Now, “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”, says the Guardian.
Below are the top four posts on its Twitter page as of 11:13 am Pacific >>>
- Guardian’s Cablegate coverage is out http://www.guardian.co.uk/ #cablegate 5 minutes ago via web
- Los secretos de la diplomacia de Estados Unidos, al descubierto http://www.elpais.com/documentossecretos/ #cablegate 9 minutes ago via web
- Tomorrow’s Der Spiegel’s cover today: http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gawker/2010/11/spiegelgoodbig.jpg 25 minutes ago via web
- Please use #cablegate to discuss the pending US Embassy cables release. 28 minutes ago via web
“On Thursday a Bloomberg News story stated >>>
The Pentagon warned the U.S. Senate and House Armed Services Committees that the website WikiLeaks.org “intends to release several hundred thousand” classified U.S. State Department cables as soon as Nov. 26.
The documents “touch on an enormous range of very sensitive foreign policy issues,” Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Elizabeth King (right) wrote yesterday in an e-mail to the defense panels.
“We anticipate that the release could negatively impact U.S. foreign relations,” she wrote, telling committee staff members that “we will brief you once we have a better understanding of what documents the WikiLeaks publication contains.”
King said The New York Times, the U.K.’s Guardian and Der Spiegel of Germany “are each currently working with WikiLeaks to coordinate the release of these State Department documents.”
All three news outlets were given advance warning of earlier WikiLeaks releases of US military documents.
The Guardian report says, among a number of other things >>>
At the start of a series of daily extracts from the US embassy cables – many of which are 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’s leadership.
These two revelations alone would be likely to reverberate around the world. But the secret dispatches which were obtained by WikiLeaks, the whistlebowers’ website, also reveal Washington’s evaluation of many other highly sensitive international issues.
These include a major shift in relations between China and North Korea, Pakistan’s growing instability and details of clandestine US efforts to combat al-Qaida in Yemen.
Among scores of other 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
- Alleged links between the Russian government and organised crime.
- Devastating criticism of the UK’s military operations in Afghanistan.
- Claims of inappropriate behaviour by a member of the British royal family.
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 serious political criticisms of David Cameron to requests for specific intelligence about individual MPs.
The cache of cables contains specific allegations of corruption and against foreign leaders, as well as harsh criticism by US embassy staff of their host governments, from tiny islands in the Caribbean to China and Russia.
The material includes a reference to Vladimir Putin as an “alpha-dog”, Hamid Karzai as being “driven by paranoia” and Angela Merkel allegedly “avoids risk and is rarely creative”. There is also a comparison between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Adolf Hitler.
The cables name countries involved in financing terror groups, and describe a near “environmental disaster” last year over a rogue shipment of enriched uranium. They disclose technical details of secret US-Russian nuclear missile negotiations in Geneva, and include a profile of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who they say is accompanied everywhere by a “voluptuous blonde” Ukrainian nurse.
The cables cover secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s activities under the Obama administration, as well as thousands of files from the George Bush presidency. Clinton personally led frantic damage limitation this weekend as Washington prepared foreign governments for the revelations. She contacted leaders in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, France and Afghanistan.
US ambassadors in other capitals were instructed to brief their hosts in advance of the release of unflattering pen-portraits or nakedly frank accounts of transactions with the US which they had thought would be kept quiet. Washington now faces a difficult task in convincing contacts around the world that any future conversations will remain confidential.
The documents weren’t online at WikiLeaks at 11:24 am Pacific.
Definitely stay tuned.
p2pnet – Pentagon ‘hyperventilating’ over WikiLeaks leaks, November 25, 2010
Bloomberg News – Pentagon Alerts House, Senate Panels to New Classified WikiLeaks Release, November 24, 2010
Guardian – US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomacy crisis, November 28, 2010
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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