Big Business and national governments wanted to conceal the terms of the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) while keeping consumers, unions, environmentalists and the vast majority of businesses in the dark. Thanks to Wikileaks, they failed. The draft agreement Wikileaks released on June 19 is fresh, written in May. It is a model of secret law, blatant in its disregard for transparency, democratic process and history. Its opening page says the terms are to remain secret for five years after negotiations formally end or the proposed new rules take effect. Talks to refine that agreement were to resume Monday in Geneva.
A U.S. diplomatic cable released this year by Wikileaks shows a senior Hindu nationalist politician admitting that virtually all economic growth of recent years has been concentrated in the four southern states, two western states (Gujarat and Maharashtra) and "within 100km of Delhi." In another cable about Pranab Mukherjee, the finance minister being groomed to be India s next PM, Hillary Clinton is revealingly blunt: "To which industrial or business groups is Mukherjee beholden?"
Western suspicion of Vladimir Putin's Russia runs deep. After two terms as president followed by one term in the notionally weaker post of prime minister, he had taken Russia to the condition where "democracy has disappeared", the recently retired US defence secretary Robert Gates said. The government was "an oligarchy run by the security services", he said, according to US official cables published by WikiLeaks.
U.S. President Barack Obama's push for democratic reforms in Egypt has faced resistance from its longtime leader, in part because President Hosni Mubarak believes Washington's past pressure for change has caused chaos in the Middle East, leaked U.S. diplomatic cables show.
In April 2009, the US Embassy in Algiers reviews the political and social situation after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika won a third term with more than 90% of the vote in "a carefully choreographed and heavily controlled election".
I recently put the proposition, to a senior frontbencher in Federal Parliament, that the WikiLeaks horse had bolted, and that shutting down Julian Assange could not reverse a fundamental shift in the balance of power towards the citizens and away from the institutions that govern them.