The Irish Independent doesn't publish on a Sunday, so Day Six of the Irish Cables series was Monday 6th of June. (See roundups of Days Five, Four, Three, Two and One.) There were markedly fewer stories in the Monday edition of the Independent, as, presumably, the newspaper began to wind down its coverage of the Wikileaks cables.
The predominant focus of Monday's releases was the interest that the US embassy took in the Irish Muslim community: the monitoring conducted on Irish Muslims, the information sent back to Washington concerning Irish Muslims, and the close scrutiny of Ireland's efforts to "integrate" Irish Muslims into Irish society. Some of the information on this topic was already to be found in a cable released in April, 06DUBLIN798, but the Independent has had the benefit of an indeterminate number of other cables from the Dublin embassy to work from.
The limitations of the Independent's approach to the cables are most painfully evident when dealing with material like this. It is necessary, when reading the original cables, to remain aware that facts come to us through them only at second hand. On topics of cultural analysis of a particular minority, especially in circumstances as fraught as those obtaining since 9/11, one can expect to have to "read against the grain." The institutional adoption of the official narratives of the "Global War on Terror" can be expected to present interpretive difficulties: reinforcing biases, infecting observations of fact and funding seductive - but misleading - patterns of inference.
Saturday, 4th June was Day Five of the Irish Cablegate reports, published by the Irish Independent. (See roundups of Days Four, Three, Two and One.) Saturday's reports did not have novel focuses, but instead chose to look on distinct aspects of topics that had previously been explored in the Independent.
The IRA subject was revisited, but this time in an international context, and with particular interest in extradition and due process rights, the UK policy of internment for IRA terror suspects, the international influence of the organization, its illicit business ties, and its context post 9/11. The subject of Shannon was also revisited, in an article on how Obama's visit reversed a new government policy to apply the Hague Conventions in Shannon airport. For a fuller treatment of the same topic, please consult WL Central's May piece on the subject.
Friday 3rd June was Day 4 of the Irish Independent's Irish Wikileaks releases. (See roundups of Days Three, Two and One.) After three days of drive-by reportage on the Irish cables, during which - with exceptions - the documents were mined for unexceptional confidential opinions of Irish policians, The Independent finally broached the story for which Irish followers of Wikileaks news were waiting.
The paper was scooped by the national broadcaster, RTE, which ran on Thursday night a half-hour segment (starts at 14:50) during its investigatory feature, Prime Time, on the Wikileaks Shannon Airport cables (early cables for which were reported on by the Guardian, and analysed by WL Central here). The morning of Thursday, some of the cables dealt with by both outlets had been released on the Wikileaks website, and so it was possible to read them already.
Authored by Harry Browne. This article was first published on CounterPunch on June 3.
Ireland’s foreign-affairs minister assured the US ambassador in Dublin in 2006 that the Irish government was prepared to change the law that had allowed the acquittal of five anti-war activists for damaging a US Navy plane.
The revelation that a senior Irish official discussed possible amendments to domestic criminal law with the US ambassador is contained in a Wikileaks cable (see below) that has not been published or reported upon elsewhere, but which has been seen by Counterpunch.
At the time of the acquittal of the so-called Shannon Five, or Pitstop Ploughshares, in July 2006, the US embassy made a public statement expressing its disquiet about the verdict. The then foreign minister, Dermot Ahern, responded with what was seen as a firm public statement of his own, underlining the independence of the judicial system and stating that its verdicts were not a matter for discussion by government officials or between governments.
The cable reveals, however, that a few months later Ahern privately told US officials that the “the Irish Government Cabinet” had been greatly disturbed by the unanimous jury verdict. (The delay between the verdict and this meeting may have been caused by a change-over in US ambassadors.) Ahern told the Americans that the Cabinet had asked the justice minister, Michael McDowell, to examine how the Criminal Damage Act might be amended to close the “legal loophole” that allowed the Shannon Five to be acquitted, so that such a verdict could not happen again. A previously released cable from the same period quotes a senior foreign-affairs bureaucrat telling the Americans the verdict was “bizarre”.
