"That a more comprehensive read of the leaked cables did not afterwards support the argument the Secretary of State was making is irrelevant here, what the statement did was to codify WikiLeaks. This week WikiLeaks became a fact on the political landscape."
Several stories this week, driven by WikiLeaks release of 250,000 US Embassy Diplomatic Cables, and essential Guardian UK diligent investigative reporting has institutionalized WikiLeaks as a part of the 4th Estate.
November 29th 2010 press conference Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chose specific WikiLeaked Diplomatic cables to support a spin the administration had developed to support the US position on Iran regarding that countries continuing development of nuclear and missile technology.
Later in the week the spin was trumpeted by The New York Times (Nov 28 "Iran Fortifies Its Arsenal With the Aid of North Korea") and The Washington Post (AP - Nov 30 "US says Iran got missile boost from North Korea").
The interesting thing is that in official circles up until this moment WikiLeaks' frontman Julian Assange was being compared to Osama Bin Laden - the new America's Most Wanted. Now all of a sudden sighting leaked documents provided to the world via WikiLeaks was a legitimate talking point.
Clinton's remarks denoted a departure point - an acceptance of three things:
- That the leaked cables were legitimate.
- That their existence on the political landscape was now accepted as part of the political ferment.
- And thus, an accepted source from which one could form ones arguments in the course of political discourse at the most official level.
(It should be noted that while the Secretary of State was inching closer to acknowledging WikiLeaks as a legitimate player in the forth estate, the Pentagon was on the verge of launching a DDOS denial of service attack that by Friday December 3rd 2010 had forced WikiLeaks to change it's IP address - so while one hand was open and slightly extended, the other was clenched in a fist.)
Then on Friday, the Guardian UK breaks the Copenhagen story ("WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord"). At the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference the Obama administration tried to spin a story for US consumption. As the UN conference broke down the Administration tried to pull out of it a secondary agreement between specific countries that would then become the 'good news' talking points in the US media. The Diplomatic Cables WikiLeak reveled what sage observers of events back then thought, it was an exercise in damage control from the start. The young administration tried to hide the fact that the Kyoto talks were off the road and in a ditch because it didn't want the perception to abound that, on it's watch, it was failing (even though the Bush administrations head-in-the-sand policy was what put it there).
This second big story doesn't have the ingredients where the National Security State can pull out it's rhetoric about endangering lives on the ground, disrupting sensitive diplomatic negotiations - this story is about power hiding truths from the people - and it involves government from all around the planet.
WikiLeaks and the Gaurdian UK have institutionalized WikiLeaks as a part of the 4th Estate. Next the National Security State will have to go after The Gaurdian - and then it is up to some of the other International papers to step up - like the New York Times for example.
Remarks to the Press on the Release of Confidential Documents
(US Department of State Archives)
WikiLeaks 'alleged Diplomatic Cable leaks' sighted by the Secretary of State on Monday November 29 2010 with regards their Iranian position, beginning at 13:40 and specifically sighted to back the US position at 14:13 (my bold itallics):
"I think that it should not be a surprise to anyone that Iran is a source of great concern not only in the United States, that what comes through in every meeting that I have anywhere in the world is a concern about Iranian actions and intentions. So if anything, any of the comments that are being reported on allegedly from the cables confirm the fact that Iran poses a very serious threat in the eyes of many of her neighbors, and a serious concern far beyond her region."
The Guardian.co.uk has a good link page for the stories they've developed researching WikiLeaks leaked documents, and written about the unfolding WikiLeaks story (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/the-us-embassy-cables+tone/news).
CommonDreams.org on the Iranian Missile threat story: US Media Leaves Iranian Threat Narrative Unquestioned (http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/11/30-6).
Monday 31 May 2010: Guardian UK, "Copenhagen climate failure blamed on 'Danish text' "
WikiLeaks new address: http://188.8.131.52/