The jury has been out on how well Hillary is performing as secretary of state. I have always been critical of her riding on her husband's name to achieve fame and power. But when she was appointed secretary of state, clearly despite her husband rather than because of him, I felt it prudent to withhold judgment. This is, after all, the first real job she has ever gotten on her own.
So far, we don't see any huge achievements. But we do see some modest ones. She has evidently succeeded in getting Russia to stop its sale of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, arms that would have made an Israeli strike at Iranian nuclear facilities impossible. She has also done a great deal to strengthen sanctions against the Iranian government to the point where they may really be biting. George W. Bush's and Rice's failure to do so was a big black mark against them in their records.
But these Wikileaks make one wonder if she has really learned anything at all. She always goes for the jugular and loves the politics of personal intimidation and destruction. It is because she is so well suited and adept at this form of political combat that she was instrumental in her husband's success in beating back the impeachment efforts that stemmed from his lies under oath in the Paula Jones litigation about his affair with Monica.
Now she appears to have transformed the diplomatic corps into a spying operation, giving us yet another intelligence-gathering agency. But, in doing so, she has undoubtedly alienated our allies and damaged our diplomats' credibility. Who is going to leave his credit card unguarded after a diplomatic lunch after hearing about the new Hillary spygate?
Maybe it was too much to hope for to have thought that she had grown in office.
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