Friday, November 26, 2010

New WikiLeaks Release To Embarrass Obama?

That's what Reuters is implying:

Classified U.S. diplomatic cables reporting corruption allegations against foreign governments and leaders are expected in official documents that WikiLeaks plans to release soon, sources said on Wednesday.

Three sources familiar with the State Department cables held by WikiLeaks say the corruption allegations in them are major enough to cause serious embarrassment for foreign governments and politicians named in them.

They said the release was expected next week, but could come earlier.

The detailed, candid reporting by U.S. diplomats also may create foreign policy complications for the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, the sources said.

Among the countries whose politicians feature in the reports are Russia, Afghanistan and former Soviet republics in Central Asia. But other reports also detail potentially embarrassing allegations reported to Washington from U.S. diplomats in other regions including East Asia and Europe...

I think Obama can get away with supporting some corrupt regimes in the name of national security, and even get support for it from conservatives and what realists remain in the Democratic party.

But the problem for Obama will be how he responded to reports about various regimes being duplicitous in their dealings with the United States - did he act on them, or ignore them, and allow himself (and by extension, the American people)to be taken in like a carnival mark? And if he did ignore them, did he do so out of doubt that the information he was receiving was accurate, or did he do so because the information conflicted with his worldview and long-held ideological biases?

If it turns out to be the latter rather than the former, Obama will be crippled even further in his role as president, as the nation will view him as a man who refuses to recognize reality and instead is operating with a virtual Hitler-in-the-bunker-moving-his-imaginary-armies-around mindset.

One advantage Obama has is that the New York Times is already in possession of the WikiLeaks documentation, and will minimize the extent and the importance of what is released to the best of their ability in order to protect him. A far cry from Woodward and Bernstein, no?

And that will mitigate some of the damage, but not all. As the health care debate demonstrated (much to Gary Ackerman's dismay), people can obtain information on their own when they want, and how they want. The truth of Obama's policies will be out, no matter how many sawdust barriers the press tries to throw up before him...

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