Thursday 03 June was Day Three of the Irish Independent's Cablegate coverage. The day's main focus was the Irish financial crisis. The Independent also explored what is revealed about corporate Ireland in the cables. While there is a distinct sense that various of the stories are only news insofar as they reveal American attitudes to familiar Irish events, some new information was introduced on some of the key moments of recent Irish history.
The Independent has chosen to continue summarizing the cables without citation or reproduction of the original material, such that the criticisms from the overviews on Day Two and Day One apply equally here.
The following are the articles the Independent made available on its website.
Revealed: total chaos in coalition as economy collapsed
BY SHANE DORAN AND BRENDAN KEENAN
THE scale of the economic collapse left Brian Cowen’s cabinet totally paralysed as the Government found it "almost impossible" to come up with a rescue plan, according to leaked US Embassy cables.
Top diplomat bemused by 'turned the corner' speech
BY SHANE PHELAN, INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT
AMERICA'S top diplomat in Ireland was left bemused by Brian Lenihan's infamous "we have turned a corner" budget speech, a leaked US embassy cable reveals.
This post is a roundup of reports on the Irish Cables by the Irish Independent. For Day One, see here.
In a commendable move, Day Two of the Ireland Cables has for the most part been made available on the Irish Independent's website. This marks a turnaround on yesterday's coverage, which was only available in the print edition, limiting the audience to those in Ireland.
The coverage for the day was dominated by a frontpage story announcing that "The Ireland Cables reveal how the Americans view our political elite." Inside, on pages 26-27 and 30-31, we were given a selection of pull-out quotes from the cables, where each of the documents was whittled down to a few words describing some or other Irish politician. No context was given. Two other stories ran over what the cables had to say about Bertie Aherne (ex-Fianna Fail Taoiseach) and Brian Cowen (his successor as Fianna Fail's head and Taoiseach until February this year).
After months during which the Irish media appeared to display little interest in the content of the State Department cables held by Wikileaks, The Irish Independent has finally initiated publication as part of a Wikileaks partnership. This is the first and hitherto only Wikileaks partnership in the Irish media. Today was Day One, and the coverage is projected to run for at least a week, although the Independent may choose to use its access to the cables for longer than this. Tomorrow's cables are to be on "What the US really thinks of [Irish] politicians." Investigative correspondent for the Independent, Shane Phelan, announced tonight on Vincent Browne Tonight that Thursday's reports will be on what the cables reveal about Ireland's banking crisis and recent economic troubles.
In the wake of Obama's visit, the Irish government has abandoned its plans to discontinue U.S military stopovers in Shannon airport.
The accepted narrative about President Obama's "historic" visit to Ireland on Monday was that it was entirely symbolic, and more to do with seeking the Irish American vote in Obama's reelection bid than with any substantive diplomatic goals. Among other ceremonial activities, the president and the first lady made a flying visit to the village of his Irish ancestors in County Offaly, and were photographed drinking Guinness in a local pub.
The visit was universally judged a success by an ecstatic Irish broadcast media, which ran all day an assortment of panegyrics from the national punditry, while scrutinizing with interest every frame of fresh footage. The president was greeted by a deferent Irish political elite, no doubt desparate to leverage the event to avert some of Ireland's fraught economic prospects.
In a speech to well over 100,000 assembled Irish people in College Green, Dublin, Obama spoke rousingly - and with an eloquence to which, in a political speaker, Irish ears are unaccustomed - of the ties of blood and destiny between Ireland and America, of hope, and of dreams, and of other vague exotica.
Please note: Reportage on IrishLeaks and other leaking platforms should not be read as an endorsement by WL Central - prospective leakers are urged to satisfy themselves of the trustworthiness of their intended recipients and to take precautions to ensure their own anonymity.
Today marks the launch of IrishLeaks, an implementation of the Wikileaks model for anonymous leaking platforms in the Republic of Ireland. The platform has received some coverage in domestic Irish news in recent days. IrishLeaks is apparently unaffiliated with Wikileaks in any way. The site now claims to be operational, and open to submissions.
