But diplomatic cables? Who cares?
We all should care. The 250,000 documents serve as a timely reminder that the people who call themselves “the government” are professional liars. Lying is what they are paid to do. The biggest lie of all is that they do it in the people's interest. U.S. government officials have reacted to the latest document dump as though Julian Assange has struck at the very heart of the State. No surprise there -- because he has! When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the disclosures are an "attack on the world," she is really saying it's an attack on her world -- the world of power, of legal murder and plunder.
When American (mis)leaders profess confidence in the Afghan president and his government, while saying privately they are incompetent and corrupt -- stealing hundreds of millions of Americans' dollars -- that’s the people’s business – at least as long as they are compelled to bankroll the government’s lethal adventures.
When American (mis)leaders praise and encourage the Mexican government’s efforts in the criminal “war on drugs,” while privately believing they're practically worthless, that’s the people’s business – at least as long as they are compelled to bankroll that evil crusade, which harms Mexicans and Americans.
When American (mis)leaders bomb Yemen while conspiring with the Yemeni dictator to portray the murderous campaign as the act of Yemen’s government in order to make it more palatable to the Yemeni people, that’s the people’s business – at least as long as they are compelled to bankroll that imperialist policy.
When other countries' officials implore American (mis)leaders to bomb Iran, that is the people’s business – at least as long as they are compelled to bankroll militarism and suffer the “blowback” such an action would produce.
And on and on and on.
Sure, the American people already “know” at some level that their (mis)leaders and (mis)representatives are liars. Everyone laughs at the riddle asking how you know when a politician is lying: “His lips are moving.” But that knowledge too often fades deep into the background as the people are distracted or put to sleep by the solemn mendacity that issues from the politicians mouths on a daily basis.
So WikiLeaks performs a critical service by reminding us what those sanctimonious mountebanks really are. (The Guardian lists the key points of the cables here.)
Some will say that government couldn't exist without duplicity. I take them at their word.