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April 02, 2012

Assange for VP?
Posted by Jacob Stokes

AssangeThe Romney campaign continues to try to make political hay out of Obama’s “hot mic” comment to Russian president Medvedev. In the course of doing so, Romney’s campaign has released this call to President Obama to release state secrets:

The Romney campaign pushed back Friday with their own request in an e-mail to National Journal: that Obama release the transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders. 

“The Obama campaign is playing politics, just as he’s doing in his conduct of foreign policy," Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul wrote. "Obama should release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders so the American people can be satisfied that he’s not promising to sell out the country’s interests after the election is over.”

Note to Romney HQ: This basically already happened via the series of intel dumps released by Wikileaks and Julian Assange, and it was hugely harmful to American foreign policy. Effective diplomacy relies to a large degree on secrecy, at least until deals are made. Without secrecy, offering a compromise becomes impossible for either side, because any country’s public would see it as a unilateral concession. That includes the Russians.

At the time, Romney said Assange had committed, “Treason. That's really committing a crime against his nation.” Rep. Peter King wanted Wikileaks to be labled a terrorist organization.

Now, I’m not saying I agree with those assertions. But what’s the practical difference between what Romney’s campaign has called on Obama to do and what Wikileaks did, which was extremely harmful? Other than the fact that if President Obama released the documents, he could likely do so legally, I’d say the difference is not much. The harm to U.S. national security would be similar. Romney’s team should re-examine who’s putting politics first.

Photo: Flickr

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