The unintentional hilarity of the Wikileaks information dump
As far as I’m concerned, the collective “meh” that emanated from most of the world upon seeing what was in the classified documents leaked by Wikileaks was generally warranted. There were few truly interesting pieces of information, and most of what was interesting certainly isn’t news.
For example, reports show that China is scared to death of Nancy Pelosi. That’s not news – I’m scared of her too. No one should be able to inject that much botulism into her face and still be alive. George Bush’s memoir is largely a work of fiction? Thank you, Captain Obvious of the S.S. Apparent.
Mostly this is just funny. And it’s not just because the government is in a tizzy about being caught in the cupboard with the au pair – there are some serious gems in here. According to MSNBC:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was described as an “emperor with no clothes” and Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai was said to be “weak” and “easily swayed.”
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s head of state, was described in one 2008 cable as playing “Robin to (Russian Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin’s Batman.”
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, meanwhile, was described as erratic and in the near constant company of a Ukrainian nurse who was described in one cable as “a voluptuous blonde,” according to The New York Times.
Furthermore, a French government spokesman gave us more to laugh about:
He described WikiLeaks a “threat against the authority of a democratic society.”
If he believes that, I have some invisible thread to sell him. Only the most crucial of government officials can see it.
Even the news isn’t news! Those of us who have been paying attention realize that Obama’s civil liberties record is at least as bad as Bush’s. After all, he has proven that Candidate Obama was a hypocrite, Bush’s extraordinary rendition wasn’t actually important to him, despite his faux “orders,” he believes Guantanamo Bay should be closed only after he’s out of office, and hey, killing American citizens with no due process in an undeclared war ain’t that bad after all. When even the ACLU hates Obama’s record, you know something’s up.
Which is why this Esquire piece by Thomas P.M. Barnett treads no new ground; it is, however, a bit of a laugh to see the media that once adulated Obama begin to come around to the reality of the regime. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. According to Barnett, in this article called Wikileaks and Obama’s Nuclear Plan:
What really screams out from all these very much undiplomatic cables is how little Obama ever really broke from the Bush doctrine. I mean, in a certain way, he never really broke from it at all. Yes, there’s been a laudable break from Cheney’s Toughonics in terms of rhetoric, but in spirit, Obama still hasn’t gotten realistic with his foreign-policy ambitions all that much.