IrishLeaks is the latest in a string of regional Wikileaks-style anonymous whistleblower platforms that have been set up since Wikileaks began to garner international attention, the most active of which has been Balkanleaks. WL Central listed some of these organizations here.
The "About" section of the site reads:
ARREST OBAMA ON IRISH SOIL FOR TORTURE RELATED CRIMES
This campaign and petition is for the arrest and prosecution of Barack Obama pursuant to international law on the prevention of torture and cruel and inhumane treatment of human beings, during his state visit to Ireland on May 22nd. Visit the site here.
Basic goals and principles
From the petition page:We the undersigned, wish to express our support for the following statements: That, pursuant to a universal respect for human rights, and pursuant to the written law in the U.N Convention Against Torture and other international humanitarian treaties, torture, in any form, or its enablement, or the failure to prevent it or prosecute those responsible, is one of the worst crimes possible, and anathema to the values of our political order. That the wrongness of torture is amplified, and not lessened, by power and influence, and that pragmatic interests must not intervene in the rightful prosecution of those responsible for torture, however inconvenient that may be politically. That Barack Obama has now successfully assumed responsibility for the failure to prosecute torture, and that he is responsible, by omission, for the failure to prevent torture occurring under his own administration, and that this is illegal by international law. That Ireland’s obligations under international and domestic law are clear, and that we must prosecute torturers whenever it is possible to do so. That Barack Obama should be arrested when he sets foot on Irish soil, and made to face the consequences of his acts and of his failures to act.
Bradley Manning's inhumane treatment during his pretrial incarceration looks set to become a millstone around Obama's neck in his dealings with other countries.
Today, International Bradley Manning Support Day, marks also the announcement of a campaign to have the United States president arrested once he arrives on Irish soil, during a planned visit to the Western European democracy in May. The #ArrestObama #May22 campaign holds that Ireland has an obligation under international law to pursue and prosecute all those within its jurisdiction who carry out or authorize torture, or who permit torture to be carried out, or who obstruct bringing those who do so to justice.
The campaign makes the claim that Obama's failure to prosecute high-ranking Bush administration officials - as well as the cruel and inhumane treatment to which U.S. military whistleblower Bradley Manning is being subjected in the Marine brig in Quantico - constitutes ownership of responsibility for torture.
The campaign comes at an inconvenient moment for the new Fine Gael/Labour coalition government, elected mid-last-month in a landslide ousting of the previously dominant Fianna Fail party. The new government will be seeking to establish strong diplomatic ties with the United States, in the hopes that this will reap benefits in the face of Ireland's withering economic situation. In November, the last Irish government revealed that it had negotiated a deal with the International Monetary Fund, in response to the deepening crisis in the banking sector. Any matter that jeopardizes the precarious bargaining position of the tiny European state will likely frustrate the fledgling government.
State department cable reveals possible use of Irish IT infrastructure to pilot unmanned drones in Afghanistan. A recent article in Phoenix Magazine (behind paywall) conjectures that undersea fibre-optic cables channeled through sites in Ireland, revealed in Wikileaks release of 09STATE15113, are in fact part of the U.S. military infrastructure for piloting Predator Drones in Afghanistan from a military base in Nevada. If true, this could be illegal under Irish constitutional commitments to neutrality.
Irish Labour politician calls out Irish government on rendition: A senior member of the Irish Labour party and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Michael D Higgins, has criticized the Fianna Fáil government for apparent collusion with the US government on suspected rendition flights from Shannon airport in County Clare, indicated in US diplomatic cables from the Dublin Embassy.
In a statement made on January 17, Higgins referred to 04DUBLIN1739 and 07DUBLIN916 in support of his claim that the Irish government had knowingly conspired against popular and legal opinion in the use of Shannon airport by the U.S. military, while secretly harbouring a strong suspicion that it was being used for extraordinary rendition flights.
