WikiLeaks: Harm or help?
Obviously, the intent of WikiLeakers: Army PFC Bradley Manning, and WikiLeaks editor, Julian Assange, is to embarrass America and her allies. In one case; however, the WikiLeaks may have done some good.
Case in point: Via the WikiLeaks of diplomatic traffic, we learn the Arab nations surrounding Israel are secretly buddy-buddy with Israel over the threat posed by Iran’s drive to have nuclear weapons. Thanks to WikiLeaks, it is clear the Arab nations fear a nuclear Iran more than they fear an already-nuclear Israel.
Recall, most Arabs are Sunnis. Also recall, the Iranians are Persians and almost all Persians are Shiites. So, it should come as no surprise that the Arab Sunnis have more concerns about the Persian Sunnis than they do with their neighbors, the Hebrew Israelis.
But for the Obama White House, which is pushing to have gays and lesbians serve in the U.S. military, the fact that WikiLeaker, PFC Bradley Manning, is gay must be an embarrassment.
According to fellow columnist and friend, Rich Galen, who spent almost a year with U.S. forces in Iraq, all PFC Manning needed was a Secret security clearance and unguarded access to the military’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network or SIPRNET. Apparently, Manning got access to a SIPRNET computer, inserted a portable flash drive and downloaded tons of SIPRNET communications. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks did the rest.
Since Manning is openly gay, this suggests whoever did Manning’s Personnel Security Investigation (PSI) may be looking for a new job. Currently, PFC Manning is awaiting court-martial for the unlawful disclosure of classified information.
Leaked communications have a history of shaping world affairs. In 1870, after King William I of Prussia and the French Ambassador, Count Benedotti, had a “spirited” discussion in the resort town of Bad Ems over who should be the new Spanish King, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck intentionally altered the minutes of that discussion so it sounded like King William I was telling the French to do something very rude to themselves. Then, Bismarck “leaked” what became known around the world as the “Ems Dispatch.”
The offended French declared war on July 19, 1870, and promptly got their derrieres kicked at the 1st Battle of Sedan. The Franco-Prussian War took Alsace-Lorraine away from France (think of all that delicious quiche) plus the war united the southern German states into a greater German Empire.
Unfortunately, King William I really ticked off the vanquished French by having himself crowned Emperor of the German Empire inside the Palace of Versailles. That totally unnecessary affront to French honor would play a role in the build-up to World War I.
The Zimmerman Telegram is another example. During World War I, German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann sent a telegram destined for the German ambassador to Mexico telling the German ambassador that if it looked like the Americans were going to enter World War I on the side of Great Britain, then the German ambassador should offer Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to Mexico as a reward for attacking the United States. (Holy guacamole, they could have just waited until now and had almost the same result.)
But the British Room 40 (the secret room housing Britain’s code breakers) intercepted the Zimmermann Telegram. When the Zimmermann Telegraph was shown to President Woodrow Wilson, he got Congress to declare war on Germany.
Ergo: the “leaked” Ems Dispatch brought on the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-90, which laid the groundwork for World War I. The “leaked” Zimmermann Telegram of 1917 got America into World War I which ended with the Allies dictating the Treaty of Versailles which Germany perceived as unduly harsh and that perception was then used by the psychopathic Adolf Hitler to rise to power and, eventually, start World War II.
The lesson in all this? Nothing bad happens until you hit SEND.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2010. William Hamilton.