The reactions to the massive Wikileaks document dump will be fascinating to view during the next few days. So far, the administration’s response is to condemn the leaks while also noting that most of the revealed documents stem from the Bush era. Specifically, the White House advised reporters:
“The period of time covered in these documents (January 2004-December 2009) is before the President announced his new strategy. Some of the disconcerting things reported are exactly why the President ordered a three month policy review and a change in strategy.”
One person to watch these next few days is John Kerry, the influential chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry was initially supportive of the counter-insurgency strategy Obama laid out in his West Point speech nearly one year ago. But in recent weeks, Kerry has been cautiously expressing some doubts.
Could the Wikileak document dump be a tipping point for the Massachusetts senator? Consider his statement released hours after the documents went public:
“However illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious questions about the reality of America’s policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those policies are at a critical stage and these documents may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent.”
Keep in mind that 1) Kerry put his name on a $5 billion aid package for Pakistan last year and 2) these documents seem to show that the Pakistani intelligence and military liaisons with the Taliban were rather extensive. It seems to me that Kerry might be forced to act on these revelations. Can we expect a wikileaks doc dump inspired hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sometime soon? Stay tuned.