Cablegate reinforces suspicions of Irish government complicity in US rendition: US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks are gradually adding to a picture wherein the government of Ireland ignored public opposition to suspected US rendition flights through its territory, and looked for ways to co-operate with alleged US abuses while avoiding liability and political fallout.
What is the context?
The Shannon airport has a history of use as a military stopover point for foreign militaries. Post-9/11, the US military had been allowed to use Shannon as a conduit for "War on Terror" flights involving munitions, supplies, and the transport of vehicles and troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. This move was unpopular since the status of the Iraq war under international law was controversial, and the Shannon stopover was perceived by the Irish anti-war community as a violation of the principle of Irish neutrality.
In an odd turn of events, the Irish opposition party, Fine Gael, claims on its website that the site was hacked on the evening of January 9th by "a group calling itself the Anonymous group."
The statement goes on to link Anonymous to Wikileaks, in a move possibly betraying a lack of understanding of Anonymous. The statement follows.
From: Fine Gael Website
THE FINE GAEL WEBSITE WAS PROFESSIONALLY HACKED ON THE EVENING OF JANUARY 9TH BY AN ENTITY CALLING THEMSELVES THE ANONYMOUS GROUP.
THE ANONYMOUS GROUP HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE WIKILEAKS INVESTIGATION AND ATTACKS ON COMPANIES SUCH AS VISA, MASTERCARD, AND AMAZON.
THE WEBSITE WILL BE OFFLINE WHILE WE FOLLOW-UP WITH THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES TO RESOLVE THE MATTER.
WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR FINE GAEL. IF YOU HAVE ANY FEEDBACK PLEASE TO SEND IT TO EMMA@FINEGAEL2011.COM
Why Fine Gael might have been targeted by Anonymous is as yet a mystery. Anonymous has reportedly been engaging in recent actions against government and private websites, but these actions are reported as having been DDOS attacks, which do not appropriately fall under the banner of "hacking." There is also little apparent reason in recent news why Anonymous would target an Irish political party.
A screengrab of the website is attached to this post.
Updates will be posted as they come.
RTÉ News has posted a statement by Fine Gael elaborating on the above information.
A month ago, on the 7th of December, a week after Peter King made his controversial Wikileaks Is Terrorism" comments, I posted this rather lengthy article to my blog, and linked to it from WL Central, documenting both King's hypocrisy and the possible motives he might have for taking such a radical line against Wikileaks in particular. Lately, the same story has been getting more coverage. emptywheel posted a story of much the same content on Sunday 2nd of January, and a post on Salon outlined the background to King's past with the IRA. We thought it would be timely to republish the story in full on WL Central, since it brings certain aspects of the story into focus that still have not received an airing.
Extremist opposition to Wikileaks by American career politicians may not be entirely out of a stated concern for American national security. A credible argument can be made that, instead, some political self-interest might be involved
[R]ead George Bush's favorite philosopher: there's a famous definition in the Gospels of the hypocrite, and the hypocrite is a person who refuses to apply to himself the standards he applies to others. By that standard the entire commentary and discussion of the so-called 'war on terror' is pure hypocrisy, and virtually without exception... It's ugly, but it's standard.
Der Spiegel: Amerikaner lästern über Chaos-Konzern Gazprom (Americans gossiped about Gazprom chaotic corporation)
"Gazprom sollte Russland wieder zur Supermacht machen, Manager träumten vom "wertvollsten Unternehmen der Welt". Doch Geheimberichte aus Moskaus US-Botschaft zeichnen ein anderes Bild: Die Amerikaner halten den Megakonzern für chaotisch organisiert - und korrupt. (Gazprom should make of Russia a superpower again, or so dreamed the manager of the "world most valuable business". Though secret reports by the American embassy in Moscow showed a different image: the Americans accused the mega-corporation of being chaotic and corruptly organized.)"
