Danger, Wikileaks Ahead

Posted on December 1, 2010


One of my prime consultants on World Affairs, sent me a note, calling my attention to the various contingencies that may result to Americans in official capacity from the Wikileaks document dumps.  His comments are following in bold. My response follows them.

For me  the jury is still out because some Americans, overseas, might get in really hot water in a very bad way over this at the end of the day–or it might influence geo-political matters in a negative way–or local nationals who cooperate with our government could be uncovered and imprisoned, tortured, or worse– even if some good or well deserved embarrassment also results.

I think if the guy hacked into U.S. State Department, with the help of a US military accomplice, and now appears to have hacked private American companies, he probably did not stop there and maybe got into D.O.D. as well. Not sure.

At the very least, our prime enemies know our vulnerabilities even more-so now. Crack hacker/cyber warfare teams in China and NK which might number in the hundreds if not thousands of young computer geeks, would be noting everything about how these US Gov. leaks could occur…and how they might exploit it/them further for their own nefarious purposes. Our men and women in uniform and not in uniform but also in sensitive positions, could potentially be put in serious danger. That is why you hear many a US conservative call for the death penalty for these leakers. It might be a bit juicy or saucy to read, but a hefty vulnerability regarding the national security of our nation might have been compromised as the byproduct. But that is just my take, all by my lonesome…

I see the potentials in it that you see as well, but the cat is out of the bag.  And why is the cat out of the bag?  Because the very people who were making these reports and distributing them were not prudent in considering the risks involved.  In other words, irresponsible.  One absolutely hopes that Americans in sensitive positions along with their informants do not suffer retribution, yet all parties are aware of the risks of working in these environments.

I think our vulnerabilities were quite manifest well before any of these documents were dumped onto the open market of information.  Setting aside our diminished military capabilities and the obvious fact that we are spread thinner than a wafer in a microchip with all our multiple deployments – how much more vulnerable can we be when a rival such as China holds so much of the staggering debt we’ve been accumulating?

If the Wikileaks materials are released indiscriminately and wind up revealing more than just carelessness and unprofessional behavior by the diplomatic corp, then without question, the parties responsible need to be held accountable.  And if the offenses are grievous enough, the ultimate sanction may be appropriate.  But there are a couple more dimensions to this to consider as well.  This is a wake up call of epic proportions.

My neighbor’s house was burglarized and his notebook computer (among other things) was stolen.  He didn’t have his files backed up and so now they are permanently gone – but also who knows what personal and confidential information either the thieves themselves or whoever they might sell the computer to, might now have access to.  This person (by the way, who is the only neighbor we like and socialize with) is a former Marine, high ranking Security Officer who served in Iraq and later was stationed in Okinawa.

Shouldn’t the government be doing more and greater diligence with information that they claim is as sensitive as the documents that have been leaked than the average American?  We’ll find out.  If they do nothing more to tighten up the security protocols, then my second theory about all this will be justified.  That is that the real casualty in all of this is Hilary Clinton’s reputation as a competent stateswoman.

I think it is amazingly ironic and hypocritical that Obama campaigns on the premise that America’s standing in the International community and in World opinion had been severely damaged by the failed leadership of the Bush administration – when in fact, under his watch (Obama’s), we’ve probably just taken the most severe hit in image and credibility that we have in decades.  You know that I am no Bush apologist, but this is absurd.

Depending on how much traction the issue of spying, ordered by Hilary gets – POTUS may have to ask for her resignation.  If that happens, there will be internecine warfare within the Democrat party the likes of which we haven’t witnessed for some time.  Bottom line, you raise some very legitimate concerns, and it is obviously the other side of this whole ugly scandal that I have given short shrift to in favor of my initial reactions.  All indications are that there is an enormous additional volume of FYEO type of information that has yet to emerge from the pipeline, so we’ll be tracking this going forward.