How WikiLeaks is Wrecking Everything: Part of a Continuing Series

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 6 2010 2:43 PM

How WikiLeaks is Wrecking Everything: Part of a Continuing Series

Hillary Clinton is not resigning over WikILeaks, despite Jack Shafer's wishes . Barack Obama will not resign, despite Julian Assange's wishes. Philip Shenon reports that, not surprisingly, the hits are going to come at lower levels, on the people mentioned in cables, and "the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA assume that they will have to shake up staffing at a number of American embassies and consulates within the coming months."

The difference between these WikiLeaks and the Afghanistan and Iraq leaks -- which drew a much more supportive response from the American left -- is that the diplomats mentioned in the cables are not enabling wars. The WikiLeaks preamble to its endless leaks promised that some level of venality would be revealed, some grand statement about how America's ideals had been lost since the days of George Washington, and we haven't seen that. The problems coming out of the cables are almost entirely message problems, of diplomats revealed to read local news and harbor the same doubts about foreign governments that local reporters do.


The way Charlie Gasparino reports on Bank of America's worries about WikiLeaks, the company sounds just like the State Department.

I have no evidence whether Countrywide's lending practices were so lax (and some would say corrupt) that loans were made to people who either lied about their finances or had mortgage brokers lie about that information. But it's the same educated guess made by many sophisticated traders last week when the WikiLeaks issue emerged, and BofA's share began to tank.Keep in mind, the reason Countrywide could make loans to anyone with a heartbeat and possibly no job is because those loans could be sold off its books and then packaged into mortgage-backed securities. But if those loans were fraudulent, they could be "put" or sold back to Bank of America. A group of large investors in mortgage bonds holding Countrywide loans are already threatening such action.

In every new case where an entity is fretting about WikiLeaks, it's because the organization is making it more difficult to carry on with what had been seen as acceptable, beneficent dishonesty.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Tom Hanks Has a Short Story in the New Yorker. It’s Not Good.

Brow Beat

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.