Der Spiegel: US-Diplomaten wollten EU für Genmais-Blockade bestrafen (American diplomats wanted to punish the EU for commercial blocking of genetically modified sweetcorn)
"Die von WikiLeaks enthüllten Botschaftsdepeschen zeigen, wie die USA die Gentechnik in Europa vorantreiben wollten: Ein US-Botschafter in Europa verlangte von Washington, genmaisblockierende EU-Staaten unter Druck zu setzen - und die "schlimmsten Übeltäter" zu bestrafen. (The secret diplomatic cables exposed by Wikileaks show how the United States wanted to push forward the genetic engineering in Europe. An American diplomat in Europe requested from Washington to establish a commercial blocking against the States of the EU in order to punish the "worst offenders".)"
Le Monde: WikiLeaks : les Etats-Unis n'avaient pas cru possible un coup d'Etat au Honduras (The United States did not believe a coup in Honduras was possible)
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: US keeps Uzbekistan president onside to protect supply line
"The post-Soviet state of Uzbekistan is a nightmarish world of 'rampant corruption', organised crime, forced labour in the cotton fields, and torture, according to the leaked cables.
But the secret dispatches released by WikiLeaks reveal that the US tries to keep President Islam Karimov sweet because he allows a crucial US military supply line to run into Afghanistan, known as the northern distribution network (NDN)."
Der Spiegel: 'Bridges to Nowhere': America's Unsavory Friends in Central Asia
"The US is anxious to broaden its influence in Central Asia -- and limit that of Russia. The result, however, are questionable alliances with some of the strangest despots in the world.
The secret country assessment from the US Embassy in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe, prepared for General David Petraeus on Aug. 7, 2009 ahead of his visit later that month, described a country on the brink of ruin. Tajikistan, a country of 7.3 million people on the northern border of Afghanistan, is a dictatorship ruled by Emomali Rakhmon, a former collective farm boss and notorious drunkard. "Parliament acts as a rubber stamp, barely discussing important legislation such as the national budget," the dispatch noted.
Some of the state's revenues were from criminal sources: "Tajikistan is a major transit corridor for Southwest Asian heroin to Russia and Europe." The country had "chronic problems with Uzbekistan," its neighbor, and the impoverished former Soviet republic faced the prospect of civil war fomented by Islamists in the east of the country."
Le Monde: Le Pérou face à ses démons : le terrorisme et la corruption (Peru faces its demons: terrorism and corruption)
"A en croire des télégrammes diplomatiques américains obtenus par WikiLeaks et révélés par Le Monde, le Pérou n'arrive pas à conjurer ses vieux démons, le terrorisme et la corruption. La menace représentée par la guérilla maoïste du Sentier lumineux (SL) "a été contenue mais pas éliminée, et elle pourrait s'épanouir à nouveau", estime une note confidentielle de novembre 2009.
Pendant les années 1980 et 1990, le conflit armé interne provoqué par le SL avait fait 70 000 morts. Le principal dirigeant maoïste, Abimael Guzman, est emprisonné depuis 1992. En dépit de bons résultats macro-économiques, les causes sous-jacentes – la pauvreté, la corruption et les inégalités – n'ont pas disparu, reconnaissent les diplomates américains."
El País: La retirada de Kosovo desató una crisis entre España y EE UU (The withdrawal from Kosovo sparked a crisis between Spain and the U.S.)
"Cuando las relaciones entre España y Estados Unidos parecían recuperadas tras la llegada de Obama a la Casa Blanca, una intempestiva retirada militar, esta vez de Kosovo, provocó la mayor crisis que han vivido los dos países en mucho tiempo. Los primeros resquemores comenzaron cuando Madrid se negó a reconocer la independencia de este territorio, bajo control de la comunidad internacional desde los bombardeos de la OTAN de 1999. Washington no aprobaba pero comprendía la posición española: la independencia en Europa de un territorio por motivos étnicos es un precedente preocupante. Pero, cuando la ministra Carme Chacón anunció el 19 de marzo 2009 la retirada de las tropas españolas sin haber consultado con los aliados, de resquemor se pasó a la crisis. Aunque en público se mantuvieron las formas, los despachos del Departamento de Estado muestran que la procesión iba por dentro: el vicepresidente Joseph Biden reprendió la retirada en su primer encuentro con el presidente Zapatero mientras que Hillary Clinton no dudó en hablar de "irritación" ante el ex ministro Moratinos."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: MI5 offered files on Finucane killing to inquiry
"MI5 has said that it is prepared to hand over sensitive files on one of the most high-profile murders during the Northern Ireland Troubles carried out by loyalist gunmen working with members of the British security forces.
