November 28, 2010
The Guradian (UK)

US Embassy Cables Leak
Sparks Global Diplomatic Crisis

by David Leigh

The United States was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis today, with the leaking to the Guardian and other international media of more than 250,000 classified cables from its embassies, many sent as recently as February this year.

At the start of a series of daily extracts from the US embassy cables - many designated "secret" - the Guardian can disclose that Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran and that US officials have been instructed to spy on the UN leadership. These two revelations alone would be likely to reverberate around the world. But the secret dispatches which were obtained by WikiLeaks, the whistleblowers' website, also reveal Washington's evaluation of many other highly sensitive international issues.

These include a shift in relations between China and North Korea, high level concerns over Pakistan's growing instability and details of clandestine US efforts to combat al-Qaida in Yemen.

Among scores of disclosures that are likely to cause uproar, the cables detail:

-- Grave fears in Washington and London over the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme, with officials warning that as the country faces economic collapse, government employees could smuggle out enough nuclear material for terrorists to build a bomb.

-- Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government, with one cable alleging that vice president Zia Massoud was carrying $52m in cash when he was stopped during a visit to the United Arab Emirates. Massoud denies taking money out of Afghanistan.

-- How the hacker attacks which forced Google to quit China in January were orchestrated by a senior member of the Politburo who typed his own name into the global version of the search engine and found articles criticising him personally.

-- The extraordinarily close relationship between Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, which is causing intense US suspicion. Cables detail allegations of "lavish gifts", lucrative energy contracts and the use by Berlusconi of a "shadowy" Russian-speaking Italian go-between.

-- Allegations that Russia and its intelligence agencies are using mafia bosses to carry out criminal operations, with one cable reporting that the relationship is so close that the country has become a "virtual mafia state".

-- Devastating criticism of the UK's military operations in Afghanistan by US commanders, the Afghan president and local officials in Helmand. The dispatches reveal particular contempt for the failure to impose security around Sangin - the town which has claimed more British lives than any other in the country.

-- Inappropriate remarks by a member of the British royal family about a UK law enforcement agency and a foreign country.

The US has particularly intimate dealings with Britain, and some of the dispatches from the London embassy in Grosvenor Square will make uncomfortable reading in Whitehall and Westminster. They range from political criticisms of David Cameron to requests for specific intelligence about individual MPs.

The cables contain specific allegations of corruption, as well as harsh criticism by US embassy staff of their host governments, from Caribbean islands to China and Russia. The material includes a reference to Putin as an "alpha-dog", Hamid Karzai as being "driven by paranoia" while Angela Merkel allegedly "avoids risk and is rarely creative". There is also a comparison between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Adolf Hitler.

The cables names Saudi donors as the biggest financiers of terror groups, and provide an extraordinarily detailed account of an agreement between Washington and Yemen to cover up the use of US planes to bomb al-Qaida targets. One cable records that during a meeting in January with General David Petraeus, then US commander in the Middle East, Yemeni president Abdullah Saleh said: "We'll continue saying they are our bombs, not yours." . . .


Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.--The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

[As reported by Wayne Madsen, Wikileaks is most likely a Mossad/CIA front. . . .

To top it off, Julian Assange is apparently annoyed with conspiracies [sic] theories such as those that mention 9/11--Alex Thomas, "Wikileaks, Legitimate Whistleblowers or CointelPro?,", August 7, 2010]

"US embassy cables: full coverage," Guardian, November 28, 2010

"US embassy cables: browse the database," Guardian, November 28, 2010

"WikiLeaks embassy cables: download the key data and see how it breaks down," Guardian, November 28, 2010

"General Petraeus' Meeting With Yemen's President Saleh," Guardian, November 28, 2010

Ian Black and Simon Tisdall, "Saudi Arabia urges US attack on Iran to stop nuclear programme," Guardian, November 28, 2010

Simon Tisdall, "Fear of 'different world' if Iran gets nuclear weapons: Embassy cables reveal how US relentlessly cajoles and bullies governments not to give succour to Tehran," Guardian, November 28, 2010

Simon Jenkins, "US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment," Guardian, November 28, 2010

[Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the Iranian president, on Monday disputed however that the allegations would hurt ties with the country's neighbours and accused the US of orchestrating the affair. "We don't think this information was leaked. We think it was organised to be released on a regular basis and they are pursuing political goals," he said.--Daniel Dombey and George Parker, "US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment," Guardian, November 28, 2010

Barak Ravid, "WikiLeaks cables show U.S.-Israel fear of 'fundamentalist' Erdogan," Haaretz, November 29, 2010

ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: It's not a question of worry. It's, rather, a question of whether WikiLeaks are being manipulated by interested parties that want to either complicate our relationship with other governments or want to undermine some governments, because some of these items that are being emphasized and have surfaced are very pointed.--"How Will New WikiLeaks Revelations Affect Diplomatic Candor,", November 29, 2010

Joe Quinn, "Wiki-Leaks Serves Israeli Agenda Of Demonizing Iran,", November 30, 2010

[It's not that US diplomats don't understand the Middle East; it's just that they've lost all sight of injustice. Vast amounts of diplomatic literature prove that the mainstay of Washington's Middle East policy is alignment with Israel, that its principal aim is to encourage the Arabs to join the American-Israeli alliance against Iran, that the compass point of US policy over years and years is the need to tame/bully/crush/oppress/ultimately destroy the power of Iran.--Robert Fisk, "Now we know. America really doesn't care about injustice in the Middle East," Independent, November 30, 2010]

Jack Khoury, "WikiLeaks cables: Qatar okays use of airbase for U.S. attack on Iran," Haaretz, November 30, 2010

