down by the first installment of the WikieLeaks disclosure of State Department secret cables. As it turns out, and not surprisingly so, even at the highest levels of international diplomacy, life mirrors high school.  So-and-so is depicted as 'vain', another world leader is 'thin skinned', others are described as unoriginal, vengeful, petty, and uninteresting. This one wants us to 'off' another world leader or an entire country.  Another one urges us to stop Iran at all costs. We're paying a kind of reverse ransom to outsource the waterboarding and other tortures of our imprisoned enemy combatants. Ho hum.

I was hoping for better gossip.  Qaddafi and King Mohammed of Morocco are reported to be gay lovers.  Putin's love child is Italy's deputy foreign minister.  Hillary was scolded at the Beijing embassy when she inadvertently left her chopsticks upright in a bowl of white rice.  The prime minister of South Korea and the US trade representative get into a fist fight over the import quota on Samsung widescreen televisions.  Stuff like that.

WeakieLeaks has become an evangelist for 'let it all hang out' freedom of information.  I am not sympathetic to the cause.  Though I rooted heartily for the NY Times during the publication of the Pentagon Papers years ago, this latest round does not meet the standard set by Daniel Ellsberg during the 1970s.  If the World Acccording to Weakie is that all government (and, presumably, corporate) documents are fair game, then we each subject ourselves to public review of all we say and write.  In such a world, there is no real line between the public and private domains.  The chilling effect that censorship/revelation or the threat of such can have on public discourse is thus enhanced.  No thanks.

Note to State Department:  lighten up.  Or give us something we don't already know or can surmise from regular reading of the NY Times.  Except for the parts about Qaddafi afraid to fly over water and setting up Bedouin tents in fancy hotel rooms for his business meetings.  Love that !


  1. sweetie, bobonaroll is the best! i love your writing and love the succinct rant. blog title makes a great book title too! xo from your seattle family.

  2. I'm so glad you did the reading for me! See you soon!

  3. Loved it and, like Mark, glad you did the reading - see you soon.