Criminal Leaks

 

Criminal Leaks

 

Posted By Rich
Trzupek
On November 30, 2010 @ 12:47 am

When WikiLeaks
released hundreds of thousands of classified documents involving the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in October, the Obama
administration condemned Julian Assange’s rogue organization for putting the
lives of the military personnel and important informants at risk. While the
alleged source of the leak, Pfc. Bradley Manning, was taken into custody, there
was no push for punitive action against WikiLeaks itself. Now Assange has
stepped over the line: he’s embarrassed the diplomatic corps and the
politicians behind it. Sunday’s release of over 250,000 State Department
documents sent the administration and politicians on both sides of the aisle into
a frenzy
[1].

“This
disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy
interests. It is an attack on the international community — the alliances and
partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security
and advance economic prosperity,” Secretary of State Clinton said. White House
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called the release “a crime,” and Attorney General
Eric Holder said the Justice Department had launched “an active, ongoing,
criminal investigation” into WikiLeaks activities.

Assange’s
willingness to disclose state secrets is reprehensible in any form. But, should
a peek into the misty backrooms of international diplomacy cause more outrage
than putting the lives of Americans serving in uniform, and the brave Iraqis
and Afghans who help them, at risk? Such is the world we live in and perhaps we
should be grateful, if the administration is finally serious about going after
WikiLeaks in some meaningful way. Representative Peter King suggested that
WikiLeaks should be designated a terror organization and, under the old rules,
it would be hard to argue against King’s point. The Bush Doctrine said that
anyone who knowingly harbors or aids terrorists would be treated as an enemy.
“You’re either with us or against us,” Bush said, and viewed through that
simple lens, there’s no doubt which side WikiLeaks comes out on. Unfortunately,
the Obama administration, parroting the progressive point of view, cannot abide
such a clear line of demarcation. The president has effectively added a third
category: you’re with us, you’re against us, or you’re a misguided soul engaged
in criminal mischief that might seem a little like terrorism but really
shouldn’t be handled that way.

Yet, labeling
this latest document dump a crime is at least a step in the right direction for
this administration, although hoping to drag Assange and his cronies into court
falls far short of the kind of aggressive action needed to end the national
security threat that WikiLeaks represents. It is perhaps more interesting to
consider what about this particular round of disclosures caused the administration
to up the ante. Could it be that many
of the documents
[2] reveal that the Obama administration is
inept and disingenuous when it comes to managing foreign affairs?

We now know, for example, that the Obama administration put pressure on
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop arms shipments to Hezbollah. Assad
promised action, but delivered none, and Hezbollah continues to grow in power
as a result. We also know that Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, who is very worried
about what would happen in the region if Iran
gets the bomb, urged the president to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. On the
other hand, the documents confirm what has long been an open-secret: that
wealthy Saudis remain the chief financiers of Sunni jihadists, including
al-Qaeda.

America’s tenuous, troubling
relationship with China is also revealed in
the documents. In late December 2009, Internet powerhouse Google
was the target
[3] of a massive and sophisticated cyber-attack.
Google said that the purpose of the attack was to gather information about
Chinese dissidents and their supporters. Neither Google nor the United States government was
inclined to identify the source of the attack. The identity of the perpetrator
seemed rather obvious, for who else but the Chinese government would be
motivated to take the time to develop malware that went after such a narrow,
particular target? Independent web security firms like VeriSign’s iDefense
definitively concluded that China was to blame, but the
administration dithered and the press largely ignored the story. We now know
that the Obama administration was fully aware that China went after Google and
that the administration deliberately chose to ignore the attack, presumably out
of fear of offending our huge trading partner.

It also
appears, according
to some Internet experts
[4], that the United States narrowly averted
disaster this summer when a targeted, Stuxnet-like virus originating in China was caught and
disabled before it could do damage to our nation’s
industrial infrastructure. This was yet another story that quietly
disappeared within the haze of diplomacy, even though the consequences of the
virus’s success would have been truly catastrophic.

WikiLeaks thus remains a most dangerous enemy. Julian Assange’s
determination to publish every bit of classified information he can lay his
hands on endangers both the West’s ability to combat terror and America’s
efforts to use the subtleties of diplomacy to coax erstwhile enemies into
action. Which agenda is more important is a matter of opinion. But, there can
be little doubt that WikiLeaks, if left unchecked, will continue to upset the
global order in a world dominated by a single superpower. How America
deals with WikiLeaks, or doesn’t deal with it, may well define the Obama
administration’s legacy when it comes to the continuing war on terror.


Article
printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to
article: http://frontpagemag.com/2010/11/30/criminal-leaks/

URLs in this
post:

[1] into a
frenzy: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/29/administration-vows-crack-leaks-document-dump/

[2] many of
the documents: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29cables.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

[3] Google
was the target: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/29/wikileaks-dump-reveals-ch_n_789042.html

[4]
according to some Internet experts: http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/01/researchers-identify-command-servers-behind-google-attack.ars

 

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