``This disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests,'' Mrs. Clinton said, ``it is an attack on the international community: the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.''As I've been arguing, Wikileaks is not a journalist organization, it's an enemy entity targeting the United States. Hillary Clinton is claiming that it is also an attack on the mythical "international community." It isn't. The target is clearly the U.S. But the secretary is obviously attempting to build international support for suppression efforts aimed at Wikileaks. With that in mind, casting the attack as an assault on the international system of diplomacy is a reasonable tactic.
``It puts people's lives in danger, threatens our national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems,''
But words aren't enough. The Obama administration is big on talking. In fact, it puts great faith in diplomacy, "engagement," and so-called "smart power" or "soft power." The Obama approach to foreign policy -- even more than most -- is directly undermined by leaks which reveal candid assessments, gamesmanship, private conversations and all sorts of other information which diplomats and leaders expected would never see the light of day. Like other leaks, it reinforces the perception that the U.S. government simply can't be trusted to keep secrets secret. When you know someone can't keep a secret, you naturally become much more guarded and wary in your conversations.
Some have attempted to dismiss this leak as much ado about nothing, or at least see the concern as overblown. I'm one of the first to cry "much ado about nothing" in many cases, but this isn't one of them. Anyone who knows how foreign policy and diplomacy operate has to understand the serious damage of these leaks. Hillary Clinton is exactly right when she calls the Wikileak's action an attack. But recognizing an enemy attack is one thing, responding to it effectively and eliminating the possibility of future attacks is another. Let's see if the Obama administration does anything beyond talk.