These six unnecessary, punishing deaths may well have resulted from the disastrous statecraft and policies that come under discussion in the leaked cables, but as far as news coverage went they just couldn't compete with the leak frenzy itself. The establishment, Right and Left but mainly Right, coalesced around melodramatic accusations that Assange did have, or would have "blood on his hands." As I have read my way through some fraction of the leaked record, no evidence for this frequently leveled charge yet appears, certainly none that begins to compare to the blood already spilled to implement a hopelessly misguided U.S. foreign policy that, from the Bush administration to the Obama administration, determinedly ignores Islam in its prosecution of wars in the Islamic world. Exhibit A, at least this week, is the six dead Americans in that Muslim-on-infidel "training accident" mentioned above. In our attempt to remake Afghanistan in more or less our own image, we shut our eyes to all eruptions of Islam, hostile, undermining and antithetical to our utopian goals, that continually and inevitably warp our exhausting and disappointing effort.
More see-no-Islam evidence comes straight from the leaked cables. As noted by the British newspaper The Guardian, Anne Patterson, the former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, vainly conveyed to Washington her conviction that no amount of aid money would persuade the Pakistan army (motto: "Faith in Allah, fear of Allah, and jihad in the path of Allah") to stop sponsoring what you might call similarly jihad-centric groups: the Taliban, the Taliban-allied Haqqani and Hekmatyar networks, and the Mumbai attackers. I say "vainly" because the aid money doesn't stop -- nor does Pakistan's covert support for America's jihadist enemies. This may sound like sticking coin after coin into a jukebox playing our own funeral march, but that's official U.S. policy, as supported from the pro-war Right to the Obama Left. More than that, it's part of the shambles WikiLeaks confirms U.S. foreign policy to be. Could this be why the establishment condemns WikiLeaks as the worst thing ever? The Pakistan cables alone should stop the presses, start a debate and inspire congressional hearings: "Pakistan: Ally to Spend Billions on, or Enemy to De-nuke?"
But the reaction instead is to kill the messenger -- literally, say many. The more I read, however, the more I wonder whether the raging rhetoric is less about blood on WikiLeaks' hands than about egg on the faces of others, including a secretive Uncle Sam.