Secret is no secret, diplomats, spies and relationships
Truth is that there are many faces to American diplomacy and foreign policy that spans the internal workings of American government among multiple departments and agencies, State, Defense, and all the rest that touch the outside world. The public face is what we see and read, and the private face is lost in conversations and electronic transmission. The details are sensitive because they reveal nuance and expose the level of interest and aggressiveness to profile people and their governments.
Revealing that we know that the Italian President is chummy with Russia’s Putin and that Putin provides handsome gifts in exchange for a favorable relationship, is that news? It just means we filter what we hear from Italy as we always have since World War II. Character and culture doesn’t change overnight.
The line between diplomat and spy is foggy as it is for everyone in every nation in that business – all things are equal.
The issue today is that the Obama Administration is on point for protecting America’s secrets and for cyber security. America’s Congress is on point for providing the resources and regulatory attention to the process. And the point is that there are leaks and there are unprecedented threats and the breach must be closed.
This is one more indication that the American ship of state is leaking from stem to stern, from port and bow. More than a patch job is needed as the problem is systemic, the watchword now for the 21st Century.
Saying America is exceptional like Republican and Tea Party cheerleaders are shouting this morning won’t make it so. Achieving superior performance is a product of engineering, political and technical, and discipline that has been lacking.
“WikiLeaks's unveiling of secret State Department cables exposes U.S. diplomacy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 29, 2010; 12:07 AM
A vast treasure trove of secret State Department cables obtained by the Web site WikiLeaks has exposed the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy, as well as bluntly candid assessments by American diplomats, according to news organizations granted advance access to the more than 250,000 confidential documents.”