December 13, 2010
Hillary and WikiLeaksBy Vasko Kohlmayer
It is a fact that so far, the WikiLeaks dumps did not reveal any top American secrets or highly classified documents. There were not even any surprises for those who closely follow geopolitics. Even the most "explosive" cables, such as those the revealed that the Saudis want America to attack Iran, showed only what many had known already.
Yet some people still feel uneasy about this affair. They feel that something bad has happened to their country.
This feeling is -- it would seem -- largely rooted in the fact that by compromising itself in the eyes of the international community, this administration can no longer effectively conduct foreign policy.
But is this a necessarily a bad thing?
In 1993, New York Times columnist William Safire concluded that the person now in charge of implementing U.S. foreign policy was a congenital liar. The designation struck a chord with what many felt deep down.
This is so true that Hillary Clinton tried to limit the damage by making light of it in media appearances. In an interview with National Public Radio, for example, she said, "My mother took some offense, because being called a congenital liar seems to reflect badly on her and my late father."
In any case, Hillary Clinton was never able to shake off the impression that she plays loose with truth. It became only more pronounced as the years went by. In 2008, Carl Bernstein (of Watergate fame) wrote this in a piece called "Hillary Clinton: Truth or Consequences": "Hillary Clinton has many admirable qualities, but candor and openness and transparency and a commitment to well-established fact have not been notable among them."
On the other hand, the release of the confidential State Department cables showed that our own diplomats think that most of world leaders are -- to put it mildly -- unsavory figures.
This is how they, for instance, describe the government of our friend and strategic partner Vladimir Putin: "Russia is a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centered on the leadership of Vladimir Putin, in which officials, oligarchs and organized crime are bound together to create a "'virtual mafia state.'"
Using the material supplied by the left and the State Department, we can express the effect of WikiLeaks in the following terms: By compromising her in the eyes of the international community, the WikiLeaks severely curtailed the ability of our less-than-honest Secretary of State to effectively engage in secretive diplomatic dealings with dodgy characters from abroad.
Ask yourself again: Is this a bad thing?
Many Americans felt that Mrs. Clinton was up to no good when she was involved in domestic politics. There was always that frightful expectation of mischief around the bend whenever she got involved in something. Just thinking about some of the things she accomplished or attempted to accomplish still causes fear and trembling in many quarters. Here are a couple of examples.
In 1994, Mrs. Clinton came very close to nationalizing American health care. She was given that opportunity by her husband, who appointed her head of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform.
Over the years, Mrs. Clinton has been a strong supporter of ending the ban on openly gay individuals to serve in the military.
Mrs. Clinton has been a committed and relentless tax-raiser throughout her career. The phrase "the rich should pay their fair share" is one of her favorite slogans. (By the way, by "the rich," she means you, if you have a job that pays you an income.)
So great is Mrs. Clinton's obsession with taking money from other people that during a visit to Pakistan, she even attempted to raise taxes on that long-suffering population. After chiding her hosts for their low tax rates, she boasted that in America, the government taxes "everything that moves and doesn't move." This, incidentally, appears to be one of the few true statements she has uttered in public life.
Given her record, then, how can anyone think that Mrs. Clinton is good for this country when she is "working" on our behalf in the international arena?
We have good grounds to assume that her efforts in the international sphere have been even more damaging than her work in domestic politics. The reason is this: Her activities on the domestic scene were subjected to far greater scrutiny.
There has been virtually no transparency, on the other hand, in connection with her exploits as secretary of state.
As our betters in government have lectured us so emphatically in recent days, diplomatic dealings with foreign leaders -- those unsavory figures per the State Department cables -- must be kept strictly secret and confidential. And so they have been.
If you remember, there has been very little written about the contents of Mrs. Clinton's many and varied dealings in her role as secretary of state. All you would read was that she would jet off to some faraway place and meet with some foreign figures. Very little was said about the substance of her doings. All we were told that she was an ace secretary of state and that she was doing magnificent work on our behalf.
Given her history in domestic politics, one cannot but fear that in those negotiations, Mrs. Clinton entered into deals and made promises detrimental to the interest of the people of this country.
Did you ever have the impression that during her political career, Mrs. Clinton was sincerely looking out for the good of the country and of ordinary people like us? One always had the feeling that she was out for herself and that her real goal was to insidiously implement a far-left agenda.
It has been pointed out over and over that Mrs. Clinton never seemed straightforward about her real objectives. And whenever she had power to implement something of her program, she sought to do it away from the eyes of the very people she supposedly served. You may remember how she fought tooth and nail to keep her health care reform meetings secret.
The incessant desire for secrecy that has marked Mrs. Clinton's career should make us strongly suspect that she was up to no good when she was active in American politics. There is no reason to believe that she is up to something good when she is involved in international politics.
All Americans should be very concerned about the things Mrs. Clinton has promised and negotiated in the many secret meetings she has held across the globe as secretary of state. Given that there was virtually no transparency or scrutiny, her scope to inflict damage has indeed been considerable.
By undermining Mrs. Clinton's credibility, CableGate undermined her facility to conduct secret business with foreign leaders. In this way, the affair limited her latitude to work mischief.
No patriot needs to be shedding tears over this. Quite the opposite -- every concerned citizen should welcome this development with a sigh of relief.
The more restricted Mrs. Clinton's hands are, the better off America is.