This whole Wikileaks situation is huge. Its really freaking enormous. I know this because I gauge the seriousness of any situation based on the amount of time it remains the top story on the NYT website. The Wikileaks story was up there for nearly an entire week! Also noted in this calculation are headline font size and level of boldness – both of which were off the charts. Suffice to say, the NYT thinks this Wikileaks leak is a big deal. (And when the NYT thinks something, so do I.)
What I don’t understand about the whole Wikileaks situation is the US government’s response, which can only be described as amateur. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship – diplomatic or otherwise – knows you never, ever willingly admit guilt. But that is JUST what our government did. They said, “Oh yes, those ARE records of our most intimate relationships. How embarrassing for us.” President Obama, I get it. You’re new to this. But Secretary of State Clinton?! Have you learned nothing from your husband?
The first rule is of course deny, deny, deny. “Those aren’t our documents.” “We never said that.” “Mahmoud who?” I mean, come ON. It’s like the government’s Slam Book got out and they just admitted to calling North Korea fat.
The second rule is to play it down. Don’t plaster it on the front page of every major newspaper. All that will do is make it seem like a big deal to the rest of the world. And then they will stop trusting us. And once the trust is gone, what else is there? As Dept. of Defense Col. Dave Lapan said, “Believing that the U.S. is not good at keeping secrets and having secrets out there certainly changed things [for the rest of the world].” Do we want to be known as the global blabbermouths? I think not.
Finally, when all else fails, you need to divert attention. You know, blow up some shit, start a rumor about a new virulent strain of monkeypox threatening the Midwest, buy China a sparkly new bracelet, whatever you want. Get creative. Have fun with it. The point is, get people thinking about something else. Anything else.
I want to say I am proud of my country, I really do. But when our government (politicians for god’s sake!) can’t figure out what every teen girl in this country has, it really makes me question the direction we are headed in as a nation.