It seems almost perverse to assume that the US, the nation with the most advanced cyberforce on earth, would not be able to infiltrate and bring down a web operation such as Wikileaks if it wanted to. Yet, the brief DDOS attacks the Wikileaks website has suffered since publishing the documents amount to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
Among the embarrassment the release of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables on Wikileaks has caused the US government, it is easy to overlook one rather useful consequence for White House diplomacy: America’s worst foes, Iran and North Korea, are made to look rather isolated with Arab states castigating Iran and China criticizing Pyongyang. Mind you: this information will not be read worldwide as “axis of evil” style White House propaganda, but as something much closer to the truth since, it is assumed, the US government didn’t want to let the world know about these classified documents. As a result of Wikileaks publishing the secret US cables, Iran and North Korea now look more isolated among their neighbours and even allies than ever.
Is this really an unintended consequence, or could the release of the documents be the result of US intelligence deliberately feeding Private Manning, Wikileak’s supposed source, a parcel of information with a few surprises hidden inside: Information that is supposed to look superficially embarrassing to the US and therefore genuine, but that actually does far more insidious damage to the reputation of America’s enemies?
You could almost call it Diplomacy 3.0.