Posted by: Debby Durkee | December 1, 2010

WikiLeaks — Obama’s hostage crisis?

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WikiLeaks – Obama’s hostage crisis?

William A. Jacobsen, a law professor and the blogger at the website Legal Insurrection, thinks the WikiLeaks story could very well be to Barack Obama what the Iranian hostage crisis was to Jimmy Carter. He has an interesting take:

The U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran on November 4, 1979, was the start of 444 days which came to define Jimmy Carter.  The U.S. government was revealed to be powerless and the President weak

…the continuing leak of documents by Wikileaks has become for Obama what the Iranian hostage crisis was to Carter.

The Wikileaks folks trot the globe with impunity and funnel documents to the press at will, for the purpose of damaging U.S. relations with other countries, our war efforts, and our intelligence capability.  And we do almost nothing about it.

Whether or not someone gets killed as a direct result of a  Wikileaks disclosure, the damage to our country is deep, as allies and sources among enemies will stop cooperating with us for fear of exposure, our diplomats will be hesitant to speak frankly with headquarters, and our intelligence on al-Qaeda and others will be compromised.

We are the laughingstock of the world, an impotent superpower whose response to those who aid our enemies is to write a letter asking them not to do it… Snip –

Want to get a clue how clueless is the White House?  Get this paragraph from the White House statement on the leak (emphasis mine):

President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal. By releasing stolen and classified documents, Wikileaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals. We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information. Snip –

Have we lost our minds?  Wikileaks is about hurting us, bringing us down, damaging our relations with others, rendering us impotent.  This is not about open government policy, as if Wikileaks went a bit too far on its class project.

Julian Assange should have been indicted by now, and if the law did not allow more punitive measures in this circumstance, then the law should have been changed after the first document dump.  Assange is an enemy of our country and should be treated as such.

Much of the mainstream press reaction to all of this is that it is no big deal. Now, of course, it would have been a huge deal if it had happened on Bush’s watch, and believe me, they are trying to lay the blame at Bush’s feet with the “after 9/11” coordination among agencies to weed out threats to the country. Regardless of how it all happened, it happened on Obama’s watch, and it’s up to him and his administration to correct it, but instead, as lackadaisical as Obama was in his decisions on what to do in Afghanistan in 2009 while soldiers were dying – Obama again dithers months on end about what to do with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. We’re under attack here. It’s not bombs or guns or hostages, but it is an explosion of information and a whole country being held hostage to an amoral techie geek. Obama continues to fiddle while America gets taken down one massive leak at a time. Read all of Mr. Jacobsen here:

WikiLeaks founder is anti-American.

Rich Lowry of National Review Online says that surprise, surprise – Obama didn’t cure the world of Bush hatred. It was really never about Bush. Much of the world, including and especially Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, the website that has continued to release secret American government documents to the world press, is just a good, old-fashioned America hater.

The first batch of WikiLeaks documents undermined the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, violent conflicts started by the hated, warmongering Bush administration. The latest batch undermines American diplomacy, the soft art of international bargaining and persuasion as practiced by the highly anticipated, engagement-loving Obama administration.

Assange is an equal-opportunity America hater. It doesn’t matter if our president is black or white, left or right, with the middle name Hussein or Walker, so long as he’s leader of the country Assange perversely calls a threat to democracy, even as he provides aid and comfort to our violent, undemocratic enemies overseas.

The classic justification for a leak is to expose malfeasance. In all his tens of thousands of released documents, Assange has exposed none, despite his typically delusional boast that the first dump revealed “thousands” of possible war crimes. Assange’s goal is wanton destruction, pure and simple.  Snip –
Assange is too blinded by zeal to realize that the content of his documents runs counter to his twisted worldview. As Tom Joscelyn of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies notes, his leaked Afghan war materials referred to numerous instances of decapitations perpetrated by the Taliban. The documents told the story of a civilized army struggling to prevail against barbarism while honoring its own norms.

Our leaked diplomatic cables again do more to vindicate a hawk’s view of the world than Assange’s juvenile leftism. The Gulf Arab states are as eager as Israel, perhaps more so, for the United States to strike Iran’s nuclear program. North Korea is transferring missile technology to Iran, in a concrete expression of the Axis of Evil. Syria is arming Hezbollah. And on it goes. Snip —

… Assange himself exists as the cyber equivalent of a pirate, an Australian floating between European countries and operating with impunity. Surely, the same Justice Department that sued Arizona for daring to enforce the nation’s immigration laws can find a creative way to harry and shut down Assange.

Barack Obama came into office hawking the illusion that America’s adversaries hated his predecessor, not this country. Julian Assange begs to differ.

Read all of Lowry here:

As Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online intimates, perhaps Obama sees a comrade in arms in Assange. During the whole WikiLeaks mess, Obama has seemed unconcerned. Just as Obama was focused on Obamacare to exclusion of putting Americans back to work and getting the economy running again, Obama seems to have a blind spot as far as WikiLeaks is concerned.

…what are Obama’s global priorities? The START treaty, Israeli settlements, and climate change.

The irony is that Assange represents a purer form of Obama’s own idealism. According to Assange’s dangerous utopianism, in governance purity must determine means, not just ends. He is convinced that he has revealed the hypocrisy and corruption of U.S. foreign policy, when in reality all he has revealed is that pursuing foreign-policy ideals is messier and more complicated in a world where bad people pursue bad ends. We can hope that Obama has been learning that lesson. Assange, meanwhile, is simply blind to it.

Obama seems to be a one-trick pony. He can’t focus on a crisis. Instead, he presses on with what he wants to do – the rest of the world be damned. I don’t think Obama wants to learn any lessons. Instead, we Americans need to learn ours – this man is just not that in to us. Read all of Goldberg’s column here:


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