PALIN’S FRUIT FROM THE POISONOUS TREE…. A certain former half-term governor of Alaska pretends to have credibility on foreign policy today — did you know Putin once flew over her house? — with an op-ed in USA Today on U.S. policy towards Iran.

Now, for anyone familiar with Sarah Palin’s writings, it’s pretty easy to tell when her work is ghost-written. The reader only needs to ask some basic questions: is the piece filled with exclamation points? Are there any made-up words and obvious grammatical errors? Is the piece littered with sentence fragments and awkward attempts at junior-high-level humor?

If the answer to all of these is “no,” then Palin didn’t write it.

But let’s put that aside. For that matter, let’s also overlook the likelihood that Palin almost certainly couldn’t find Iran on a map (including maps in which Iran is labeled “Iran”). Instead, let’s take a look at her lede. (via Jamil Smith)

Iran continues to defy the international community in its drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Arab leaders in the region rightly fear a nuclear-armed Iran. We suspected this before, but now we know for sure because of leaked diplomatic cables.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia “frequently exhorted the U.S. to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program,” according to these communications. Officials from Jordan said the Iranian nuclear program should be stopped by any means necessary. Officials from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt saw Iran as evil, an “existential threat” and a sponsor of terrorism. If Iran isn’t stopped from obtaining nuclear weapons, it could trigger a regional nuclear arms race in which these countries would seek their own nuclear weapons to protect themselves.

Why is this interesting? Because those “leaked diplomatic cables” that Palin’s ghost-writer referenced are, of course, the materials published through Wikileaks.

I’m not suggesting for a moment that the media steer clear of such revelations, but the former half-term governor’s reliance on the documents is, to put it mildly, unexpected.

After all, Palin has referred to the leaks as “treasonous.” She’s even equated Julian Assange and Wikileaks with al Qaeda.

So I’m afraid I’m left bemused by all of this. Palin is comfortable using secret information procured by terrorists in the hopes of making the American president look bad? She thinks the leaks are an outrageous, criminal offense, but she’s happy to exploit the leaks anyway for her partisan agenda?

Someone’s ghost-writer has some explaining to do.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.