National media totally excited that Canada might get mentioned on Wikileaks
Like all good Canadians, we can’t help but notice when Canada is mentioned in international media, whether it’s The Daily Show, The West Wing or The Economist. So the news that Canada has finally made it into a Wikileaks document dump has us positively transfixed, of course—and the same can be said for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and CBC. According to the Globe, this dump is expected to be really juicy:
“These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. “They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world.”
U.S. diplomatic outposts around the world have begun notifying other governments that WikiLeaks, a group that bills itself as a website devoted to reforming governments worldwide by exposing their secrets, may release these documents in the next few days.
Many of the cables are believed to date from the start of U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, meaning that the White House will not be able to distance itself from any disclosures.
Specifically, the documents coming out are rumoured to involve the kind of pressure that Washington was putting on allies to take their Guantanamo Bay detainees back and spare Obama the embarrassment. Canada has been unique as a western ally of the U.S. that has refused to take back its Gitmo resident, Omar Khadr. What kind of pressure was D.C. putting on Ottawa to change its mind? Some things that might have worked: going to bat for Canada on that whole Security Council thing, or maybe threatening to let the Democrats go after the tar sands in Alberta. That, at least, would hit the government where it lives.
If they were really desperate, the White House could have threatened to go all “India” on Research in Motion, but even Stephen Harper would have seen that as an empty threat. Obama is the most powerful crackberry addict in the world, after all.
• U.S. warns Ottawa about fallout from pending WikiLeaks release [Globe and Mail]
• U.S. to Ottawa: WikiLeaks release may damage relations [Toronto Star]
• U.S. warns Ottawa of WikiLeak release [CBC News]