Joe Lauria, the Wall Street Journal's United Nations correspondent, says most of his fellow UN correspondents are delighted with the revelations from secret U.S. documents released by Wikileaks and its partners from its recent stash of 250,000
secret papers. Speaking on the weekly Washington Update public affairs show that I co-host with Scott Draughon, Lauria, left, said the leaks tend to confirm U.S. intelligence-gathering of a kind that are suspected of all major nations, but are hard to prove. Especially interesting, he said, was disclosure that the State Department has sought DNA and other personal information about diplomats from many nations for unknown purposes.
Another guest on the show was Craig Corrie, the father of Mideast peace proponent Rachel Corrie, right, an Evergreen State College student who was killed at age 23 in Palestine on March 16, 2003 trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a Palestinian family.
Lauria is an author, foreign affairs correspondent and investigative reporter who is part of the Sunday Times of London's investigative unit. A journalist for more than 20 years, he covers the UN also for the Johannesburg Star and was UN correspondent for the Boston Globe. With former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Mike Gravel, he is co-author of A Political Odyssey, a look at America’s defense industry and false threats.
Separately, former Journal associate editor Paul Craig Roberts has written in OpEd News that the "most important of all the cables leaked is the secret directive sent by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to 33 US embassies and consulates ordering US diplomats to provide credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers, frequent-flyer account numbers and biographic and biometric information including DNA information on UN officials from the Secretary General down, including "heads of peace operations and political field missions." Roberts continued:
The directive has been characterized as the spy directive, but this is an unusual kind of spying. Usually, spying focuses on what other governments think, how they are likely to vote on US initiatives, who can be bribed, and on sexual affairs that could be used to blackmail acquiescence to US agendas. In contrast, the information requested in the secret directive is the kind of information that would be used to steal a person's identity. (Emphasis in original.)
Craig Corrie told our listeners that U.S. diplomats have failed to achieve the full inquiry they promised in 2003 after Israel’s military killed his daughter with a military Catapillar bulldozer. This occurred during a peaceful sit-in to protect the home of a pharmacist, accountant, their wives, and five young children. Corrie said the civil suit they filed this year in Israel against the nation’s military seeks to achieve the full investigation that U.S. officials promised in 2003. Hearings resume Dec. 22 in Israel. Corrie said U.S. representatives have observed the civil trial but haven’t formally investigated the death. By contrast, he said UK inquests determined that Israelis deliberately killed a UK journalist and a UK student photographer shortly after Corrie in the same two-mile patch near Egypt’s border. Israel’s inquest into Corrie’s killing reported that the bulldozer operator didn’t see her and that she was killed by debris – findings that the family disputes.
Corrie and his wife Cindy, at left, lead the Rachel Corrie Foundation, which was established to continue the kind of peace and justice advocacy work that she began as a student and hoped to accomplish. Among other activities, her parents spoke Dec. 8 to the McClendon Group at the National Press Club.
The noon (ET) show is accessible worldwide by archive on the My Technology Lawyer (MTL) radio network here that was founded by Draughon, the show's producer and my co-host for more than four years. I began the show by describing the Justice Integrity Project’s latest report, “The Washington Post’s Hidden Agenda?” on massive conflicts of interest in the paper’s government news coverage because of the activities of Kaplan, the paper’s major source of revenue. Also, I reiterated my prediction last month that President Obama would face a strong primary because of disappointment from his base ─ and that former supporters and opponents alike are preparing new revelations might force his withdrawal entirely, much like President Johnson's decision in 1968 not to stand for re-election.