Whatever one might think about an alleged rapist releasing confidential diplomatic messages, many of the messages are interesting, altho not terribly surprising.
For example, according to one cable, while serving as Pres. Alvaro Uribe's defense minister, current Colombian Pres. Juan Manuel Santos wanted to push harder in investigating the false positives scandal, in which Colombian military units killed innocent youths and then presented them as guerrilla fighters in order to receive bonuses. Good for Santos, who perhaps was unfairly tarred by the scandal.
Cables also portray the U.S. government as concerned about the extrajudicial killings (which have created an obstacle against U.S. aid and a pending free trade agreement.)
|Juan Manuel Santos wanted to crack down on these killings.|
So confident were Colombian officials in the U.S. that then-Vice President Francisco Santos even asked for the U.S.'s help in investigating internal Colombian government scandals. The U.S. ambassador declined.
|Hugging a Hitler?|
Not surprisingly, then, Colombian officials were angry about the U.S.'s silence on Venezuelan issues. But when the U.S. government needs to decide between allies and oil, the outcome's not difficult to predict.
My comment: Uribe's sometimes extremism is a bit scary. So it's perhaps impressive and surprising that he stayed generally within the Constitution's framework and even stepped down when the high court nixed a second reelection. Chavez, in contrast, is turning into a dictator.
In contrast, during his final months in office, Uribe wanted to pursue a dialogue with the FARC guerrillas. Perhaps Uribe dreamed of changing his legacy from warrior to peacemaker.
None of the cables revealed so far are earth-shaking - or even particularly scandalous. And the U.S. doesn't come out too badly off. Yes, the U.S. government wanted to weaken Hugo Chavez - but no cable published so far has revealed the Americans trying to do so by underhanded or murderous means, as Chavez himself has so often charged. And the U.S. seems generally to have pushed for human rights here.
So far, about 20 Colombia cables have been released and, reportedly, thousands more are on their way.
|Adrian Lamo. Colombia's most|
famous hacker - who's not
Adrian Lamo, the noted computer hacker who turned in Bradley Manning, the soldier who allegedly leaked the cables to Wikileaks, has a Colombian father and briefly lived here as a child.
Perhaps Colombian officials should hire him to hack Hugo Chavez.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours.