WikiLeaks could have enlightened benighted Filipinos
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-12-07

“A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.” was how the New York Times (NYT) described what WikiLeaks publicly made available on the internet.

Scott Shane and Andrew W. Lehren of the NYT wrote that: “The disclosure of the cables is sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.” Among the most earthshaking of these disclosures that were listed by Shane and Lehren, are as follows:

1. “Thinking about an eventual collapse of North Korea: American and South Korean officials have discussed the prospects for a unified Korea, should the North’s economic troubles and political transition lead the state to implode. The South Koreans even considered commercial inducements to China, according to the American ambassador to Seoul. She told Washington in February that South Korean officials believe that the right business deals would “help salve” China’s “concerns about living with a reunified Korea” that is in a “benign alliance” with the United States.”

2. “Bargaining to empty the Guantánamo Bay prison: When American diplomats pressed other countries to resettle detainees, they became reluctant players in a State Department version of “Let’s Make a Deal.” Slovenia was told to take a prisoner if it wanted to meet with President Obama, while the island nation of Kiribati was offered incentives worth millions of dollars to take in Chinese Muslim detainees, cables from diplomats recounted. The Americans, meanwhile, suggested that accepting more prisoners would be “a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe.”

3. “Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government: When Afghanistan’s vice president visited the United Arab Emirates last year, local authorities working with the Drug Enforcement Administration discovered that he was carrying $52 million in cash. With wry understatement, a cable from the American Embassy in Kabul called the money ‘a significant amount’ that the official, Ahmed Zia Massoud, ‘was ultimately allowed to keep without revealing the money’s origin or destination.’ (Mr. Massoud denies taking any money out of Afghanistan.)”

4. “A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.”

5. “An intriguing alliance: American diplomats in Rome reported in 2009 on what their Italian contacts described as an extraordinarily close relationship between Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian prime minister, and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister and business magnate, including ‘lavish gifts,’ lucrative energy contracts and a ‘shadowy’ Russian-speaking Italian go-between. They wrote that Mr. Berlusconi ‘appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of Putin’ in Europe. The diplomats also noted that while Mr. Putin enjoyed supremacy over all other public figures in Russia, he was undermined by an unmanageable bureaucracy that often ignored his edicts.’

The disclosures from WikiLeaks may be shocking to folks like us but to the international players it is simply embarrassing. Governments and their diplomats know that foreign embassies are always assessing them and how demeaning some of these assessments could be. To a diplomat, these disclosures will likely meet a “What else is new?” reaction. The shock lies more on its public disclosure rather than its content. In China and Pakistan, the leaks are suspected to be a joint Mossad-CIA disinformation operation. There was nothing embarrassing in the files against Israel.

It would have been most beneficial for us Filipinos if WikiLeaks had provided the following revelations:

1. The US Embassy communication exchanges here when Martial Law was about to be implemented, after it was implemented and when Ninoy Aquino was set to return home.

2. The US Embassy communication exchanges before, during and after the 1987 and 1989 coups against the President Cory C. Aquino government.

3. The US Embassy communication exchanges when the Philippine government was being pressed for the approval of the aborted MOA-Ancestral Domain.

4. The US Embassy communication exchanges when there was a major American agenda being imposed on our government like the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement).

5. Any US Embassy communication exchanges that will reveal American duplicity, subterfuge, special operations, spying operations and so forth.

Such disclosures would prove invaluable for awakening Filipino consciousness on who their country’s real friends and concealed exploiters are. Such disclosures could unveil the many Filipino Quislings who were willing to work for US interests to the detriment of Philippine national interests.

Such disclosures could finally enlighten Filipinos that our biggest problem is rooted to foreign domination — how they dominate and control our economy through impositions like the Bell Trade Act, Parity Rights and the Mining Act, and how they influence the course of our political processes.

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  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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