Jeff Gates, "Israeli psy-ops typically serve multiple purposes. Wikileaks is no exception,", November 30, 2010

"Zbigniew Brzezinski: Who is Really Leaking to Wikileaks?,", November 30, 2010

John Pomfret and Walter Pincus, "Experts question North Korea-Iran missile link from WikiLeaks document release," Washington Post, December 1, 2010

Jeff Gates, "When waging intelligence wars, timing is often the critical factor for game-theory war planners. The outcome of the WikiLeaks release suggests a psy-ops directed at the U.S.,", December 1, 2010

[Spiegel itself has said that the magazine is permitting the U.S. government to censor, at least in part, what it prints about the leaked material.--Paul Craig Roberts, "Who, Precisely, Is Attacking the World?,", December 1, 2010]

[This "leaked" information however is far from the whole story.--"Statement on WikiLeaks Cables on Honduras,", December 2, 2010]

[The New York Times and the Washington Post reported only that the United States believed Iran had acquired such missiles... from North Korea.

Neither newspaper reported the detailed Russian refutation of the US view on the issue or the lack of hard evidence.--"How the US media is dumping on WikiLeaks - and censoring the cable disclosures ," Guardian, December 2, 2010]

[Perhaps the most discouraging development is the accusation that is being spread via the Internet that Julian Assange is a dupe or even a covert agent used by the CIA and Mossad to spread disinformation that furthers U.S. and Israeli agendas.

. . . the U.S. government cannot openly say that it is endeavoring to create a climate of opinion that gives the U.S. a green light for eliminating the independent Iranian government and re-establishing an American puppet state. U.S. "diplomats," a.k.a. spies, understand this and fabricate the information that supports the agenda.

In my opinion, the most important of all the cables leaked is the secret directive sent by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to 33 U.S. embassies and consulates ordering U.S. diplomats to provide credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers, frequent-flyer account numbers, and biographic and biometric information including DNA information on U.N. officials from the secretary-general down, including "heads of peace operations and political field missions."--Paul Craig Roberts, "Western Civilization Has Shed Its Values,", December 6, 2010]

Sahil Kapur, "Flashback: Sec. Clinton hailed Internet freedom as tool to 'spread truth and expose injustice',", December 7, 2010

"U.S. to Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011,", December 7, 2010

Ray McGovern, "What's Behind the War on WikiLeaks?,", December 9, 2010

Martin Hickman, "WikiLeaks vs The Machine: US government tells firms to pull plug on whistleblowing website as hackers cause chaos with revenge attacks on Assange's 'enemies'," Independent, December 9, 2010

Shashank Bengali, "WikiLeaks: Cables reveal U.S. military role in Muslim world," McClatchy Newspapers, December 9, 2010

Heather Brooke and Andrew Brown, "WikiLeaks cables: Pope wanted Muslim Turkey kept out of EU," Guardian, December 10, 2010

[1. Most of the documents seem to cover material already fairly well- known to informed people. . . . 2. An overblown media story is not the only difficulty with Wikileaks. . . . 3. Now comes a report that Julian Assange cut a deal with Israeli officials to keep anything damaging to Israel out of the revelations. . . . 4. But maybe all this is just the price Assange has to pay to get wide coverage in the Western mainstream, largely dominated by Zionist editors, writers, and publishers? . . . 5. The fate of whistle-blowers and tellers of dangerous truth is rarely rock-star celebrity. . . . 6. Then again, if Assange's message is so subversive to the state, why are the state's most reliable mouthpieces plastering his message everywhere?. . . 7. But he didn't, so again I ask you, how libertarian can he really be?

. . . the conclusions Wikileaks supports are downright provincial: our government lied us into war in Iraq; Hillary Clinton's a bitch; Arab regimes are corrupt and deserve regime change; private contractors are bilking tax-payers; corporate corruption is the real conspiracy, not 9-11.--Lila Rajiva, "The Case Against Wikileaks,", December 12, 2010]

[In recent weeks, the US Justice Department has established a secret grand jury just across the river from Washington in the eastern district of the state of Virginia. The object is to indict Assange under a discredited espionage act used to arrest peace activists during the First World War, or one of the "war on terror" conspiracy statutes that have degraded American justice. Judicial experts describe the jury as a "deliberate set up," pointing out that this corner of Virginia is home to the employees and families of the Pentagon, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, and other pillars of American power.--"John Pilger's Investigation Into the War on WikiLeaks and His Interview With Julian Assange,", January 14, 2011]

[The only competing revelations that come to mind were the publication by the victorious Bolsheviks in 1917 of secret treaties, including plans to carve up the Middle East by Britain and France. A more obvious parallel was the publication of the Pentagon Papers thanks to Daniel Ellsberg in 1971, revealing systematic lying by the Johnson administration about Vietnam. In similar fashion to Assange, Ellsberg was reviled by the US government and threatened with the severest punishment.

An extraordinary aspect of the campaign against Assange is that op-ed writers feel free to pump out thousands of words about his alleged faults, with never a mention of far more serious state crimes revealed by WikiLeaks.--Patrick Cockburn, "How Julian Assange's private life helped conceal the real triumph of WikiLeaks," Independent, July 1, 2012]

[The US interest in deterring others from following the WikiLeaks path is obvious. And it would be bizarre to expect a state which over the past decade has kidnapped, tortured and illegally incarcerated its enemies, real or imagined, on a global scale - and continues to do so under President Barack Obama - to walk away from what Hillary Clinton described as an "attack on the international community".--Seumas Milne, "Don't lose sight of why the US is out to get Julian Assange," Independent, August 21, 2012]





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