Being a bad guy and spending a lot of money everyday to look like a good guy can be a real drain on a wallet. But when WikiLeaks discloses what respected and influential people have to say about bad guys, it most certainly can throw a wrench into the works and make a lot of that make me look good money go to waste in the blink of an eye.
WikiLeaks has provided a bit of a phenomenon that is unique. It is difficult to charge someone with defamation of character when the statements were first never meant to be public, and second honest personal opinions and observations. They lack the intent of damage that a public statement may have. Because of that it becomes difficult to substantiate intent of harm.
In the case of Thaksin, he clearly goes straight after anyone who has honest and thus negative things to say about him. He gets his Public Relations and Image Making teams straight to work making counter statements to divert or distort the reality. But who to go after is a bit of a dilemma. WikiLeaks is more or less just the messenger, and the comments were never meant to be public.
Seeing is these private comments and opinions can quickly cost the subject politician votes or the election itself, WikiLeaks can become a powerful double edge political weapon that was never meant to be. Seeing that the WikiLeaks releases are not bias or favor anyone, to use them as a political tool invites retaliation with the same weapon.
To say WikiLeaks has harmed the fragile democracy of Thailand would be an incorrect assumption. If anything it has cut down to the bone and displayed the honest views of people cutting past all spin and propaganda. With this people can see clearly what the choices are and see the eventual consequences of their votes. That is providing if they can get past their Achilles heel of not thinking things out.
But clearly Thaksin is upset in that the views and opinions of both respected and influential people are siding against him. To attack these people is both unwise and poses danger in more than just the political arena. But knowing Thaksin, he is already trying to attack them in covert ways making it look like it was not him. That too is a risk because these people are not stupid and can quickly track things back to Thaksin, and there may be no need to worry about a legal retaliation in the courts. There are much more satisfying and direct options available.
So clearly WikiLeaks leaves Thaksin with less respect and less options, but that never stopped him before. Sooner or later he will fly into the flame and it will consume him. When that happens this chapter of Thai politics will finally close and there will be a new chapter that will consist of attempts to ride on Thaksin’s coattails and discover that they lack the ability to get them off the ground.