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« Bending over backwards to fall in the enemy's trap! | Main | "Atlas Shrieked" »

July 26, 2010


Sticky wicket indeed. It will be hard to spin one's way out of this. May be the administration will try a lethal fast ball or a googly or two

In a recent issue of the New Yorker, there was a longish article about Julian Assange and the Wikileaks. The article reminded me of espionage novels of the cold war era - full of cloak and dagger maneuvers and one-upmanship.

Assange, born in Australia to a young mother who herself bucked most worldly conventions, was brought up to look upon society and its laws, power structures, hypocrisies and secrets with suspicion. A savvy computer hacker from his teenage years, Wikileaks is the natural culmination of Assange's skills and beliefs. He has quite a lot of support in the anti-war establishment, especially in Scandinavian countries where even some members of the parliament assist him.

The US department of defense has already targeted one man as the leaker. I doubt that there is just one. I also wonder if during these times of economic uncertainties, joblessness and partisan politics, the American public is likely to be moved by reports of civilian deaths in far away Afghanistan. So, I don't know if the war will figure much in the coming elections. As for Pakistani involvement in the anti-American insurgency, nobody in the government can pretend that the Wikileaks exposed anything they did not already know. Hillary Clinton minces no words when she speaks of this. She even said (smilingly) that it would be "helpful" if the Pakistani government shared with the US the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden! They know that they know. But will the financial aids to Pakistan stop for its double dealing? Don't bet on it.

Just as I thought. This will be another 9-day wonder till the next new 'news' displaces it. Julian Assange is photogenic enough to be coopted onto the various talk shows and interview circuits, with a real-life reputation to match.
The public will tire quickly enough of all this hyperventilation over ancient history (2004-2009 doesn't sound too recent.) and go back to worrying about whether Brangelina are ready to split (Why else would Angelina praise Brad's parenting chops??!!) or await the next drink-soaked rant by Mel Gibson (who is incidentally, to be displaced in his next action movie, by no less a compatriot than Julian Assange;)
Back to the issue after those imaginary flights: Bradley Manning is already under investigation for leaks of Iraq documents, so there is likely others involved in the scheme that pulled the Afghanistan data from the 'super-secret'(not) military databases. What has just been published is not going to affect the ground game as much, especially if it merely bears out what every expert commentator has been saying for the last 2 or 3 years.
Apparently there are several references to Bin Laden in the released files, surprisingly. I thought he had probably already died years ago, and was just being used as a bogeyman to justify the war. It will make for interesting digging.

Jon Stewart has most of it right again
And still, nobody gives a D_ about the Afghan toll, at least not on American TV.

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