Open Thread - Leaky Wiki Edition


‎"We Have Not Seen Anything Yet": Guardian Editor Says Most Startling WikiLeaks Cables Still To Be Released

‎"In the coming days, we are going to see some quite startling disclosures about Russia, the nature of the Russian state, and about bribery and corruption in other countries, particularly in Central Asia," says Investigations Executive Editor David Leigh...

Drip, drip:

Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profund Hatred for Democracy on the Part of our Poltical Leadership"

World-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky discusses the release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks.

Drip, drip, drip:

Wikileaks and Latin America: Same Old Imperious U.S. Diplomats |

As more and more documents become available from Wikileaks, the public has gotten a novel and close up view of U.S. diplomats and their operations abroad.

Drip, drip, drip, drip:

Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks | Video on

TED Talks The controversial website WikiLeaks collects and posts highly classified documents and video. Founder Julian Assange, who's reportedly being sought for questioning by US authorities, talks to TED's Chris Anderson about how the site operates, what it has accomplished -- and what drives him.

Drip, gush, drip, splash:

WikiLeaks on Latin America: Honduras coup 'illegal' | La Plaza | Los Angeles Times

The June 2009 coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was rooted in an "illegal and unconstitutional" military and civilian plan, says one of the secret U.S. diplomatic cables published online by WikiLeaks.

And the next round of wikileaks may open up a floodgate of assault from the elite as it may expose the Kleptocrtic bank bailouts for what it was and still is:

China, Russia Want New Monetary System

The Director of China's Central Bank Xiao Chuan has presented a proposal for the adoption of new international reserve currency, one that would not be under the contral of any one nation, and which would be based on functions such as trade pricing and settlements which could be carried out separately from financing the credit needs and imbalances of any one nation, such as the United States. The proposal, which may be presented at the upcoming G-20 meeting in England, was featured on the Chinese Central Bank's website. This proposal may also be considered the answer to Bernanke's expansion of Fed Reserve credit facilities, and intention to buy $300 billion of US Treasury securities. Bernanke's move reduced the value of China's holding of US securities by 5% because of the fallin value of the dollar.

Open Thread

I was really astonished to read that Sanjay Gupta is the Pres.-elect's pick for Surgeon General. Well now his credentials don't look that bad, Besides functioning as CNN's health expert, he apparently also practices at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and  is also an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine. It's his CNN commentaries that gives me pause. That said I think Paul Krugman got it just right. After describing Gupta's OK formal credentials he writes:

Obama from the Bullpen

by Jeff Huber

Navy skippers immemorial wrote "He hit the deck running" on their new junior officers' fitness reports until the phrase became, well, ship-worn. You mean that the officer just checked aboard, seems eager, if a bit much so, has done a nice thing or two, but it's not time to recommend him either for your job or for immediate transfer to civilian command. In other words, it's an expression that sounds impressive but doesn't really mean anything, something common to at least 95 percent of Navy writing.

But the expression appears to mean something in the case of Barack Obama, whose orders just showed up on the message board, as we say in the NAV, and who doesn’t even check aboard for two more months. In the past week he's made three significant interrelated foreign policy moves that involve Iraq, Iran and Russia that have potential to look good, go bad or turn ugly, depending on how he follows up on them.

The Collapse of Imperial Day Dreams: Why Cheney Is Travelling to the Former Soviet East Bloc

While George Bush and John McCain are playing a cold-war version of monopoly to try to establish a U.S. military presence on Russia’s borders, and in the process, rally the U.S. electorate behind the Republicans, the Russians appear to be playing economic chess. While we have become military bullies whose diplomacy has devolved to brandishing our mighty imperial status as the only superpower, the Russians are calling for a multi-power world and apparently putting their money where their mouths are. Hat tip to Spengler at Asia Times, Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess"for the analogy.

Hegemon Hold "Em

It is a senseless policy, apparently meant to intimidate Russia, but why? For the sake of perpetuating international tension so as to strengthen the forces that with Cheney and Bush have been promoting constitutionally unaccountable executive rule in the United States?"

William Pfaff, August 19, 2008.

The art of analyzing international affairs is somewhat like discovering new planets. The astronomer notes the behaviors of observable objects; when those objects behave in a manner that other observable phenomena can't explain, the astronomer begins hypothesizing what unseen phenomena may be present whose gravity could have produced an otherwise irrational event.

