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Earlier I spoke with former UN ambassador John Bolton about the implications of the most recent WikiLeaks exposed today.
I asked him about its effect on diplomacy.
National security and of diplomats simply and regularly tell lies.
Never forget what.
A great French diplomat -- ran once said.
Foreign minister of France in the napoleonic here he said a diplomat is a statesman sent out to lie for his country through there are convenient.
Misstatements that people can make.
And it it may not it may not be the most appealing thing to say.
But honestly in that case that's a good example of something that benefited the United States did you ever -- for your country.
I don't think so knowingly but I certainly am able to spin things and a good diplomat is able to spend things just like American politicians.
Hillary Clinton's anger based upon her own state department's inability to control these documents her own potential.
Embarrassment her own inability.
To say to foreign diplomats speak to us candidly.
No one here that now I think it's it's a terrible wound to the United States and but but let's be clear I think Secretary Clinton also got it wrong.
When she said this was an attack on the international community.
Releasing these documents it absolutely was not an attack on the international community it was an attack on the United States OK so.
Was an attack on the United States is is an attack on the United States for us to know that our allies Saudi Arabia is actually financing al-Qaeda is -- something we would want to know I think we know that already it's not the government of Saudi Arabia it's rich people in Saudi -- do I find it attractive absolutely not in my surprised that's going on now it's been known for years but but isn't it what we've learned things that the public should know haven't weight that the sat saudis -- justice fearful of Iran.
As the Israelis and at the same time the saudis maybe not the king but his buddies are financing al-Qaeda that we are in fact killing people who we believe are bad in Yemen.
But we're denying it lying about -- and the president of Yemen has -- he's killing his -- people question.
Don't the American people have a right to know that and if so didn't -- good service come about as a result of these documents being revealed.
Now I want to make the case for secrecy in government when it comes to the conduct of national security affairs and it possibly for deception where that's a probe you know Winston Churchill.
Said during World War II.
That in wartime truth is so important it should be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies you really believe that absolutely you you would lie in order to preserve the truth if if I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security I would do it I don't think were often.
Faced with that difficulty.
But what I lie about where the because they are not dealing in the civil society we live in under the constitution they are dealing in an anarchic environment.
Where different rules apply what you took an oath to uphold the constitution the constitution mandates certain openness and certain fairness.
You're willing to do away with that in order to achieve by -- a temporary military goal and I think his justice Jackson -- said in a famous decision the constitution's not a suicide -- but you took -- to it that that's exactly right and I think defending the United States from foreign threats.
Does require actions that in a normal business environment in the United States we would find unprofessional I don't make any apology for.
I prefer a more benign statement from Winston Churchill way and you know this.
When he once said diplomacy is not the fine art of saying yes or no it's a fine art of saying yes and.
No well that's exactly what the diplomats still at 'cause they use each other that's what they do all the time that that's one reason why I was a different kind a diplomat but I I want to stress I think there times when you need to be express and candid.
There are times when you need to obfuscate publicly and -- can you break the law.
As a diplomat as a government leader if you think there's a greater good.
No you cannot break American law without suffering the consequences period -- -- all right do you accept the doctrine of the Supreme Court in the Pentagon papers that the thief whether it's this buck private they're accusing our -- Who took the documents committed the crime but the publisher again because whatever is in the public interest can be a problem that's not the holding of the Pentagon -- -- is -- -- -- they said that it was an effort at a prior restraint.
Was not permissible under the First Amendment but they said nonetheless that the criminal laws against the publication of secrets or related inform.
And since -- don't apply papers the Supreme Court has ruled uniformly that if that if the document itself as a public interest the public and yet.
There's no crime and there's no action on the part of the publisher that doesn't protect the thief but -- protects the publisher stated differently.
Are these WikiLeaks people in your opinion.
Terrorists -- I would distinguish between the newspapers publishing the documents who may well be immune from criminal prosecution and an organization like.
Wiki -- I don't know if technically you can call WikiLeaks a terrorist organization.
But I do think they've attacked the United States -- don't think they're protected by the First Amendment.
And I think if our cyber warriors once and target practice they should use wickedly but the government does not have the liberty of deciding who was protected by the First Amendment and -- -- -- I think answer is everyone is Adolf Hitler was not protected by the First Amendment to government -- -- I'm talking American -- -- was alive I don't think Julian Assange can call himself a think -- a news organization.
Any more than he can call himself a -- OC probably get what you -- opposing publish what you -- -- -- -- defend them and now.
All right John Bolton former ambassador to the United Nations a spirited debate one always welcome here thanks for joining us some freedom -- had -- --
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