Just in case you have been in a coma for the last 6 months or in solitary confinement, Wikileaks is publishing a set of diplomatic cables it describes as follows:
Wikileaks began on Sunday November 28th publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into US Government foreign activities.
The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of February this year, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the cables are classified Secret.
The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in “client states”; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them.
This document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors – and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
The online treatments I have seen by the Guardian and the New York Times are more annoying than the parade of horrors suggested by US government sources.
True, the cables show diplomats to be venal and dishonest creatures in the service of even more venal and dishonest creatures but everyone outside of an asylum and over 12 years of age knew that already.
Just as everyone knew that US foreign policy benefits friends and benefactors of elected US officials, not the general U.S. population.
Here is the test: Look over all the diplomatic cables since 1966 and find one where the result benefited you personally. Now pick one at random and identify the person or group who benefited from the activity or policy discussed in the cable.
A topic map that matched up individuals or groups who benefited from the activities or policies discussed in the cables would be a step towards being more than annoying.
Topic mapping in Google map locations for those individuals or representatives of those groups, would be more than annoying still.
Add the ability to seamlessly integrate leaked information into another intelligence system, you are edging towards the potential of topic maps.
Cablemap is a step towards the production of a Cablegate resource that is more than simply annoying.