Wikileaks and Tunisia

PBS’ Frontline is broadcasting a really excellent show about Wikileaks and Bradley Manning.  HOWEVER…they just strongly implied that a batch of a dozen State Department cables about corruption in Tunisia that Wikileaks released helped spark the uprisings in Tunisia and hence the whole Arab Spring movement.

Is there any real evidence for this?  Surely the people of Tunisia knew that their government was corrupt.  I can’t imagine that they needed Wikileaks to tell them that the State Department thought there was corruption at work before they got it.

To me this sounds like another case of people making the United States out to be more powerful than it is and denying agency to people elsewhere in the world.

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Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 1:57 AM  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sounds like you’ve got the right idea. The Tunisians I know certainly discussed the cables, because they were full of titillating gossip about the country’s elite. But everyone knew how endemic corruption was in the country and given the 30% internet penetration in Tunisia, it’s rather hard to believe they mattered on the ground.

    It’s a similar phenomenon to when people claim facebook or twitter were responsible.

  2. Preach it!

    • Your comment made me laugh. 🙂


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