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WikiLeaks Gives Bashar al-Assad A Gift

WikiLeaks Gives Bashar al-Assad A Gift

WikiLeaks just released classified U.S. diplomatic cables indicating that since the second term of George Bush and continuing at least into part of the Obama term, the U.S. has provided funding to opposition groups in Syria. 

As reported by The Washington Post:

The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.

The London-based satellite channel, Barada TV, began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow the country’s autocratic leader, Bashar al-Assad. Human rights groups say scores of people have been killed by Assad’s security forces since the demonstrations began March 18; Syria has blamed the violence on “armed gangs.”

Barada TV is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based network of Syrian exiles. Classified U.S. diplomatic cables show that the State Department has funneled as much as $6 million to the group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities inside Syria. The channel is named after the Barada River, which courses through the heart of Damascus, the Syrian capital.

The U.S. money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005. The financial backing has continued under President Obama, even as his administration sought to rebuild relations with Assad. In January, the White House posted an ambassador to Damascus for the first time in six years.

Why release these cables at this moment, when Bashar al-Assad is trying to suppress protests by blaiming foreign conspirators

Was it just coincidence that the cables were released as violence mounted in Syria?  Either this was a cynical ploy by WikiLeaks to take advantage of the violence in Syria to generate publicity, or WikiLeaks recklessly disregarded the dangers such a release presents to the protesters.

The support given to opposition groups in years past may have no connection to the people in the streets, but the WikiLeaks disclosure surely will be used by al-Assad as an excuse for even more brutal repression.

WikiLeaks has given al-Assad a major gift, and the people of Syria will pay the price.

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Comments

Feel free to disagree with me but in my opinion, this is another 'leak' that is of absolutely no surprise to anyone with any kind of geopolitical knowledge.

WikiLeaks has given al-Assad a major gift, and the people of Syria will pay the price.

Huh. You know, funny thing. It seems to me as if it was the American government who gave them this "gift." If we hadn't gone in and interfered in Syria, there wouldn't have been an issue here, would there?

Are you actually saying that the worst thing that happened here wasn't that the government was committing a crime, but that it was revealed that the government was committing a crime?

I thought you worked for a law school.

I wonder if they'd tell us the same about the democrats. Nah, I doubt it.

"Are you actually saying that the worst thing that happened here wasn't that the government was committing a crime, but that it was revealed that the government was committing a crime?"

What crime?

What crime?
I believe the Syrians would call it "fomenting revolution."

Are you being intentionally disengenuous, or do you actually have the mental capacity of sea clam? Ask yourself if the American government would react if the same thing were happening here. (And if it makes you feel better, ask how the Bush government would react.)

Well, since fomenting revolution isn't against the law in the US, and is part of defending the country by defeating our enemies, I don't care what a nameless Copperhead thinks about it.

Nameless Cynic equates the United States with the fascist dictatorship of Syria. Clearly he has the moral intelligence of a mollusk.

* yawn *

Oh, good. The children are chiming in. Well, if I thought he was going to be intellectually honest here, I'd let Jacobson slap you down over this. But since he's proven that his agenda trumps his ability at rational thought, let me toss out a few terms that you should feel free to look up.

– Seditious conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 2384)
– The Smith Act of 1940 (18 U.S.C. § 2385)
– The remaining portions of the Espionage Act of 1917 (18 USC § 792 et seq)
Gitlow v. New York, (1925), 268 U.S. 652

Are you being intentionally disingenuous

You're accusing the government of the United States of committing a crime by funding a television station which is trying to undermine a murderous dictatorship.

None of the laws you list prevent the United States from financing alternatives to the state controlled media of hostile authoritarian nations. None of them forbid the United States from "fomenting revolution" in Syria. I'm sure Syrian law does. The United States is not bound by Syrian law.

As to how George W Bush would react if a foreign nation funded a tv channel dedicated to undermining his Presidency, he gave the channel an interview.

"Ask yourself if the American government would react if the same thing were happening here."

It never has. Gaddafi (for example) has pumped millions into various groups here in the US, and I've yet to see the recipients face any consequences. Not even criticism from the government. Heck, when a Kennedy brokered "free heating oil" from Chavez, the only reaction was mild criticism from the right.

