by David Knowlton
The release of thousands of secret documents by WikiLeaks justifiably troubles the U.S. government, but it also provides the rest of us with a window into the information on which American foreign policy is based.
Though the window is broken and dirty, quite a lot can still be seen through it, and those glimpses are useful for evaluating our government and its policies.
Bolivia is one of the countries besides Cuba and Venezuela that troubles the United States in Latin America. Among the documents made public by WikiLeaks is a memorandum from the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia reporting on the buildup to that country’s Jan. 25, 2009, referendum on a new constitution. As a scholar who specializes in the study of Bolivia, I find the published memo important. It suggests how the United States filters information about a country in problematic ways that may well become the basis for making important decisions.