Egypt Breathes New Life Into WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks know when something bad is going to happen.
The US State Department’s witch hunt for Julian Assange has toned down recently, perhaps because WikiLeaks’ potency as global news source has increased. In some ways, WikiLeaks has become an almanac for bad things that are going to happen in the world.
From the cables, it became apparent that Tunisia, a place most of us hadn’t heard of till the cables leaked, was a fireworks factory built inside a rotting barn. It’s unlikely the cables caused the revolution—a topic of much debate—and if they did, so what?
Like many Americans who read political content every waking hour of their lives, I was all, huh?, when I read the headlines for violent protest erupting on the streets of Egypt. To me, Cairo was the place where Obama began building his bridge between the United States and the Arab world. Egypt was a beacon of semi-democracy and jurisprudence in the unforgiving Muslim world where men are executed for not joining religious cults and woman are second-class citizens.
Andrew Belonsky recently pointed out Obama chose a rather shabby location to begin building his bridge.
The Egyptian government, led by the 30-years-in-power-but-still-not-a-dictator Hosni Mubarak, jails bloggers and protesters, despises Facebook, and has shut off access to the Internet, an inglorious solution only a dictator would come to (and, yes, we are not far off from granting that power to our own Executive Branch).
Wikileaks has made a political allusion to Upton Sinclair’s famous boo-capitalism quote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” It is difficult to admit your greatest Arab ally is a dictator blowhard who violates human rights and damns free speech if its convenient for your military missions.
It’s all in the cables. The New York Times knows this, which is why they are setting up nytimes.com/statessecrets—the greatest validation of WikiLeaks’ existence yet. And don’t blame WikiLeaks, because making WikiLeaks go away is simple: be good.