All those laws you named — when were they last applied? And what would you leftists do if they had been applied anytime in the last, say, 50 years?

Oh, and you should get back to explaining how the US government supporting dissent against a hostile, terror-sponsoring government, violates US law.

Or just admit you have nothing but the typical sippy-cup-banging rage of a leftist.

IMO, Al Jazeera in the US is a much bigger threat to cause serious harm to the US than Barada TV is to Syria.

"Not only that, her staffers, as well as those of the CIA and the Obama White House, were attending the Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner as Al-Jazeera’s guests.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53339.html#ixzz1Jyf2maqz

The entire Obama administration has been taken over by them

Gee, Robbie, you don't pay attention much, do you?

First of all, I think the last people charged with "seditious conspiracy" were the Hutaree militia, That wasn't even a year ago.

And second, I don't want to make you look stupid here (I mean, you're doing fine by yourself), but I believe it was George Bush, back in 2006, who who rescinded Libya's status as a "state sponsor of terrorism."

So things like "Gaddafi (for example) has pumped millions into various groups here in the US" and "the US government supporting dissent against a hostile, terror-sponsoring government" – do you have any idea what you're talking about?

As for the Hutaree — I stand corrected, but am left wondering how well that case is going, considering its complete disappearance from the news.

Oh, and another case we both forgot — that guy charged with "terrorism" for minting coins. Apparently Disney can print "Disney Dollars" all day long, but a guy makes silver trinkets the wrong shape and HE'S trying to bring down the government.

As for Bush's removal of the terror-sponsor status from Libya — so what? Wasn't talking about Libya when I was talking about a terror-sponsoring state.

Finally, for your last paragraph — yes, I do know. Gaddafi gave millions to various anti-American groups in the US, like the "Nation of Islam". No one was ever charged with a crime for receiving that money. Nor for receiving money from Chavez, nor for receiving money from the Soviet Union when it was a going concern.

As for the US supporting dissent against a hostile, terror-sponsoring government, THE SUBJECT OF THE POST IS SYRIA. Syria is a hostile (as in 'sends people to attack US personnel and interests'), terror-supporting government (as in 'pays people to murder non-combatants in order to achieve political ends').

Hutaree Militia? Looks like the typical leftist mess.

"FirstAmendment

Here’s the question the MSM needs to ask, but won’t: Was this flamboyant raid primarily driven by political rather than law enforcement motives?

Was the arrest of the Hutaree militia Attorney General Eric Holder’s effort to manufacture an imminent right-wing extremist threat for political purposes?"

http://bigjournalism.com/acary/2010/05/04/in-the-wake-of-the-times-square-bomber-the-hutaree-militia-case-starts-to-unravel-on-first-amendment-grounds/

"THE SUBJECT OF THE POST IS SYRIA"

"I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq – that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11."

So spoke Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

"http://www.canadafreepress.com/2005/swirsky120305.htm

The Democrat head of the Senate Intel Committee!
No American secrets are safe when a Democrat knows them.

Robbie:

I stand corrected, but am left wondering how well that case is going, considering its complete disappearance from the news.

Well, since it doesn't go to trial until September, there hasn't been much news to break on it, has there?

Oh, and another case we both forgot — that guy charged with "terrorism" for minting coins.

Nope. Prosecutor called it "a unique form of domestic terrorism," but von NotHaus was convicted of various charges related to the making, selling and distributing of coins and conspiracy to defraud, not terrorism (I can give you the whole list of charges, but it takes a paragraph by itself).

Case seems a little silly on the surface, but comparing it to "Disney dollars" is sillier. Disney doesn't mint their own money in competition with the US dollar.

Wasn't talking about Libya when I was talking about a terror-sponsoring state.

Yup. Sorry. I conflated two of your statements and shouldn't have.

No one was ever charged with a crime for receiving that money. Nor for receiving money from Chavez, nor for receiving money from the Soviet Union when it was a going concern.

That's true. And that crime would be…?

Syria is a hostile (as in 'sends people to attack US personnel and interests'), terror-supporting government (as in 'pays people to murder non-combatants in order to achieve political ends').

Possibly. And given the number of circumstantial links, possibly even likely. But you do know the difference between "proof" and "theory," right?

Here's a quick recap:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/middle_east/syria/terrorism.html

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