Most of what we have seen from the Wikileaks cables is mere confirmation of what we suspected all along, mostly that our politicians and other leaders routinely lie to us about what they are doing and, especially, why they are doing it.
In some cases that leads to dead people as have illegal or unwinnable wars such as in Iraq and Afghanistan and it is seriously rich to have people with buckets of blood on their hands lecturing Wikileaks about the possibility that people may be compromised.
There is a difference between those who cause harm inadvertently while trying to out a criminal and those who commit the crimes in the first place. Ask any cop who has accidentally killed someone who walked into the line of fire at the wrong moment, for example.
But the real secret that is causing so much panic is not the diplomatic chitchat and scandal, schadenfreude-inducing though that may be; what is causing all the sturm und drang is the meta message that is coming down the line and will get much liuder and much clearer as the commercial and banking data comes out.
That message is this, the game is rigged. Like this, for instance
TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – A WikiLeaks cable indicates that BHP Billiton tried to sabotage a proposed investment by China's Chinalco in rival Rio Tinto, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“The cables sent from Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan's chief of staff to US officials describe how BHP "played its cards with consummate skill" in lobbying the government to delay a decision on a deal between Rio Tinto and Chinalco,” the ABC report said.
In February 2009, Chinalco agreed to invest $19,5-billion in Rio Tinto and its operations to obtain an 18% stake in the world's third-biggest mining company, which at the time was battling to shift debt.
But Rio broke off the deal in June, opting instead for a big rights issue and a since-scrapped iron-ore joint venture in Australia with BHP.
The Chinalco agreement had followed an earlier failed hostile takeover bid by BHP Billiton for Rio Tinto.
All of the players involved knew what was going on, not one of them lacks the resources to know what the others are actually doing behind the scenes, the only people who must not find out that the pollies and the captains of industry are rigging the game is us.
As long as we can be convinced that we have to play the capitalist (or communist or theocratic) game and that there are rules which, if followed, can lead to "success" we will keep doing our best and blaming ourselves for any failures.
But once we see clearly that the whole game is rigged by those who have been playing longest, we will first withdraw our participation and, when they try to enforce play, out will come the torches and pitchforks.
THAT is what is getting so many panties in a bunch in the capitals of the world.