So it is with the ongoing monkeyshines between Russia and the Borscht Republic of Georgia. Assuming that Georgia is a "rational actor," it doesn’t make sense for it to have invited invasion from Russia by launching an offensive into South Ossetia.

Warm Beer and Cold War

When young Mr. Bush told Vladimir Putin in June 2007 that "The Cold War is over," we couldn't have gotten more surefire confirmation that the Cold War was, in fact, alive and kicking. The recent monkey business in Georgia has been in the pipeline since at least then, probably since much earlier.

Noam Chomsky used the term "Cold War II" in August 2007. I first mentioned it in February of that year (so there, Chomsky, you snoozer). Stephen F. Cohen referred to a "new cold war" in a June 2006 article for The Nation. It's eminently arguable that President Bill Clinton started the second Cold War when he intervened in Kosovo in part to distract the world from his pants-capades.

It has been the Bush administration, though, that has managed to escalate the second cold war by losing the first one retroactively.

Condi, Condi, Condi.......................

You gotta get your ducks all in a row there before tooting those horns:

At a press conference she and Zebari said the negotiators were close to signing the deal but cautioned it had not yet been clinched.

Everyone says how intelligent you are, and after all you're the Secretary of State with a whole department working for you, or are they being allowed to.

Reality Check: Has George Bush Gone Too Far in Georgia?

It now turns out that ceasfire negotiations for Russian pullback from Georgia were stalled because of the refusal of Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili to sign the six-point ceasefire plan brokered by French President Nicholas Sarkozy. According the Guardian-UK, Sarkozy finally agreed to sign opening the way for Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, to also ratify the pact.

Both have now signed on.

Nick Benton's Corner: McCain's Neo-Con Rant on Georgia

Posted with permission from Nicholas Benton, owner/editor of the Falls Church News Press,

McCain's Neo-Con Rant on Georgia

It must be appreciated that the current Russian military operation in Georgia comes in the context of eight years of a profoundly-destructive Bush administration thuggish, unilateralist foreign policy. The reckless Bush policy, including its unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq, has heightened tensions throughout the world and driven angry wedges where bridges could have been built.
Now, Russia is reacting to a perceived threat on its border much as it was accustomed to doing in the old Cold War days. They're not the good guys in this, but it is clear that the U.S. has been the bad guys for way too long.

The Irony Curtain

Vladimir Putin has gone from being Russia's president to being Russia's Dick Cheney. As Prime Minister, he still has all the real power but has shed the accountability that goes with being the head of state. So while Putin is undoubtedly the dastard who decided to put the clobber on Georgia, the guy who has to take criticism for it is Putin's political Pinocchio President Dmitry Medvedev. Being the man in the hot seat sort of makes Medvedev Russia's George W. Bush, except that Bush has never really been held responsible for anything. (Bush is only sixty-something and he's only been on the job for seven and a half years, what do you want?)

What Does Russia Want?

by carol. Originally posted 2008-08-12 09:17:15 -0500

Even though Dmitry Medvedev is now the President of Russia its clear that Vladimir Putin is the real power in that country given the statements made by the Kremlin since the fighting began 5 days ago.

"They had to hang Saddam Hussein for destroying several Shia villages," he said. "But the current Georgian rulers who in one hour simply wiped 10 Ossetian villages from the face of the earth, the Georgian rulers which used tanks to run over children and the elderly, who threw civilians into cellars and burnt them - they are players that have to be protected."

Russia would continue its military operation until “its logical end”.

The Russian Prime Minister blasted the West for continuing to support President Saakashvili despite Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia, which he said “wiped from the face of the earth ten Osettian villages”.

“The scale of cynicism is surprising and the skill to present white as black and black. The trick to present the aggressor as the victim of an aggression and to place the responsibly for the effects on the victims,” Mr Putin said.

Border Clash on Georgia/Russian border

update by carol. Originally posted 2008-08-08 12:37:43 -0500; Map image from Global Guerillas

John McCain has again been caught with his hand in the cookie job. One of his top campaign advisors is a lobbyist for Georgia. McClatchy carries the story, by Greg Gordon.