WASHINGTON — The United States’ top diplomat Hillary Clinton today applauded the recent WikiLeaks release of hundreds of thousands of documents that detail the nation’s strong-armed diplomatic pettiness against virtually every other country in the world.
The disclosure of secret information “would have traditionally been met with authoritarian ‘circling-the-wagons’ tactics and self-righteous condemnations, but we suddenly realized how hypocritical that would be,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg said, “We just sat back and concluded, ‘Hey, classifying billions of government documents showed unbelievable hubris and a deep fear of accountability.’ We giggled nervously for a while, then Hillary cried a little bit. We’ll sorely miss all those superpower privileges. But it’s a good sadness.”
The leaked papers included previous orders from Clinton to her envoys at embassies around the world to collect information ranging from basic biographical data on foreign diplomats to their frequent flyer and credit card numbers, holiday shopping patterns as well as “biometric information,” such as fingerprints, signatures and iris recognition data.
Clinton said that the State Department “finally came to the conclusion that enough was enough.” She challenged all sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies to trade the data they had collected on U.S. citizens for the remainder of the WikiLeaks documents, and that all of them be “thrown into the Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia, or posted on Facebook.”
“This disclosure was a welcome slap in the face to see how terribly embarrassing it is to intrude upon private conversations, the way the National Security Agency, FBI, and CIA have been doing to American citizens for years.”
The Secretary of State added the State Department would be the first to declassify its top secret files. “If you think the revelations of lower-level diplomatic correspondence was embarrassing, you should see all the crazy crap we say in top secret communications.”
President Barack Obama was – as an understatement – “not pleased” with the State Department’s challenge, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said earlier today. “The cables show the U.S. spying on its allies, turning a blind eye to corruption in ‘client states,’ backroom deals with neutral countries, and lobbying for large U.S. corporations, all which have a sacred right to secrecy,” Gibbs added.
WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, told reporters Sunday in Amman, Jordan, via a video feed from an undisclosed location, that his group’s releases were “intended to cause consternation and self-important anger, but not apologies.” The organization will review future disclosures in an attempt to preserve the traditional governmental backlash. WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said plans to release more documents are on hold. “Wikileaks simply can’t continue as a viable organization if every government agency has the freedom to release its own classified documents. And we simply can’t compete with them on top secret communications. It’s not fair, not fair.” The organization is appealing to the White House to rein in the Secretary of State.
In Washington, Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, called the State Department’s apology “a very dangerous precedent.”
“The catastrophic issue here is a breakdown in fear,” he said Monday, adding that many allies and foes are likely to ask, “Will the United States make any more backroom deals? Can the United States hide anything from its citizens any longer? Who would want to live in that kind of world?”