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Welcome to the “Guardian on Steroids”

November 29th, 2010

Do the actual leaks live up to their billing?

If you’ve ever wondered what a newspaper on steroids would look like then check out the Guardian this morning. The paper is claiming a big exclusive with its revelations from Wikileaks of US diplomatic messages and a large part of the paper is devoted to the coverage.

As well as the analysis there’s article after article stating why they are publishing the information as well as, on their website, an interactive map of the world so you can check their origin. There are also videos and a link where you can download all the information for yourself.

But what of the information revealed? Is it really earth-shattering and how much will it change our perceptions of US foreign policy? My view is not that much – the big story is that there have been leaks on this scale not the content.

I think that Ben Brogan in the Telegraph is correct when he writes:-

“..The Saudis would like someone to whack Iran? No kidding. Afghanistan is run by crooks? Really? Hillary Clinton would like to know a lot more about the diplomats she is negotiating against? You surprise me. The Russian government may have links to organised crime? Pass the smelling salts, Petunia. The Americans are secretly whacking al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen? What, you thought the Yemenis were doing it? Muammar Qaddafi has a full time, pneumatic Ukrainian ‘nurse’? Nice one. Diplomats are terrified of Pakistan’s nukes? Me too. And so on, ad infinite boredom. Perhaps something better will pop up, but nothing I’ve read since last night’s surprises..”

With last night’s Irish bail-out and this afternoon’s autumn statement by George Osborne it will be the economy that dominates the day’s headline.

Mike Smithson