Tuesday, June 08, 2010
State Department in cold sweat about possible leak of internal communications
by Larry Geller
Wikileaks said they never got them, but Specialist Bradley Manning, now under arrest in Kuwait, said he sent 260,000 secret diplomatic cables to them. Though news articles haven’t remarked on this in detail as yet, if one person is able to so easily download so many cables, the State Department is demonstrating an alarming lack of security that should itself be investigated.
Manning was fingered by someone to whom he spilled the details of his actions, which he claimed included transmission of the “Collateral Damage” video of an American helicopter attack in Baghdad in 2007 that showed the almost casual killing of 12 people, including children. The release of the video by Wikileaks created a worldwide scandal.
Even more alarming, diplomats say, is the idea that foreign leaders will now read what American diplomats have written about them in secret cables sent to Washington—evaluations of the leaders’ personalities, intelligence and honesty, among other things.
Alan K. Henrikson, a professor of diplomatic history at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, said the State Department should be “very nervous” at the prospect of the release of such a huge library of internal cables. [The Daily Beast, The State Department's Worst Nightmare, 6/8/2010]
Even if Wikileaks never got those 260,000 cables, they may be around someplace. American Diplomats around the world have got to be worried that they will turn up someplace, sometime.