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Javier Moreno, director of El Pais, writes an op-ed in today's edition. Editorials are not signed, this is not an editorial.

Lo que de verdad ocultan los Gobiernos · ELPAÍS.comWhat governments are truly hiding - ElPais.com
El interés global concitado por los papeles de Wikileaks se explica principalmente por una razón muy simple, pero al mismo tiempo poderosa: porque revelan de forma exhaustiva, como seguramente no había sucedido jamás, hasta qué grado las clases políticas en las democracias avanzadas de Occidente han estado engañando a sus ciudadanos. ...The global interest aroused by the Wikileaks papers can be explained mainly for a very powerful reason: because they reveal exhaustively, as surely has never happened before, to what extent the political classes in advanced Western democracies have been misleading their citizens. ...
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... Más que un agudo estado de crisis de seguridad supranacional, como anticiparon algunos, lo que verdaderamente se ha instalado entre las élites políticas en Washington y en Europa es una espesa atmósfera de irritación y de embarazosa contrariedad que resulta extremadamente reveladora del alcance y del significado real de los papeles de Wikileaks. ... More that an acute state of supranational security crisis, as some had anticipated, what has truly installed itself among the political elites in Washington and Europe is an atmosphere of irritation and embarrassing disappointment which is extremely revealing of the reach and true meaning of the wikileaks papers.
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... No sólo quedaban al descubierto algunas de sus maniobras u órdenes menos confesables, sino que también se acumulaban pruebas del doble discurso de los aliados de Washington en los más diversos asuntos -muchos de ellos en clave estrictamente nacional-, que veían con estupefacción cómo la publicación de los despachos les dejaba en evidencia, ora frente a países vecinos y aliados, ora frente a sus conciudadanos, quienes descubrían con comprensible irritación opiniones, declaraciones o acciones de sus líderes que les habían sido convenientemente ocultadas.... Not only some of [the State Depatrment's] more or less confessable manoeuvres were uncovered, but evidence accumulated of the two-faced discourse on the most diverse issues -many of them strictly national- kept by Washington's allies, who saw with surprise how the publication of the dispatches left them exposed, be it before neighbours and allies, be it before their fellow citizens, who discovered with understandable irritation opinions, statements or actions by their leaders which had been conveniently hidden.
... Así que pronto se articuló otra muy distinta que encontró con rapidez su camino en hartos editoriales y artículos de opinión en importantes periódicos, revistas y televisiones de Estados Unidos y de otros países.So, soon a new strategy was articulated which quickly found its way into editorials and op-eds in important newspapers, magazines and TVs in the US and other countries.

We've even had our share of this here on ET.

