The problem with the wikileaks method of releasing the documents through mainstream media outlets, is that they are then interpreted for the public by a lazy and incompetent group of “Journalists” whose arses have grown plump on the rewards of retailing spoonfed propaganda.
So the mainstream missed the underlying stories and context, simply because they are too lazy and stupid to know the facts. The Prince Andrew story is a typical example. The Guardian reports that the US Ambassador disapprovingly notes his jolly (and stupid) remarks about corruption:
“In an astonishing display of candour in a public hotel where the brunch was taking place, all of the businessmen then chorused that nothing gets done in Kyrgyzstan if President [Kurmanbek] Bakiyev’s son Maxim does not get ‘his cut’.
“Prince Andrew took up the topic with gusto, saying that he keeps hearing Maxim’s name ‘over and over again’ whenever he discusses doing business in this country. Emboldened, one businessman said that doing business here is ‘like doing business in the Yukon’ in the 19th century, ie only those willing to participate in local corrupt practices are able to make any money … At this point the Duke of York laughed uproariously, saying that: ‘All of this sounds exactly like France.'”
But the delicious irony of this, as regular readers of this blog will know, is that the US government was, fully knowingly, the greatest source by far of corrupt funds straight into the pocket of Maksim Bakiyev. He was awarded the supply contracts for the US base in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, and he ripped off more than US $60 million from the fuel supply alone.
This is part of a deliberate US government policy of bribing and propping up Central Asia’s corrupt and dictatorial regimes in order to secure their support for US troops in neighbouring Agfhanistan. Indeed, the monies taken by Maksim Bakiyev from the Pentagon pale in comparison with the huge sums funnelled by the Pentagon to dictator’s daughter Gulnara Karimova in Uzbekistan for ground supply services to US troops.
None of which detracts from the boorish stupidity of Andrew’s remarks. It is a fascinating glimpse into the world in which Blair gave our biggest weapons company BAE immunity from prosecution for massive corruption. To the senior establishment, the idea of the rule of law is simply to be laughed down when they feel far away and unobserved, or gravely put aside in the public interest when they are on the record at home.
You can learn more about Kyrgyzstan than the entire staff of the Guardian has ever known in my brief posting here: