WikiLeaks Underscores US Obsession With Secrecy

'National Security' Cited as US Keeps Assessment of Burmese Soccer League Secret

It is clear why a number of the WikiLeaks cables were classified. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after all, would just as soon not have her criminal involvement in attempted theft of UN credit cards made public. Some, however, seem secret just for secret’s sake.

One of the documents, declared classified under Reason 1.4 (national security) is a cable from the US Embassy in Rangoon, Myanmar, and centers entirely on the operations of the Myanmar National Football League (MNL).

The document contains no information that couldn’t have been readily obtained through a google search, and suggests that the MNL operates largely the same as a fledgling soccer league in any other nation does.

Indeed, the only unique information in the document is the bizarre speculations from officials that the league is some plot by the Burmese junta to stifle dissent, and comments that show an almost laughable misunderstanding among officials of how a professional sports league works.

It may well be embarrassing that officials didn’t understand why anyone would own or sponsor such a team even as they received information showing the league’s attendence soaring and the sponsors (mostly companies selling things like beer and bottled water) seeing major increases in sales, but is it really a matter of national security for the US?

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of