Más que mentiras o engaños, los telegramas mostrarían las habilidades de los diplomáticos estadounidenses, según esta nueva interpretación apoyada sobre todo por medios conservadores. Más que sus fracasos, la información que se iba conociendo pondría de relieve cómo la maquinaria de Washington se conduce, in situ y en privado, según los mismos altos principios proclamados en público desde los púlpitos oficiales del Capitolio. Y en toda ocasión, América demostraría profesar más atención a los intereses de la seguridad internacional que a los suyos propios.More than lies or deception, the wires would show the skills of US diplomats, according to this new interpretation suported primarily by consevative media. More than its failures, the information that was becoming known would highlight how Washington's machinery conducts itself, on-site and in private, according to the same high principles proclaimed publicly from the official pulpits of the Capitol. And, in each occasion, America would show to pay more attention to the interests of international security than to its own.
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... Según revelan los despachos de Wikileaks, ninguna de las principales potencias occidentales involucrada cree firmemente en la posibilidad de que el país sea viable a medio plazo, por no hablar ya de su altamente hipotético ingreso al club de las democracias, objetivo declarado de los combatientes. ...... As the Wilikeaks dispatches reveal, none of the main Western powers involved have a firm belief in the possibility that [Afghanistan] be viable in the medium term, not to speak of its highly hypothetical accession to the democracies' club, avowed goal of the belligerents. ...
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... No voy a insistir más en la falacia de tal aseveración. Me interesa más señalar que la publicación de los cables secretos revela por añadidura que, colectivamente, la clase política en Occidente era consciente de la situación en Afganistán, de las turbias maquinaciones de Pakistán o de las ambigüedades de los países árabes aliados de Washington, por limitarme únicamente a los ejemplos antes citados, en un ejercicio de doble moral sin muchos precedentes conocidos. Sabían, pero ocultaban. Y los destinatarios de semejante impostura eran sus electores, las sociedades con cuyo esfuerzo en soldados y en impuestos se sostiene la guerra en Afganistán. ...... I'm not going to insist on how fallacious the statement is [that the public already knew all that has beed revealed]. I'm more interested in pointing out that the publication of the secrets reveals in addition that, collectively, the Western political class was aware of the situation in Afghanistan, or the dark machinations of Pakistan, or the ambiguity of the Arab countries allied with Washington, to limit ourselves to the aforementioned examples, in an exercise of moral duplicity without many known precedents. They knew, but they hid it. ...
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... Las clases políticas a ambos lados del Atlántico vienen por ello a transmitir un mensaje tan sencillo como ventajista: confíen en nosotros; no intenten desvelar nuestros secretos; a cambio, les ofrecemos seguridad.... The political classes on both sides of the Atlantic come thus to transmit a message as simple as it is self-serving: trust us, do not try to reveal our secrets; in exchange, we offer you security.
¿Pero cuánta seguridad ofrecen realmente a cambio de aceptar tamaño chantaje moral? Poca o ninguna, pues se da la triste paradoja de que se trata de la misma clase política que se mostró incapaz de supervisar adecuadamente el sistema financiero internacional cuyo estallido provocó la mayor crisis desde 1929, arruinó a países enteros o condenó al desempleo y a la depauperación a millones de trabajadores. Los mismos responsables del deterioro de los niveles de vida y de riqueza de sus conciudadanos, del incierto destino del euro, de la falta de un proyecto europeo de futuro y en fin, de la crisis de gobernanza global que atenaza al mundo en los últimos años y a la que no son ajenas las élites en el poder en Washington y Bruselas. No estoy seguro de que mantener ocultos los secretos de las embajadas nos garantice una mejor diplomacia o un desenlace más benigno a las encrucijadas actuales.But how much security do they really offer in exchange for accepting such a moral blackmail? Little to none, given the sad paradox that this is the same political class which was unable to adequately supervise the international financial system whose blowup caused the worst crisis since 1929, ruined entire countries or condemned millions of workers to unemployment and poverty. The same people responsible of the decay of their citizens' wealth and living standardss, of the undertain fate of the Euro, of the lack of a project for Europe's future and, in all, of the global governance crisis that grips the world in the latter years and to which the elites in power in Washington and Brussels are not alien. I am not sure that keeping the embassies' secrets under wraps guarantees us a better diplomacy or a more benign resolution to the current quandaries.
Las incompetencias de los Gobiernos occidentales respecto a la crisis económica, el cambio climático, la corrupción o la agresión militar ilegal en Irak y otros países han quedado abundantemente expuestas ante la opinión pública en los últimos años. Ahora sabemos además, gracias a los papeles de Wikileaks, que todos ellos son conscientes de su desgraciada falibilidad, y que sólo la inercia de las maquinarias oficiales y el poder de mantener los secretos les evitan tener que rendir cuentas ante los ciudadanos, razón última en una democracia. The imcompetences of Western government regarding the economic crisis, climate change, corruption of the illegal military aggression in Iraq and other countries has been abundantly exposed to public opinion in the latter years. We now know also, thanks to the Wikileaks papers, that all of them are aware of their disgraceful fallibility, and that only the inertia of official machineries and the power to keep secrets saves them from being held accountable, which is the ultimate reason in a democracy.


Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 19th, 2010 at 12:09:42 PM EST
wow, just wow...

so amazing to see what should be normal, a newsman doing his job.

shakes head in wonder

sounds like the consensus narrative, canonic for decades/centuries, is about to definitively crumble like an oatmeal cookie under the pressure of reality.

it's awful, yet in some weird way a relief, as the false comfort of lies has been so suffocating for genuinity in general, and real creativity too.

so damn toxic, on every level. we can't build anything new till this ugly soulsucking squid has sated itself, and burst apart from its own suicidal greed.

not long now, it would seem...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Dec 19th, 2010 at 12:49:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sounds like the consensus narrative, canonic for decades/centuries, is about to definitively crumble like an oatmeal cookie under the pressure of reality.

Not really, no. The article suggests that the right-wing press in Spain has been downplaying the importance of the leaks as "gossip", not having bothered to make the documents available to their readers.

