President Barack Obama and the U.S. government are scrambling this week to defuse some explosive intelligence leaks posted on the website Wikileaks.
The release of more than 250,000 classified State Department documents forced the Obama administration into damage control, trying to contain fallout from unflattering assessments of world leaders and revelations about backstage U.S. diplomacy. The leaks mentioned leaders of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya and other countries.
My question is: How much of what was leaked is true? You see, the truth hurts and at the time of this writing no one in government has stepped up to say that the leaked information is false.
The gospel of Matthew, Chapter 24 warned us long ago that we would hear of wars and rumors of wars and nations would rise against nations. The Bible also said that offended nations shall betray one another and shall hate one another and many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many.
If the leaked government information is true, the government can just admit the collection and distribution of such information and move on. But if the information is a pack of lies, intergovernmental relations may be severely damaged. Nobody will believe every piece of intelligence information that is presented to them, regardless of where the intelligence originated.
I wonder if the person or persons who leaked the information is a snitch, sort of a co-conspirator who sought to expose fellow criminals. Or, was the tattletale a person who believes the truth will set America and the world free.
It appears as though there are more United States leaks than there are leaks from other government intelligence sources.
One thing for sure is that governments, especially the U.S. government, cannot go on conducting business as usual. Governments can no longer do what they want to or say what they want to without scrutiny and oversight.
If you don’t want international leaders to know the bad things Americans have said about them, Americans should stop saying bad things.
American citizens should realize that the intelligence sought and collected by the U.S. government was authorized by the politicians whom America elected. When you elect people who don’t care about the truth, don’t care about protocol and don’t care about the consequences of reckless intelligence gathering and intelligence sharing, you are getting what you voted for.
Time will tell the long-term effects of intelligence leaks but one immediate impact is that world diplomacy has taken a hit. World relations may not be knocked out but trust among countries of the world has certainly been knocked back.
Lucius Gantt is a commentator and consultant based in Tallahasee.