The impact of Wikileaks can not be underestimated, and yet there are some (so far) notable exceptions to the governments mentioned. So far one of the strangest missing ingredients is the lack of cables on Israel. Ibn Warraq reports on the leaks to date.
While the Israelis seem absent from Wikileaks cables, the French are not so lucky. One cable describes reaction to the French President during his recent visit to Morocco:
"While Sarkozy was generally well received, there was much gossip in Moroccan salons about a "too relaxed" President slouching comfortably in his chair as he and the King presided over an October 22 signing ceremony at the Royal Palace in Marrakech. In one image, Sarkozy was seen crossing his legs and pointing the sole of his shoe at the King - a taboo gesture in the Islamic world. Sarkozy was accompanied throughout the visit, including at a banquet with the royal family by his Justice Minister (of Moroccan heritage) Rachida Dati"
Morocco is mentioned in several cables. One, written by Former US Ambassador to Morocco Thomas T. Riley, it was classified “SECRET”, and was sent August 4th 2008, titled : " MOROCCO'S MILITARY: ADEQUATE, MODERNIZING, BUT FACING BIG CHALLENGES". "The Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) are modernizing but remain weighed down by long-standing problems. King Mohammed VI, who in 1999 inherited a military in need of professionalization, has implemented some needed reforms, but much remains to be done. Civilian control, if ascribed to the person of the King, is complete, but there is no real Defense Ministry. Outside the FAR, there is only a small administration."
Royal involvement in business is a hot topic in Morocco but public discussion of it is sensitive. So there were understandable shock waves when the US embassy in Rabat reported to Washington in a number of cables that "corruption is prevalent at all levels of Moroccan society". Yet, this is hardly fresh news and King Mohammed VI has set himself the task of stamping out corruption at all levels. As a report in The Guardian puts it: Moroccan King Mohammed VI has worked to weed out corruption in the royal family but through their interests they retain a powerful grip on big business in the country,
On the street, Moroccans are generally supportive of Wikileaks because of the insight the cables have given into the behind the scenes attitude of American diplomats. Most revelations caused little surprise to Moroccans here in Rabat, especially the WikiLeaks cables that portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists and in another cable that claims al-Jazeera changed coverage to suit Qatari foreign policy.
For their part, the Americans are in damage control mode and not reacted in the most sensible way. Calls for attacks on Wikileaks and its founders are beginning to backfire. Foaming at the mouth, calling for the killing of Mr Assange and choking his bank account have proved internationally unpopular. Shooting the messenger is not the best response. Insteasd, the Americans should look to their own cyber security. Their blustering attacks have turned Wikileaks and its founder Mr Assange into a modern folk hero. Thankfully, the public response from Morocco has been dignified silence.