Our sources tell us that Manning Bradley, the alleged mastermind behind the Wikileaks furore, actually did not have access to most of the documents leaked. He did have Top Secret clearance, but only with regards to specific types of documents pertaining to Iraq and, in a more restricted manner, Afghanistan.
Though millions of people have passwords to the relevant State Department and Pentagon intranets, no one has unlimited access to documents pertaining to all the theatres of operation: there is strict geographical compartmentalisation.
On November 29 Wikileaks released the first batch of documents from the leaked dump of American diplomatic correspondence. Almost a week earlier, on November 23, I published in globalpolitician.com an article titled "Korea: Imminent Unification" in which I stated that the US and China were secretly negotiating the re-unification of the Korean Peninsula.
Some of the documents released by Wikileaks a week later substantiated this claim.
Yet, I had no access to Wikileaks' information. My story relied on a mid-level State Department functionary who all but thrust the information down my throat with promises of much more to come.
Since then, I have contacted many other journalists and intelligence analysts: from Australia to Romania. The picture that emerges is unequivocal: in the fortnight preceding the Wikileaks "bomb", the State Department was shopping the very same documents (or the information contained therein) around. The State Department wanted these missives published. But few took to the bait (myself included). With the exception of my Korean story, only snippets saw the light of day prior to Wikileaks' exposure.
Then some bright star in the State Department struck gold: why not let Wikileaks have the cache of missives and kill two proverbial birds with one very real stone? The impetuous Assange is bound to swallow the bait and thus hand a valuable weapon to the USA. Every government is likely to frown on the disclosure of diplomatic correspondence.
Indeed, since the publication, Wikileaks content has been removed from virtually all major servers in the world: from France to the USA. They are now confined to a tiny server farm in Uppsala, Sweden. The government of Sweden is working on shutting down even this last haven. The site is under constant Denial of Service (DoS) attacks emanating mainly from China, but aided and abetted by the USA and literally every other intelligence agency on the globe.
But why publish the documents in the first place?
Work on the cache started immediately after Wikileaks' previous release of Pentagon and military papers. Experts from the CIA, NSA and the State Department toiled for weeks on end to put together a credible-looking dump of cablegrams that would dupe journalists and analysts into believing that it was random. Only low-level, mostly unclassified material went in.
But this ocean of digitized paperwork contained morsels that were intended to send targeted messages to America's allies and foes alike:
- Message to Iran: You are completely isolated. Even the Arabs want your nuclear facilities bombed.
- Message to Israel: We are far tougher on Iran than we let on. Please let us do our job and don't meddle.
- Message to China: North-Korean unification is seriously contemplated and definitely on the table.
- Message to North-Korea: Even China, your staunchest supporter, has turned against you.
- Message to Turkey: We know about your double-dealing. In the heat of exchanges with al-Qaida and Iran, don't forget your primary allegiance to the military alliance with the West and especially with us, the USA.
- Message to Greece: We know about your attempts at fomenting inter-ethnic tension in Macedonia. We want the name dispute with Macedonia resolved, to allow NATO and EU enlargement to the western Balkans to proceed.
- Message to Russia: We have incriminating evidence against the highest echelons of your leadership and we will not hesitate to release it should you continue to obstruct our policies.
Wikileaks have been duped and sacrificed on the altar of high-stakes geopolitics. Its days are numbered.
I don't envy Assange as well. He allowed his inflated, messianic, and self-important ego to get the best of him and now he is a hunted man. The State Department have pulled off a brilliant maneuver. Hats off to their creativity and panache.
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