Azerbaijan, Spain, The New York Times, United States, Washington

Cablegate Continued: The System Is Watching and Other Sordid Tales From the Day’s Affairs of State

Accessing the WikiLeaks site has gotten difficult, if not impossible now despite mirror sites and domain names registered at last check in France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. However, those that visit the site undoubtedly receive a malware infection pretty fast. Similar tactics took down The Guardian’s website yesterday when it attempted to host a live, online chat with WikiLeaks founder, Interpol fugitive, and known loon, Julian Assange.

I hate to ask an obvious question of Mr. Assange, but how does he expect a nation-state, a superpower notably to react? If he gets away with it, so can anyone and the United States of America cannot have that. Joking aside, there is a serious, massive question of what to do with Mr. Assange, how to prosecute him, all the while keeping in mind he may have made himself into a willing martyr of the data revolution and that the U.S. arsenal includes everything from drones to nuclear weapons, neither of which will be used in this case given the strategic predicament. To date, there has been much fodder for the gossip pages, a sort of Washington Life Magazine on steroids if you will, but little that is truly revelatory. Much of the information has confirmed things attentive observers of geopolitics could have guessed or surmised – the distinction being that know we know. Even comedian Jon Stewart has suggested Assange read up on the things Americans know about their government already.

But as usual with such “dumps,” the devil is in the details: Berlusconi helping himself with Putin’s assistance to skim off the top of Gazprom deals, former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar telling the U.S. Ambassador in 2007 that he will return to Spanish politics if the situation in the country gets desperate (something he has so far neglected to do). Much has also left open questions: how much did the U.S. protect Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and discourage Indian retalliation for the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks? For in the end, the cables only offer fragments to a much larger puzzle and do a great amount to keep the Great Man Theory of History alive as well as shutdown this sort of information sharing in government, which considering what has come of it, might be beneficial and teach some discretion.

When The Guardian site did return live, Assange promised UFO sightings in a cable to be released in the future, which would be an unlikely turn of course given the fact that most of the cables released to date have proven the savvy of the U.S. foreign service officer.

More on the Man at the Top:

“PM Has Betrayed Me: Assange,” The Age

A Must Read – Historian Misha Glenny in T: The New York Times Style Magazine on “The Gift of Information,” reminds us of “an old joke from Communist times,”: ‘’‘We cannot predict the future,’’ announces the newsreader of Soviet radio reporting on the Politburo’s deliberations, ‘’but the past is changing before our very eyes.’”

The Man Really at the Top:

“Cables Suggest Obama’s Wide Range of Engagement,” The New York Times

Rumors of a Reaction from State Akin to The System Is Watching:

“Talking About WikiLeaks’ Cablegate Can Hinder Job Placements,” The Tech Herald
“An email forwarded by a student enrolled at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia is making the rounds on the Internet this weekend. The email, which is said to have originated from the Columbia University’s Office of Career Services, warns anyone aspiring for a government job that WikiLeaks is off limits.”
As a Georgetown student in the School of Foreign Service, I can confirm that I have not received any such note of the sort. In any event, if this is in fact true, this position is unsustainable and bizarre given that the world is aware of the contents, why would you not want your prospective diplomatic corps to be aware of it as well?

Message to SIPA students confirmed:
“Don’t Mention the Cables, Future Diplomats,” The New York Times Lede Blog

Ever wondered how long it takes to suspend a PayPal account?
“PayPal Suspends WikiLeaks Account,” The New York Times
“The termination of PayPal’s relationship with WikiLeaks was described in a blog post on the official PayPal blog: PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity… Another service, Datacell, which claims on its Web site to be under ‘Swiss/Icelandic control,’ appears to continue to be accepting donations on behalf of WikiLeaks.”

On the Homeland:

“Rep. Ron Paul Makes Special Request Of Wikileaks on Fox’s Freedom Watch,” Mediaite
Republican Congressman Ron Paul goes to bat for WikiLeaks on Fox News and asks for information on the Federal Reserve: “What we need is more Wikileaks on the Federal Reserve. Can you imagine what it would be like if we have every conversation of the last 10 years with the Federal Reserve people and the Federal Reserve chairman, with all the other central bankers of the world, and every agreement and quid pro quo that they have? I mean, it would be massive. The people would be so outraged.”

“U.S. Weighs Prosecution of WikiLeaks Founder, but Legal Scholars Warn of Steep Hurdles,” The New York Times

The View From Britain:

“WikiLeaks Cables Are Dispatches From a Beleaguered America in Imperial Retreat,” The Guardian
“These diplomats who didn’t want us to know their thoughts are not mere cogs in an imperial machine. Many emerge as wise, courageous, patient, likeable men and women– especially the women, who lead so many US embassies. Their view of their host countries is not rosy. You begin to absorb their vision, in which America is the only adult in a world of grasping, corrupt, unreliable teenagers who cannot be abandoned to their own weakness.”

More European Politics:

“WikiLeaks Cables: Spanish PM Helped GE Beat Rolls-Royce to Helicopter Deal,” The Guardian

Efforts to Topple the WikiLeaks Site, the International Cabal, Etc:

“WikiLeaks Site’s Swiss Host Dismisses Pressure to Take it Offline,” The Guardian

Chicago – Passport to understanding the world:

“McCain: Southern Iraq like ‘Chicago in the ’20s,'” Foreign Policy WikiLeaked Blog
“Cameron asked McCain what he thought was happening in the south of Iraq. McCain said he was very worried. He said it was like ‘Chicago in the 20’s’ and ‘could go at any time.'”

World Watch – The Americas:

“Chávez compra lealtades en el seno del Ejército de Bolivia,” El Pais [in Spanish]
Chávez bought himself loyalties among Bolivia’s officer corps. And quite the kicker:

A menudo, los diplomáticos estadounidenses expresan a Washington su hartazgo ante las constantes acusaciones de conspiración que Morales y sus estrechos colaboradores dirigen contra su país “como si estuviera Chávez susurrando al oído”. “Es una pena que el Rey Juan Carlos de España no esté en Bolivia para decir ‘¿por qué no te callas?”, termina una comunicación.

From the sidelines – Iraq:

“US Tries to Keep US Troops in Iraq Away From WikiLeaks,” Agence France Presse

Caucuses Obscurantia:

A nice short course in the Aliyev/Corleone memo:
“Azerbaijan: President Aliyev Compared Unfavorably to Hot-Headed Monster in WikiLeaks Cable,” Babylon & Beyond Los Angeles Times Blog

“​Leaked U.S. Cable Alleges Russian Support For Armenian ‘Extremists’ In Georgia,”

previous related posts:

“Lots of Traffic Today for WikiLeaks Coverage,” December 3, 2010.
Why irreverent is sometimes better than comprehensive. Thank you for reading.

“The Day in Cablegate: As the World Turns…” December 3, 2010.

“The Best in WikiLeaks Cablegate Coverage from News Sites Around the World,” December 2, 2010.

“Mafia Analogies for the Aliyev Family in Wikileaks/U.S. State Department Cablegate: Is He Michael or Sonny?” December 2, 2010.

“‘A Caucuses Wedding’: A Pictoral Accompaniment to the Cable of the Same Name,” November 30, 2010.


“Shown Trial,” Fortnight Journal, November 26, 2010.