WikiLeaks Scandal Reinforces Myth of Bourgeois Democracy
At the close of 2011, for a brief period of time, the “WikiLeaks affair” was at the center of every news media outlet in the States and, presumably, the whole world over. Although by now the barrage of media coverage of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, have become a trickle, there is still a need to make some remarks about this event that has so much shaken the bourgeois media world.
What was all this excitement about?
The facts are well known. At the end of November, following a well prepared sensationalist media campaign, Wikileaks started to release some of the hundreds of thousands of classified US government diplomatic cables that it claims to have in its possession. At the same time several commercial news media organizations throughout the world (The New York Times, France’s Le Monde, Britain’s Guardian, Spain’s El Pais, and the German magazine Der Spiegel ), to whom WikiLeaks have given these files in advance of its own release, started running stories based on these documents. If someone had really been fooled into believing that the “State secrets” of the US were on the verge of being exposed, the reality is surely disappointing. Leaving aside the entertaining value of the quasi gossip-mongering of the US diplomatic cadres in their tiresome task of advancing American imperialist interests, from what has been made public so far these documents contribute little new to what is already widely known about the US policies around the world. Embarrassing as these diplomatic cables might be for some individuals caught off guard in their expressed opinions (both American and foreigners), they are far from being the “smoking gun” exposing the top secret policies of US government that some commentators in the left wing of the bourgeois political spectrum claim them to be.
Perhaps the best assessment (besides being remarkable for its brutal honesty) of the significance of the publication of these documents for the US bourgeoisie was made by the US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who said:
But what really is WikiLeaks?