Right on cue, the New York Times has proven the point I made in yesterday’s post entitled “The Obama Administration Benefits From WikiLeaks.”
I argued that the obliging press, led by the New York Times, is spinning selected cables released by WikiLeaks to bolster the Obama administration’s narrative that it has saved the world from the allegedly irresponsible unilateralist policies of the Bush administration and is skillfully pursuing an alternative multilateralist approach. In its lead editorial today entitled “WikiLeaks and the Diplomats,” the Times went into Bush-bashing and Obama-praising overdrive.
Here is what the Times said in its editorial:
But what struck us, and reassured us, about the latest trove of classified documents released by WikiLeaks was the absence of any real skullduggery. After years of revelations about the Bush administration’s abuses – including the use of torture and kidnappings – much of the Obama administration’s diplomatic wheeling and dealing is appropriate and, at times, downright skillful.
“Bush administration’s abuses” are contrasted with Obama administration’s “skillful” diplomacy. This sort of Obamamedia fawning is too blatant to make up!
Yet there may be other ways in which the latest WikiLeaks releases of State Department cables may help the Obama administration. A commenter to my post yesterday, for example, suggested another benefit to Obama, which has to do with fending off any primary challenge in 2012 that Hillary Clinton or her supporters may be thinking about.
Here is the comment, which makes some sense to me:
I would like to point out a good reason the Obama would like the world to think the State Dept has security issues.
There seems to be enough rumbling in the Democratic Party that Obama may not get a second shot at the Oval Office. I wouldn’t put it past the people Obama has surrounded himself with to do everything they can to make sure that Obama is the only Democratic candidate and scuttle any chance of Hillary taking the Democratic nomination.
As the Secretary of State, it is no surprise that Hillary has taken the lead in the Obama administration’s condemnation of the release of 250,000 supposedly confidential diplomatic cables. However, it’s interesting to note the contrast between an angry and humiliated Hillary Clinton, who came out swinging in condemning WikiLeak’s release, and the cool, detached Barack Obama who said nothing about the release yesterday.
While Obama was announcing a welcome but far less significant freeze on federal workers’ pay, Hillary went after the leakers as lawless cowards who had launched “an attack on the international community.” I haven’t seen Hillary this angry since her attack on the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that was supposedly responsible for trumping up her husband’s Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Attorney General Eric Holder added his own two cents in promising swift legal action against those responsible for the leaks, although one has to wonder where he has been for the last year since the leaks first occurred. But it is Hillary who is out there trying to repair broken trust with foreign leaders and diplomats and directing “specific actions” to protect against future security breaches at her State Department after the horse has already left the barn.
Hillary is also having to deal with some personal fallout from one of the disclosures – a directive issued under her name to U.S. diplomats at the United Nations and elsewhere to collect highly personal data about their foreign counterparts and top UN officials including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The “new national human intelligence collection directive” was wired to U.S. representatives at the UN missions in New York, Vienna and Rome, as well as 33 embassies and consulates. The data that was sought included biometric and credit card information as well as passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks for official communications.
Dick Morris claimed on “Hannity” last night that Hillary’s spying directive was reminiscent of the dirty tricks she used years ago to collect embarrassing personal information about her husband’s girl friends in order to intimidate them into silence. This time, according to Morris, she was playing the blackmail card on the world stage. Whether this is true or not, Hillary is now left dangling in the wind while she tries to explain away both the spying caper and the incompetence in allowing sensitive cables to be shared so extensively on a relatively insecure State Department intranet.
As the commenter to my post yesterday correctly assumed, Obama’s political operatives must know that this latest WiliLeak release of State Department cables cannot be any good for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal political ambitions.
Maybe Hillary should be looking out for another vast conspiracy – this time directed at her within the Obama administration and among those on the Left who think she is too hawkish to be President.
Joseph Klein is the author of a new book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam.