The story was broken by The Guardian’s Declan Walsh, who discovered that none of the purported US assessments could be found on the WikiLeaks database. The Guardian, a British daily which has all the leaked WikiLeaks cables, could find no match for any of the claims made in the Pakistani press.
Now that’s hardly surprising. Whatever you may think about US State Department officials, on reading the WikiLeaked cables, you have to admit, as Roger Cohen put it in his New York Times op-ed, US diplomats write “clear, declarative English sentences”.
So if a US diplomat sends a cable calling a former Indian Army chief an “incompetent combat leader and rather a geek” with a “much far from reality” war doctrine of eliminating China and Pakistan, someone should have smelt a rat.
The stories were apparently generated by the Islamabad-based Online wire agency, that is known for its close links to the Pakistani intelligence services.
The Pakistani mainstream media’s willingness to toe the official military-intelligence line has been much noted, and is a subject worthy of discussion by other people – especially editors of international dailies such as the International Herald Tribune, whose Pakistani affiliate, Express Tribune, published the piece followed by a front-page retraction.
Read it all.
PS: By the way, Assange has been freed on bail.