[Arab News, Saudi Arabia]



Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, France

The WikiLeaks Disclosures: A Journalist's Ambivalence


"On the one hand, there is satisfaction at seeing truth triumph over that which is hidden and the facts prevail over concealment. ... But do we really need to go poking around the sculleries of international relations in search of the least appetizing leftovers from its tables?"


By Olivier Picard



Translated By Emily Jane Tomlinson


December 1, 2010


France - Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace - Original Article (French)

France President Nicolas Sarkozy was certainly not spared by the leaked U.S. cables. He is described as 'autocratic, and over-sensitive to criticism' and is said to surround himself with 'yes' men.  

FRANCE 24 VIDEO: American view of President Sarkozy revealed by leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, Dec. 1, 00:03:48RealVideo

If only a press card offered protection against the scourge of information, everything would be so much simpler. However, it doesn't. Any journalist worthy of the name must feel deeply ambivalent about the revelations of WikiLeaks. On the one hand, there is satisfaction at seeing truth triumph over that which is hidden, facts prevail over concealment, and the lucidity of the people win out against the all-confiscating obscurantism of the secret services. On the other hand, there is the embarrassment of participating in an enormous unwrapping from which humanity may or may not have anything to gain.


The question posed by the disclosure of thousands of American diplomatic cables is the question of the transparency of history. Do we really need to go poking around the sculleries of international relations in search of the least appetizing leftovers from its tables? After all, we all know that the world has never revolved around virtue and that the smiles of those at the top mask ulterior motives of a less-than-gracious kind. For centuries and centuries, hypocrisy has had a place in the games played by the powerful. Indeed, it's probably a necessity, if only to avert animosities and even personal hatred among heads of state and ward off the contradictions inherent in our complex age. With a bit of cynicism, we might almost regard it as integral to the workings of civilization. Why endanger the fragile equilibrium that exists between the giants of our little planet, just for the pleasure - the rather modest pleasure - of lifting the veil on secrets that they would like to keep hidden from us?


However, the WikiLeaks disclosure also contributes to the dignity of our condition. They give us the chance to know! … To know what threatens us, to know what great leaders dread but dare not admit to dreading - for fear of losing a little of their luster. This isn't in vain. It's one element of man's liberation from the thralls of power, an upsurge of rebellion against the alienation of conscience, an act of resistance to the myriad attempts to manipulate by those who govern.  




Global Times, China: WikiLeaks Poses Greater Risk to West's 'Enemies'

FAZ, Germany: Ahmadinejad's Chief-of-Staff Calls WikiLeaks Cables 'Lies'

Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Saudis Ask: Who Benefitted from WikiLeaks Disclosure?

Guardian, U.K.: Cables Portray Saudi Arabia as a Cash Machine for Terrorists

El País, Spain: Cables Expose Nuance of U.S. Displeasure with Spain Government

El País, Spain: Thanks to WikiLeaks' Disclosure, Classical Diplomacy is Dead

Guardian, U.K.: Saudi Arabia Urges U.S. Attack on Iran

Hurriyet, Turkey: Erdogan Needs 'Anger Management' Over U.S. Cables

Saudi Gazette, Saudi Arabia: WikiLeaks Reveals 'Feeling, Flawed' Human Beings

Frontier Post, Pakistan: WikiLeaks Reveals 'America's Dark Face' to the World

The Nation: WikiLeaks' Release: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Buenos Aires Herald, Argentina: Without Hypocrisy, Global Ties Would Be Chaos

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Release a 'U.S. Plot to Sow Discord'

El Universal, Mexico: WikiLeaks and Mexico's Battle Against Drug Trafficking

Toronto Star, Canada: WikiLeaks Dump Reveals Seamy Side of Diplomacy

Guardian, U.K.: WikiLeaks Cables, Day 3: Summary of Today's Key Points

Guardian, U.K.: Leaked Cables Reveal China is 'Ready to Abandon' North Korea

Hurriyet, Turkey: American Cables Prove Turkish Claims on Missile Defense False

The Nation, Pakistan: WikiLeaks: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Revelations a 'U.S. Intelligence Operation': Ahmadinejad

Novosti, Russia: 'Russia Will be Guided by Actions, Not Leaked Secrets'

Guardian, U.K.: Job of Media is Not to Protect Powerful from Embarrassment

ANSA, Italy: WikiLeaks: 'No Wild Parties' Says Berlusconi


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The five leading newspapers handpicked by WikiLeaks, and which decided to publish the bulk of the confidential documents emanating from the U.S. Defense and State Departments, took precautions to minimize the risk to the world. That is to their credit. But the relative ease with which they succeeded in obtaining access to secrets and confidential comments is disturbing. Their “exploits” in retrieving this information from the Internet also signal a growing threat to nation states, which have been stripped of every vestige of privacy and are now exposed to all kinds of attack.


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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US December 6, 6:48pm]





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