Wikileaks Spawns New Blog (Don’t Forget Judge Garzon)

by Peter Spiro

And why not?  Assuming that the feds don’t catch up with this operation at this rate (by my calculation) we have more than four years of daily document dumps ahead of us.  From Foreign Policy, let’s welcome Wikileaked to the blogosphere.

Today’s highlights include more accounts of inebriated and otherwise less-than-sparkling eastern European and central Asian leaders.  (Material from these realms is quickly rising to the top of the stack of Wikileaks theater.)  Not yet covered by the folks at FP, nor any MSM outlets in the US: several AmEmbassy Madrid cables dealing with Spanish prosecutors/judges and their use of universal jurisdiction.  (The Guardian covers it here.)  In one cable the ambassador touches base with Spain’s chief prosecutor about the criminal case against top Bush administration officials relating to post-9/11 policies.

Scott Horton among others thinks these contacts inappropriate.  I’m no fan of the Bush era officials, but whatever the national interest means these days it probably includes fending off war crimes charges by foreign courts.  So I’m not so sure there’s a problem with US diplomats working the angles on this (which is not the same thing as saying that the charges are meritless, or even hoping that they fail).

As interesting is the fact that Garzon & Co. agreed to open direct USG channels in the first place.  Some folks in Spain have a problem with that.  Americans would have a problem if the tables were turned:  imagine cables by foreign diplomats reporting conversations with federal judges and prosecutors.  But I bet such cables exist, reporting chatter at cocktail parties and over dinners of rubbery fish.  (There are cables being drafted by foreign diplomats at this moment on the Wikileaks controversy itself reporting diplomatic contacts with DOJ officials about a possible Assange indictment.)  As a descriptive matter, it’s another example of the disaggregation of the state:  where bilateral diplomacy used to be channeled through foreign offices, now it includes just about everybody.

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