I knew Lady Gaga was behind the Wikileaks fiasco, I just couldn’t be sure how:
An innocuous-looking memory stick, no longer than a couple of fingernails, came into the hands of a Guardian reporter earlier this year. The device is so small it will hang easily on a keyring. But its contents will send shockwaves through the world’s chancelleries and deliver what one official described as “an epic blow” to US diplomacy.
The 1.6 gigabytes of text files on the memory stick ran to millions of words: the contents of more than 250,000 leaked state department cables, sent from, or to, US embassies around the world. …
The US military believes it knows where the leak originated. A soldier, Bradley Manning, 22, has been held in solitary confinement for the last seven months and is facing a court martial in the new year. The former intelligence analyst is charged with unauthorised downloads of classified material while serving on an army base outside Baghdad. He is suspected of taking copies not only of the state department archive, but also of video of an Apache helicopter crew gunning down civilians in Baghdad, and hundreds of thousands of daily war logs from military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It was childishly easy, according to the published chatlog of a conversation Manning had with a fellow-hacker. “I would come in with music on a CD-RW labelled with something like ‘Lady Gaga’ … erase the music … then write a compressed split file. No one suspected a thing … [I] listened and lip-synched to Lady Gaga’s Telephone while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history.” He said that he “had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months”.
Manning told his correspondent Adrian Lamo, who subsequently denounced him to the authorities: “Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public … Everywhere there’s a US post, there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed. Worldwide anarchy in CSV format … It’s beautiful, and horrifying.”
Is that what he was after? Worldwide anarchy? Well then, he’s happy.
Doesn’t he look happy?
I suggest that this too shall pass. It can be terrible when friends reveal themselves to be snakes, and the answer to “does this dress make me look fat” is always no.
Though people are embarrassed, these documents reveal if not the truth of how the government felt, at least a side of the truth. World leaders may behave like children, but they are big boys and girls. These revelations cannot have come as any surprise.
Get over it. You’re just revealing yourselves to be the immature crackpots we privately thought you were. And maybe the American public can wake up from its delusion that there’s much out there for us to relate to. Like anyone else, I want friends more than enemies, but I do not mistake my enemies for friends.
We stand with Israel and anyone else who wants to join us against the world. And I like our chances.