The media backlash against Wikileaks' "War Logs" is well underway. Serious Political Media Types don't want be shown up by online amateurs. The establishment's spokesman: the World's Worst Writer Richard Cohen—the Andrea Peyser of the Washington Post.
Wikileaks' Julian Assange made a comment comparing the War Logs to the Pentagon Papers, and that was all the hook that every motherfucking media pundit in Washington needed to become dismissive of the entire 90,000+ pages of formerly classified documents. Well, they're no Pentagon Papers, after all. ("The parallels are very strong."—Daniel Ellsberg). Rather than taking them for whatever value they do have, it immediately became acceptable to pretend that they contain nothing that Serious Political Media Types didn't already know. Whereas examining the entire cache of documents would have put most opinion writers well past their deadlines for today, to simply voice a derisive opinion of Wikileaks' entire project by comparing it unfavorably to the Pentagon Papers takes mere seconds!
The news in that massive data dump provided by the dauntingly mysterious Wikileaks (who? what?) to one American and two European publications is that there is no news at all. We already knew that the war in Afghanistan was not going well. We already knew — or, in the words of the New York Times, "harbored strong suspicions" — that Pakistan's military spy service was aiding the Taliban (with friends like this . . .) and we already knew that Afghanistan's army and police would be reformed and able to stand up to the Taliban some time around when pigs fly or Washington balances the budget. No need to wait by the phone.
This Wikileaks or whatever they are should feel fortunate that Richard Cohen even deigned to devote his entire column to them today, given how unimportant and trivial their boring disclosures were. They should be grateful that the Washington Post found the space! (Especially since Wikileaks gave its documents to three of the WaPo's competitors). What was Richard Cohen saying? Oh, something about boring Afghanistan:
The Obama administration will go through the motions of hunting down the leaker and denouncing the leaks, as it should. (Government is entitled to some secrets; it needs them to protect us.) But after taking a deep breath, it may conclude that Wikileaks has done it a favor — speaking the unspeakable, and not in the allegedly forked tongue of the mainstream media but in the actual words of combat soldiers. This will make the inevitable decision easier. Barack Obama, an unemotional man, will wind down the war in Afghanistan — not just because he wants to but because he has to. This, like the news from Wikileaks, is not news at all.
Richard Cohen already knows everything that will happen in Afghanistan in the next several years. That's why he devotes his time to more important causes, like Roman Polanski's freedom.