When asked about possible damage being done and lives cost by serial leaks of classified and sensitive documents, WikiLeaks director, Australian internet activist Julian Assange, noted that he had no time to worry about such things as he had “two wars to stop.” What arrogance! This is just another in a series of naïve and gullible do-gooders meddling in affairs beyond their understanding. His target is obviously us, but the damage he is doing is to the diplomatic process – staid and outmoded as it is – worldwide. In typical fashion, Mr Assange came to his fame by “leaking” a false story – the video showing an American helicopter gunship shooting “innocent civilians” in Iraq, only to have it shown later (by real journalists) that the “civilians” were carrying AK-47s and RPG-7 launchers. Oh well … it was too good a story to source.
The first two document dumps – Afghanistan and Iraq – contained the names and locations of indigenous personnel who were helping Coalition forces with intelligence. They, and their families, are now, if not already dead, living in constant fear. Our ability to cooperate with locals to protect them from Taliban and al Qaeda fighters has been severely hampered. Congratulations Mr Assange, you have placed your beloved innocent civilians at extreme risk.
The details from this latest dump – among 250,000 documents illegally taken from classified State Department records – include discussions on our disappointment in the UN being unable to stop Iranian/Syrian arms going to Hizbollah, our disappointment in Qatar to stop funding terrorism, and hacking by the Chinese government of US computers. None of these are revelations, but the raw diplomatic cables contain confidential assessments by field agents that are meant for policymakers’ eyes, not those of anyone else. It’s an intrusion of privacy to no discernable end other than embarrassing the United States over matters that should concern Mr Assange’s deranged sense of “justice”. Apparently the innocent civilians of Israel are of no concern to him, nor the Muslim victims of most terrorist attacks. He probably admires the government efforts of Russia and PRC to penetrate American computer networks.
· Iran used Red Crescent ambulances to smuggle weapons and elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers into Lebanon during Hizbollah’s 2006 war with Israel, a leaked US diplomatic cable showed on Monday. “IRC shipments of medical supplies served also to facilitate weapons shipments,” the cable quotes an Iranian source. It added Red Crescent staff had seen “missiles in the planes” destined for Lebanon when delivering medical supplies to the plane. “The plane was … half full prior to the arrival of any medical supplies,” the cable said. The Iranian source also said an IRC hospital in Lebanon was handed over to the control of Hizbollah at the request of Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Lebanon’s Shi’ite party.
· Terrorists of all stripes, independent arms dealers, the Russian Mafia and at least one Mexican drug cartel use Qatar’s banking system with impunity. This has always been a disappointment for us, but apparently the Emirate is agnostic as to the sources of the monies deposited in its institutions. The frankness of the “eyes only” feedback on this matter will complicate a delicate situation we have been working on in private for some time.
On the up-side, these cables vindicate Israel’s long-held belief that she and her neighbors share common ground on the existential danger of Iran as currently constituted. Analysts and officials pointed to candid assessments from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt that Iran – not Israel nor continued failure of the “peace process” – posed the biggest strategic threat to regional stability. The assessments even stressed the need for considering conventional attacks on Tehran before its nuclear program becomes operational. Other officials pointed to a … diplomatic report in which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is compared to Adolf Hitler. These revelations, while satisfying to us, will doubtless cause internal instabilities for each nation identified as not buying into the Islamists’ narrative of the evil US/Israel being the source of all regional problems.
All in all, Mr Assange has managed to embarrass people and institutions more significant than himself by using confidential information that offers nothing more defensible than phone taps on friends and acquaintances. In his zest for “ending two wars”, he has badly damaged the very processes by which wars are ended.
 WikiLeaks was launched as a user-editable site, but has progressively moved towards a more traditional publication model, and no longer accepts either user comments or edits. Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales says it is no longer a wiki.
 Chris McGreal, Wikileaks reveals video showing US air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians, in The Guardian, 5 April 2010.
 See Iran smuggled arms to Hizbollah on ambulances, AFP, November 29 2010.
 See Joshua Mitnick, Israel greets WikiLeaks cables as vindication of its Iran policy, in Jewish World Review, November 30 2010.