U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder cuts a less than convincing figure as he rails against alleged Wiki-leaker Army Pvt. Bradley Manning.
Manning has been in custody for months after allegedly admitting he had released Iraqi war documents to WikiLeaks, the Australian-owned website that specializes in revealing otherwise confidential or secret information without authorization.
Manning is thus a prime suspect in the new leak -- the one that has all the world's diplomats yammering to the world's nearest camera about the terrible damage that has been done to diplomacy.
Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and many others are piling on. For that matter, we are too.
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If an American citizen is found guilty of leaking secrets to our enemies, it is an infuriating matter and should result in a lengthy prison sentence.
And in this world, release of documents to the web is a direct link to every enemy we have and some we don't know of.
But in this case, it appears that the original scoundrels, whom Holder fails to mention, are the members of the diplomatic corps and at the Pentagon who talked and wrote so carelessly (and smugly and contemptuously) of foreign leaders and affairs.
Whatever happened to the language of diplomacy?
Will our once-taciturn ambassadors and their staffs take up tweeting next?
Not long ago, sensitive documents were committed to the hands of diplomatic couriers who carried them from Washington, D.C., across the world and back again.
Even secret coded cables weren't always trusted because codes can be broken.
Yet government now relies so heavily on e-mail and its higher echelons of electronic communications that hundreds of thousands of documents can be dropped abruptly onto public websites for all to see.
Movies about kids hacking into Department of Defense computers seem so persuasive because, in fact, kids have done just that.
As far back as 1998, the Pentagon admitted that its systems were being attacked 250,000 times a year, and that 64 percent of those hackers had some degree of success.
Another development that contributed to this current debacle is the decision in the last administration, and kept by this one, to unify all the nation's intelligence-gathering operations into "cooperating" entities.
Former competitors are expected to handle unfamiliar material with the same care as they give their own hard-won data.
It doesn't seem to be working out that way.
Coordinating the intelligence activities is, of course, an excellent idea in theory, but the urgent and massive effort to bring a dozen agencies together in the wake of 9/11 naturally led to some slip-ups and failures.
In personnel and in equipment.
And then consider the masses of documents marked from sensitive to top secret all the way up to classifications that are themselves secret.
Consider how Hanford workers in the not so long ago needed security clearances just to go to work and could lose those clearances for a traffic infraction.
Do you think those people were writing flip remarks about their projects or mocking memos about the people they dealt with?
Not if they valued their jobs.
Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, told The Associated Press that many people could be held accountable if they were found to have ignored security protocols or somehow enabled the downloading without authorization.
Attorney General Holder does have his eyes on at least one person besides the young soldier.
The Department of Justice is investigating whether it can press charges against Australian citizen and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, possibly under the Espionage Act.
Assange has tried to move from Australia to Sweden, but Swedish officials denied him residency because of sex offenses he is accused of committing.
Some news organizations say he might be headed for Ecuador, but officials there dismissed an offer of residency that a lower level official had made earlier.
He took time out from his house-hunting Tuesday to say that if Secretary of State Clinton ordered diplomats to gather more than the usual data on the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, she should resign.
We like Clinton's take on all this better than Assange's.
She says other diplomats have told her not to worry about the leaks, "You should see what we say about you," she says they told her.
Even so, this is a mess and unless the American government puts an end to the mindlessness, carelessness and over-reliance on material that can be compromised by teenagers, young soldiers or foreign businessmen, things can get much, much worse.