And the Winner of
the Bout Over WikiLeaks is … America
the greatest and least costly public relations campaign ever organized for
American diplomats. Julian Assange has been hoisted by his own petard, and if
he sought to make American diplomacy look ridiculous, he failed."
By a fine irony, Julian
Assange, the baleful, tousled Tintin of the
tale, has himself become a fugitive in England. America, though vexed again,
recovers her composure - positive thinking demands no less - and takes a new
tack, seeking to downplay what she at first decried as an international crime. The
Daily Beast wonders how WikiLeaks
accidentally helps U.S.. Meanwhile, Inspector
Columbo, behind the wheel of his Peugeot 403, returns to the scene and begins
to hound ... the United States.
[Editor's Note: The wildly
popular Adventures of Tintin was a French
comic-book series that centered on the adventures of a young Belgian reporter,
Tinitin - and his dog Snowy.]
But somehow, the enormous furor
created with the revelations by WikiLeaks has run out of steam. From the front
page news podium, it seems to have become relegated to the inside pages of the
newspapers, to be analyzed by serious connoisseurs. People Magazine has shrugged its shoulders and Gala readers around the globe have turned their noses up at a story which isn't worth the time of day. If only Berlusconi had slowed down long
enough for an escapade with the pope, or the French president had rejected his entire
world to become a monk and resurrect the basilica on Tiber Island. But no,
there's no drama on that scale here.
So what should be done with
these revelations, now that they've fulfilled their objective of creating havoc
- and are perhaps about to escape completely from their instigator's control. Here's
a brief recap:
1 - Julian Assange's
objective was clearly to create a worldwide buzz about America's failings and
star as the superhero of this almighty mega-mess. From this perspective and
from Warhol's, he has far exceeded
his 15 minutes of fame. Once his gesture had the desired effect, a global
debate began about the true scale, danger and possible exploitation of the
2 - With the choice of its
five distributors - described by a former French foreign minister as "launderers"
of stolen documents - WikiLeaks raised its larceny to a very high level and won
the legitimacy that comes along with such a move. Every day, these famed
newspapers synthesize, interpret and lend gravitas to the contents of this
4 - It's the greatest and
least costly public relations campaign ever organized for American diplomats.
Julian Assange has been hoisted by his own petard, and if he sought to make
American diplomacy look ridiculous, he failed. Obama has now realized that it's
better to be master of the game than to distribute playing cards around the
world - tidy things up and take advantage of the situation. On the front page,
then, we have Attorney General Eric Holder calling for legal proceedings, and
Hillary back at work, now that she's touched up her blow-dry.
So who could still benefit
from these leaks?
The U.S. could save valuable
time in regard to international relations by analyzing the comments made by the
Everything's on the table
now, and the hidden motives of some are on the same plane as those of others.
As a result, we're making 200-mile-per-hour progress on many issues.
This exercise in group
psychoanalysis should facilitate relations between career diplomats and break
down relational taboos.
Why not make this an issue at
the next U.N. General Assembly? The theme: Diplomatic communication and truth.
Two specific examples in the first instance: Iran and Israel.
There could be an annual
directory with the best of WikiLeaks published with the approval of the State
Department. The one weak leak in all this: The New York Times would
demand White House approval. Perhaps we're already reading WeakyLies...
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