I am in a motel room today watching football, bored to tears. Glenn Greenwald is putting out his usual outpouring of insight that, due to the depth of thought control in this country, few can grasp. (Who was it who sang “You better free your mind instead”? I did not know what that meant at the time either.)
The US is, surprise to me, pulling out of Iraq on the Bush timeline. It turns out that the Obama Administration did not want that to happen, but the Iraqis insisted that if American troops stayed in Iraq, they would be subject to prosecution in Iraqi courts for their crimes. This, as with all of the Arab Spring, is fallout from Wikileaks.
In other words, whoever leaked that cable [about a massacre of Iraqi civilians by American soldiers and the attempted coverup] cast light on a heinous American war crime and, by doing so, likely played some significant role in thwarting an agreement between the Obama and Maliki governments to keep U.S. troops in Iraq and thus helped end this stage of the Iraq war (h/t Trevor Timm). Moreover, whoever leaked these cables — as even virulent WikiLeaks critic Bill Keller repeatedly acknowledged — likely played some significant in helping spark the Arab Spring protests by documenting just how deeply corrupt those U.S.-supported kleptocrats were. And in general, whoever leaked those cables has done more to publicize the corrupt, illegal and deceitful acts of the world’s most powerful factions — and to educate the world about how they behave — than all “watchdog” media outlets combined (indeed, the amount of news reports on a wide array of topics featuring WikiLeaks cables as the primary source is staggering). In sum, whoever leaked those cables is responsible for one of the most consequential, beneficial and noble acts of this generation.
My nomination for Time Magazine man of the year: Prisoner Bradley Manning, whose newest crime is to force the US to be good to its word for once.