The Big Dump
The secret history of US diplomacy revealed by WikiLeaks
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --
It will take weeks to trawl through the 250,000-plus diplomatic cables released to the world by WikiLeaks, but one thing we know now: America’s relations with the rest of the world will never be the same.
They won’t be the same because the release speaks volumes about the vulnerability and sheer incompetence of a government that cannot even keep its own internal communications secure. That such an enormous cache has been made public – basically the secret history of American diplomacy for the past decade or so – mocks our inflated view of ourselves as the last superpower, or, as the French put it, the “hyper-power.” The hapless hyper-power is more like it.
There are endless fascinating details to be savored, such as the behavior of a member of the British royal family deemed “inappropriate” by American diplomats, and US-Israeli discussions of dual citizenship and its relation to technology theft, but – so far – the smokiest gun to come out of all this material appears to be held by Hillary Clinton.
The US Secretary of State’s intelligence-gathering diktat to our embassies worldwide, uncovered by WikiLeaks, has shocked the international community with its weird insistence on collecting biometric data – including DNA samples, iris scans and fingerprints – on foreign officials. In a missive sent to US embassies worldwide, Hillary ordered staff to obtain credit card information, computer passwords, personal encryption keys, and details of network upgrades. A part of this was a massive spying operation aimed at UN diplomats, including those of our Western allies, but there was also an order to gather similar dossiers on British MPs.
One has to ask – what is Washington intending to do with the biometrics of, say, UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon? Or some British MP? Why do we need the frequent flier number of Ghana’s UN ambassador?
That Hillary would risk embarrassment to the US of this magnitude – after all, the chances of being caught (as we were) are pretty high – in order to collect this degree of information, is little short of appalling. Yet it is hardly surprising – after all, we’re talking about Hillary Clinton here, the control freak par excellence.
The dossiers were to be collected by US embassy personnel and passed on to the CIA, the FBI, and other intelligence agencies, presumably to be entered into Siprnet, the “secret” US government database to which even newly-recruited low-level intelligence officers such as Bradley Manning – generally believed to be the source of the original leak – have ready access. So when Ban ki Moon’s credit card number and password is lifted by some low-level functionary, and used to pay for a wild weekend in Reno, we’ll know who to blame.
The Italian foreign minister called this “the 9/11 of diplomacy,” and it is indeed a massive strike at the credibility and gravitas of the US government, which is, today, an international laughingstock. Yet it has nothing of 9/11′s deadliness: contrary to the crybaby protests of US government officials, which absurdly claims that “countless” lives have been put in danger by WikiLeaks, the release of this information poses a threat to nothing but the dignity of US officials, who say one thing in public and quite another in private, and whose foibles are now exposed for all the world to see. As in the case of the Iraq war logs and the Afghan communiqués, not a single human being will perish on account of the latest leak...MORE...LINK