The most surprising thing about WikiLeaks’ released trove of officially secret documents is how few surprises it contains.
That’s largely because of a little-noticed, little-credited change in important parts of the U.S. military establishment over the last five years: a conscious decision to deploy the unconventional weapons of honesty and candor about the conduct of the war.
Mired in two wars that have been longer and more difficult than initially advertised, U.S. commanders have adopted an audacious but sensible strategy in describing facts on the ground: No more sugarcoating.
Why? Because one of the lessons of Vietnam was relearned in Iraq: When Americans believe they are being lied to about military operations, they stop supporting them.
Well, if this is true then the White House owes Julian Assange a debt of gratitude, doesn’t it? After all, until now we couldn’t really be sure they were telling us the truth about the war. Now, apparently, we can. That should be nothing but good news for the war effort. Maybe Obama should send Assange a thank you note.