Como casi siempre y para desgracia de los españoles, se dio también una versión castiza de las exculpaciones anteriores, que devino en estrambote nacional cuando fueron los propios periódicos los que sostuvieron sin rubor que la mayor parte de los contenidos de los cables filtrados, y aun el conjunto de ellos en su totalidad, no pasaba de la categoría de cotilleos o chismes sin valor alguno para los ciudadanos en general y para sus lectores en particular, a los que consiguientemente se les hurtó la información. No pocos comentaristas y tertulianos en España les siguieron en esa tosca argumentación, por pereza mental o por otras motivaciones igualmente espurias, ignorando así de forma bochornosa la oleada de interés público que la publicación de los papeles de Wikileaks ha suscitado en todo el planeta.
The article also, while lambasting the Western political elites, doesn't suggest that public opinion is going to stop voting for quislings, or that elected officials are going to be able to rein in their civil services.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 19th, 2010 at 01:30:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Missing sentence:
I'm more interested in pointing out that the publication of the secrets reveals in addition that, collectively, the Western political class was aware of the situation in Afghanistan, or the dark machinations of Pakistan, or the ambiguity of the Arab countries allied with Washington, to limit ourselves to the aforementioned examples, in an exercise of moral duplicity without many known precedents. They knew, but they hid it. And the recipients of such imposture were their electors, the societies on whose effort in blood and treasure the war in Afghanistan is sustained. ...


Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 19th, 2010 at 06:00:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And now an Editorial: Weighing up the leaks · ELPAÍS.com in English
Members of the Spanish government spoke far differently in public and in private on the secret CIA rendition flights, on the torture of Spanish citizens in Guantánamo, on the death in Baghdad of TV cameraman José Couso and on relations with Morocco. Some of them, meanwhile, unveiled to the US ambassador internal quarrels in the Cabinet, offering, in search of personal political and image benefits, information that might weaken the defense of the country's general interests. All this forms part of the still-provisional conclusions from the revelations on Spain contained in the documents divulged by WikiLeaks.

...

The pact that seems to have been established between government and opposition, so that no one will be called to account for the actions described in these documents, is a further step in the degradation of our public sphere, depriving the citizens of the explanations they deserve to hear and avoiding the inconvenience of anyone having to pay a political price for what he has done. Some of the deceptions and falsities described in the documents have even been sustained in Congress.

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The recent tensions with Morocco are more easily understood now that we know of Spanish diplomacy's option for an autonomous-region solution for the disputed Western Sahara territory, however much this option was once denied in public. The breaking of neutrality in the Moroccan conflict brought, as a first result, a sharp cooling of relations with Algeria; later, a deepening of tension with Morocco; and, in short, the complete dismantling of a coherent policy on the Maghreb, already gravely damaged by the diplomacy of former Prime Minister José María Aznar.



Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 21st, 2010 at 02:24:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is embarrassing to read the compromising confessions made to the US ambassador by certain highly-placed political figures. The diplomatic legation of the world's largest power is not the proper place to air the struggles going on within the Spanish Cabinet.

Just like members of the German government in earlier leaks. Who in particular was named?

The prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has tended to avoid homogeneity in his cabinets, while often intervening in second-echelon appointments, against the desires of the ministers concerned. Above and beyond the already well-known lack of coordination that the prime minister's attitude has caused on some key occasions, the WikiLeaks documents have revealed further undesirable effects of this style of running a government.

Are they blaming Zapatero's authoritarianism for the quisling attitude of ministers here?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Dec 21st, 2010 at 03:09:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Are they blaming Zapatero's authoritarianism for the quisling attitude of ministers here?
No, they are saying that internal government tensions caused by Zapatero's presidential (see Bliar, Tonee) style of government have been exposed by the content of some cables.
Who in particular was named?
Everybody and their mother, also within the PP opposition, who discussed internal party politicking with the US ambassador.

I'll dig up some links...

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 21st, 2010 at 04:01:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El País cable repositories: on Aznar and the PP. For instance,

La Embajada de EE UU duda del liderazgo de Rajoy · ELPAÍS.comThe US Embassy doubts Rajoy's leadership - ElPais.com
"Creemos que debe su longevidad en el cargo más que nada a la ausencia de un sucesor creíble dentro de su partido", escriben.- ... Aguirre es "hiperambiciosa", Gallardón "encantador", y el líder, "sin carisma""We believe he owed his longevity in the position more than anything else to the absence of a credible successor within the party, they write. ... [Esperanza] Aguirre is "hyperambitious", Gallardón "charming, and the leader "lacks charisma".

It appears in a different cable Gallardón confided to Ambassador Aguirre that he could seek the party leadership only at the risk of splitting the party. His rivalry with Esperanza Aguirre is well-known, bitter, and the rift does affect the party cadres, the Madrid base, and the allied press.

... Casi todos los dirigentes clave pasan por allí: Acebes, Zaplana, Gallardón, Moragas...... Almost all key [PP] leaders go by [the Emabssy]: Acebes, Zaplana, Gallardón, Moragas...

Another repository: dissension within [Spain's] Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One news item and 4 cables, where differences among ministers are documented, and Spanish diplomats and Ministry staff tell the US ambassador about their dislike of the Minister.

Repository: How the Americans see us including profiles of prominent ZP cabinet members, and cables where these profiles are given or discussed.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 21st, 2010 at 05:02:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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