Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tunisia: WikiLeaks had a part in Ben Ali’s downfall

Obama welcomes Tunisians’ courage and dignity - but what about the WikiLeaks contribution?

By Nigel Horne LAST UPDATED 11:24 AM, JANUARY 15, 2011

Have we just witnessed the first WikiLeaks-inspired revolution? It is clear that leaked cables from the US Ambassador in Tunis, describing the opulent lifestyle of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali's family and the public loathing for his wife, Leila Trabelsi, played an important role in firing up the nation's disaffected youth.

Spreading the word via Twitter and Facebook, young Tunisians felt encouraged in their protests by the fact that the corruption inside the presidential palace at Carthage, and throughout Ben Ali's extended family, was now common knowledge.

As the New York Times reported from Tunis yesterday, the WikiLeaks cables added "grist" to the protesters' complaints.

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