In WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton, and the Smoking Gun, in Slate, Jack Shafer explores some of the damage done to Obama's current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. As readers of this blog know and many others suspect, Hillary will probably be Obama's number one opponent in the 2012 primaries. So does this leak help or harm Hillary in 2012?
To be fair to Clinton, she isn't the first secretary of state to issue cables telling U.S. foreign service officers to spy on other diplomats...
...But what makes Clinton's sleuthing unique is the paper trail that documents her spying-on-their-diplomats-with-our-diplomat orders, a paper trail that is now being splashed around the world on the Web and printed in top newspapers. No matter what sort of noises Clinton makes about how the disclosures are "an attack on America" and "the international community," as she did today, she's become the issue. She'll never be an effective negotiator with diplomats who refuse to forgive her exuberances, and even foreign diplomats who do forgive her will still regard her as the symbol of an overreaching United States. Diplomacy is about face, and the only way for other nations to save face will be to give them Clinton's scalp.
My contention was that Hillary would stick with Obama, at lest nominally, until some "crisis of conscience" caused her to resign. (Failing a major conscience crisis, she could cite the cumulative effect of many smaller crises.) End game: Hillary takes a moral stand for the good of the party and is "forced" to run against Obama in 2012.
What if this wikileaks business is an attempt to force her out before she can bring her plans to fruition? By weakening her as Sec State, she is also weakened as a potential Commander-in-Chief. Damaging her with our allies, damages her as presidential material.
The damage these revelations have caused is summed up by Shafer thusly:
There is no way that the new WikiLeaks leaks don't leave Hillary Clinton holding the smoking gun. The time for her departure may come next week or next month, but sooner or later, the weakened and humiliated secretary of state will have to pay.
So, in light of the fact that the first round of wikileaks during the Obama administration cast Bush and the military in a bad light, and the second round seems to do the same for the State Department, whose titular head is a likely opponent in 2012, is it any surprise that an administration that without warning, shut down more than 70 websites for sharing music and movies cannot left a finger to stop the leaks of classified government documents by wikileaks?
Could it be that the administration had assurances if not advanced knowledge of what was going to be released, and if not complicit, was at least passive to their leaking?
Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.