Julian Assange and the story of the talking cat…

Whilst I think Daniel may be right about Julian Assange being anti American, that doesn’t really speak to whether his revelations were useful or not. These revelations were more interesting than previous tranches, possibly because the involvement of mainstream journalists teed them up better, but also it passingly lifts the skirts on workings of private life of international diplomacy, and turned it into a public affair.

But no one describes the problem better than Henry Farrell, turning to his collection of Saki short stories

Diplomacy, even more than early twentieth century English house-parties, requires hypocrisy. Both diplomats and leaders pretend respect and even affection for regimes that they dislike and leaders whom they despise. When a source can definitively give the lie to these public remonstrations, it is obviously likely to lead to considerable friction (not necessarily because the target did not know he, she or it was detested – but because public expression of this detestation becomes an insult that cannot easily be discounted or ignored.

Still, whilst the elite may well have known many of the details as a matter of course, once again in group news becomes the public property of the uninitiated commons…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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