The offer in the case of the Pat Finucane, the well-known civil rights and defence lawyer murdered in front of his wife and three young children in 1989, is contained in confidential US embassy cables passed to WikiLeaks.
Supporters of Finucane welcomed the revelation of the offer as "highly significant" and believe it could pave the way for a fresh inquiry into the killing that would be acceptable to the family."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: IRA used Irish boom to turn 'respectable'
"The IRA used the Celtic Tiger economic boom in the Irish Republic to diversify into "more sophisticated business enterprises" by buying up properties in London, Dublin and Spanish resorts, according to leaked US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
A senior Irish police officer told the American embassy in Dublin that the IRA used the booming Irish economy to move on from 1970s-style racketeering as it turned to "apparently respectable businessmen" to raise funds.
The cables also show that the growth of the Celtic Tiger was so admired in Washington that the US treasury secretary travelled to Dublin in 2004 to discover the "secrets" of Ireland's success.
The IRA's changing business practices are revealed in a cable by Jonathan Benton, the then deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in Dublin, which reported on meetings with senior Irish police officers and senior officials from the department of justice."
Der Spiegel: 'Boys and Their Toys' The US Befriends Azerbaijan's Corrupt Elite
"Azerbaijan is rife with corruption and comparisons to European feudalism in the Middle Ages are hardly a stretch. But with vast reserves of oil and natural gas at stake, the US is willing to risk the embarrassment that comes with courting the country.[...]
Azerbaijan, which lies in the Caspian basin and has a population of 9 million, is one of the US's strategic energy partners, despite being located within Russia's sphere of influence. The country boasts proven energy reserves of roughly 7 billion barrels of oil and 1.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Millions of barrels of these natural resources flow to the West each year via a pipeline connecting the Azerbaijani capital with Ceyhan, a Turkish port on the Mediterranean Sea.[...]
The American documents leave no doubt that the diplomats know exactly who they are courting. Cables bear titles like 'Who owns what?' in which they provide portraits of the country's most powerful families. 'Observers in Baku often note that today's Azerbaijan is run in a manner similar to the feudalism found in Europe during the Middle Ages,' one such cable reads. 'A handful of well-connected families control certain geographic areas, as well as certain sectors of the economy.'"
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Russia 'was tracking killers of Alexander Litvinenko but UK warned it off'
"Russia was tracking the assassins of dissident spy Alexander Litvinenko before he was poisoned but was warned off by Britain, which said the situation was "under control", according to claims made in a leaked US diplomatic cable.
The secret memo, recording a 2006 meeting between an ex-CIA bureau chief and a former KGB officer, is set to reignite the diplomatic row surrounding Litvinenko's unsolved murder that year, which many espionage experts have linked directly to the Kremlin."
El País: Perú pide ayuda a EE UU ante el rebrote de Sendero Luminoso (Peru asks for US help, facing the resurgence of the Shining Path)
"Estados Unidos prestará asistencia militar a Perú para acabar con el terrorismo de Sendero Luminoso, que causó buena parte de los más de 69.000 muertos registrados en las décadas de los ochenta y noventa, según muestran los cables del Departamento de Estado. Esa guerrilla colocó al Estado contra las cuerdas, y ha resurgido en el Alto Huallaga y Valles del Apurímac y Ene, donde cobra peaje al narcotráfico y adoctrina a los empobrecidos habitantes de esas regiones andinas.
