Julian Assange is not the world's most popular guy at the moment--a couple American politicians have called for his execution. Then, of course, there's the tiny caucus calling for honors for Assange--perhaps a Nobel peace prize. And now that caucus has one more voice: the Financial Times' Gideon Rachman. "America should give Assange a medal," declares the columnist.
Why does Rachman think the WikiLeaks founder deserves such an honor? Well not for the same reason Russia does--Moscow is just happy to stick its finger in the eye of Uncle Sam. Rachman says Assange has significantly helped Washington; in the 250,000 secret state department cables Assange posted, not a single one of them shows the U.S.A. engaged in some insidious plot.
Of course, it is embarrassing and awkward to have all these secret diplomatic cables published. ... Nonetheless, [Assange] and WikiLeaks have done America a massive favour, by inadvertently debunking decades-old conspiracy theories about its foreign policy.
For the European and Latin American left, just as for the Chinese or Russian nationalist right, it has long been all but assumed that whatever the Americans say publicly about their foreign policy is simply a cover story for some sort of secret agenda. What that agenda is can vary, according to taste ... But whatever the Americans' secret agenda was held to be, they definitely had one--only the absurdly naive could believe otherwise.
And yet, after a fortnight of revelations, WikiLeaks has revealed that, remarkably enough, the public position taken by the US on any given issue is usually the private position as well. ... Conspiracy theorists all over the world must be deeply disappointed.