The recent WikiLeaks incident will be in the history books of our children. Although US Secretary of Defense calls WikiLeaks insignificant it’s clear he lies and he does it without blinking (video: http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/wiki-fallout-quot-insignificant-quot-gates-23280280). Impressive but THIS is the biggest disaster in US diplomacy I know of and every politician who denies it lies. The first reaction of the Italian foreign minister was that it’s the 9/11 of diplomacy. Later the Italian defense department said it’s rater April fools day than 9/11 but I think the first is more appropriate. I live in Germany and this week I bought DER SPIEGEL that reported as one of the exclusive media partner extensively about the US embassy cables in relation to German politics. It’s really scary how many spies the Americans have everywhere reporting not to the CIA or NSA but to regular US embassies! I knew that allies spy on each other but the dimensions are immense.
Nevertheless it is WRONG what WikiLeaks has done.
The first leak contained unfiltered information that have not even be reviewed by WikiLeaks before publishing. Insurgents from Afghanistan or Iraq had just to download it and analyze to plan much better attacks on US and allied troops in this region. Irresponsible!
The recent second leak is a disaster for the US diplomacy and the shock waves of it might even cause wars in future. The leak is so evil that apparently FSB (former KGB) analysts think that there might be someone behind it and Putin told Larry King at CNN about this theory in an interview (http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2010/11/30/lkl.putin.wikileaks.cnn.html). Indeed the only one who looked happy after the WikiLeaks release has been the prime minister of Israel as the US embassy cables have shown that Saudi Arabia asked the US to bomb Iran. Personally I don’t think there is someone behind the leak in particular. Yes, some foreign secret services (of US-enemies) might support WikiLeaks but I think it was really Bradley Manning who leaked all the documents because he wanted everyone to “know the truth”.
The best analysis I have seen so far was is Y! News (originally a video by abc News: http://news.yahoo.com/video/tech-15749651/wikileaks-reverse-spying-23260436). It shows the hacker who reached out to the FBI after being contacted by a person who indicated the willingness of leaking secret documents from the US military (Bradley Manning who is facing now a sentence of 52 years in jail: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/30/wikileaks-cables-bradley-manning). It was most probably him who leaked all the documents. Not only the video known as the “collateral murderer” helicopter attack from Iraq. BTW: I remember watching the video and it only showed to me what kind of dirty war we are facing in this region where Muslim insurgents bring their children to the battlefield as human shields!!! Disgusting! The video indicated the US pilots have done something wrong. My conclusion was the contrary. They behaved just right.
I hope there won’t be any third leak as announced WikiLeaks. The organization is under heavy pressure and their website will probably vanish from the Internet in the long term (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-knocked-off-net-dns-everydns). Amazon removed it from their servers and Paypal deleted their account. DNS providers are deleting the domains from their servers. This will continue till there is nothing left of WikiLeaks website but it will be in the history books of our children for sure. Not sure in what context it will be but I hope not it won’t be something like a “prelude to World War III”. In my opinion it has the potential to be exactly that.
Edit: Like a year later I changed my opinion about the leaks a bit. The damage was limited, it helped to end the war in Iraq, influenced the Arab spring and I think history will show more benefits of it. Manning will be the Daniel Ellsberg of our time…