El salvajismo de la milicia maoísta fue tan intenso, y los nuevos ataques, tan alarmantes, que la Embajada norteamericana ha pedido a Washington más colaboración con el Ejército peruano y un programa contra las minas detonadas por Sendero Luminoso en las rutas transitadas por el Ejército, según un cable del pasado año. La prioridad del Gobierno es liquidar a Sendero en el Apurímac y para ello firmó un contrato de nueve millones de dólares con un especialista israelí, según otro despacho."
Le Monde: Washington s'inquiète d’un possible programme nucléaire birman (Washington worried about a possible nuclear programme in Burma)
"Depuis 2002, les diplomates américains en poste à Rangoun reçoivent des indications sur la construction possible d'une installation nucléaire près de Minbu, dans la division de Magway, sur le fleuve Irawaddy. Plusieurs télégrammes diplomatiques, obtenus par WikiLeaks et consultés par Le Monde, font état de témoignages dans ce sens, émanant tantôt d'un homme d'affaires expatrié, tantôt d'un collaborateur birman ayant recueilli les confidences d'un proche.
Il a d'abord été question d'une coopération russe, puis, plus récemment, de la présence de "300 Nord-Coréens" pour participer à cette tâche. Chaque fois, l'ambassade prend les plus grandes précautions en rapportant ces témoignages, précisant qu'elle n'est pas en mesure de les confirmer de manière indépendante, ou que le chiffre de 300 lui paraît excessif."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables paint bleak picture of Tajikistan, central Asia's poorest state
"Tajikistan is losing the battle against the flow of drugs from neighbouring Afghanistan and is characterised by "cronyism and corruption" emanating from the president downwards.
A series of leaked US diplomatic dispatches released by WikiLeaks paint a bleak picture of Central Asia's poorest state. They note that it suffers from 'earthquakes, floods, droughts, locusts and extreme weather' and is situated next to 'obstructive Uzbekistan', 'unstable Afghanistan' and the 'rough, remote' Pamir mountains next to western China.
But Tajikistan's worst obstacle is the country's venal president Emomali Rahmon, diplomats say. A secret cable dated 16 February 2010, from the US embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan's capital, describes how Rahmon runs the ex-Soviet republic's economy for his own personal profit: 'From the president down to the policeman on the street, government is characterized by cronyism and corruption.'"
Le Monde: WikiLeaks: dictatures et mafias d'Asie centrale (Dictatorships and mafias in Central Asia)
"L'Asie centrale: ses ressources naturelles, ses régimes autoritaires, ses aéroports essentiels pour le transit vers l'Afghanistan. Pas évident, pour les Etats-Unis – après étude par Le Monde des télégrammes diplomatiques américains obtenus par WikiLeaks – de défendre ses intérêts nationaux dans cette zone sensible, arrière-cour traditionnelle de la Russie."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables name UK banker as middleman in Kazakh corruption ring
"A British tycoon is identified by US diplomats as the man at the centre of one of America's worst recent corruption scandals, in which large bribes were allegedly handed over in the ex-Soviet state of Kazakhstan.
Robert Kissin, a UK banker and commodity trader, is alleged to be the key middleman who handled a $4m (£2.5m) secret payment.
According to leaked US diplomatic dispatches released by WikiLeaks, the cash was moved through a Barclays bank account set up in London on behalf of an offshore shell company registered in the Isle of Man, where true ownerships are easier to conceal.
The money was designed to help Texas oil services company Baker Hughes make corrupt payments to Kazakh state oil chiefs in return for a lucrative $219m contract, according to the company's subsequent admissions."
New rallies in support of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been announced as follows. Please see our Events and protests section for a list of all current rallies.
Sydney: Tuesday, December 14, 5:30pm
Location: Sydney Town Hall
Rally contact: Patrick on 0422 028 113
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=183019401710397
Dublin: Saturday, December 18, 11:00am - 6:00pm
Location: Central Bank of Ireland, Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland
Directions: Outside the main gates.
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=151717948209518
Atlanta GA: Wednesday, December 15, 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Location: in front of the CNN Center
Directions: Centennial and Marietta St.
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=182432395101619