My powder is dry on the interesting subject that Zbigniew Brzezinski raised on PBS NewsHour. He suggested that in this enormous Wikileaks data dump of largely trivial cables, there are selections of highly pointed and embarrassing material. Brzezinski asks if someone with designs has planted this or selectively leaked to the operation.
Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, agrees that it’s a scenario that deserves review.
I don’t know what the means and methods of Wikileaks’ document collection and review process is — and feel it would be wrong of me to speculate.
As I get deeper into reading some of these cables, I increasingly realize that I and others are seeing the equivalent of raw intelligence, massive amounts of it. And some of it — even the statements by leaders in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE about the Iran threat and what to do about it seems to be missing larger contextual framing.
I know personally that there is a diversity of views around the Saudi King and among his closest national security hands — and know that the same is true in the UAE. Those parts are missing from the Wikileaks material. And yet I know that there are cables about these views and statements as well — but they aren’t part of the records in the dump.
Again, I’m intrigued by Brzezinski’s query about covert ops — and have my doubts about his formulation, but it does provide a good cautionary warning not to just take everything in the Wikileaks material at total face value. There may be a lot more to the story we haven’t seen yet.
More soon. Flying back from Dubai World Economic Forum meetings to the US shortly.
— Steve Clemons