This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.
- See @wlfind for some of the latest information found in the newly released WikiLeaks cables.
* US Embassy: rights "deteriorated" under Honduras coup regime. Yet State Department never decried it.
* List of US programs initially considered for suspension in Honduras after June 28, 2009 coup.
* 240 WikiLeaks cables of big pharma exclusivity deals.
* U.S. Ambassador: "eroded trust in New Zealand thereby threatening intelligence cooperation" response: "bully tactics".
* Nestle was buying Mugabe farm milk in unmarked tanker - previous owner forced to sell farm cheap.
This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.
10:45 PM WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning nominated for a Pwnie for Epic 0wnage.
12:15 PM Al Joumhouria published a report on a cable from 2004 containing comments from historians who believe documents on the Armenian Genocide are constantly being cleared from the archives.
At least two attempts to clear the archives of the documents on crimes against Armenians are mentioned in the cable by Prof Halil Berktay. The second, he believes, ‘planned by a group of retired diplomats and generals headed by the former Turkish ambassador to Iraq’.
Link to the original article.
03:35 AM Diplomatic cable analysis published by EFF with details on privacy violations and government surveillance in Latin America.
According to the cables mentioned, the governments of Paraguay and Panama pressured the U.S. into granting them access to Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) software in an attempt to spy on mobile communications for political gain.
Anonymous sources report that Turkey is considering a number of options to help Syrian President Bashar al Assad defuse the uprising in his country.
According to Ivan Watson, CNN's Istanbul based correspondent, multitudes of Syrians are entering Turkey. 10,757 Syrian refugees in total. 12 have been recorded having bullet wounds. 441 recorded having returned to Syria in past 24 hours, and 76 new arrivals today, Ivan reported.
On June 23, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, reportedly spoke with his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Moallem, about the security situation in Syria. Both apparently discussed the movement of Syrian troops and refugees on their shared border, a situation that has created tension for both.
Despite the public condemnation of Syrian President Bashar al Assad for his regime’s use of violence against the opposition, Turkey has privately endorsed a strategy towards Syria that endorses Syrian internal political and social reforms.
Turkey has provided Syrian opposition forces, including the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB), open forums to organize.
According to STRATFOR sources, one of the options Turkey is considering is a political model akin to the Lebanese political system. Lebanon operates on a confessional system and on a 1932 census that roughly divides power between the country’s Christian and Muslim sects. The proposal for Syria would entail equally dividing power between the country’s Arab and Kurdish Sunni majority and the country’s minorities — Alawites, Druze and Christians. The system would create checks and balances to prevent either side from monopolizing the political system or imposing its will on the other.
Депешата [09ANKARA1794] е испратена од амбасадата во Анкара и се води како некласифицирана, а напишана е на 17 декември 2009 од тимот за логистика со наслов:
Министерството за Правда за OPDAT (Office of Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training)
Амбасадата во Анкара ќе биде домаќин на тридневна регионална работилница за контра-тероризам за Турција, Бугарија, Македонија, Албанија и Грција од 10 до 12 февруари 2010. Амбасадата во Анкара бара помош од амбасадите за да се осигура соодветно учество на настанот.
Turkey is a land of many lands. A checkpoint, a bridge between the East and the West used by many cultures and civilizations across the history of humankind. In many ways, however, the country is not only divided by the classical dichotomy between Europe and Asia, as it is a nation made up of many different groups, clans and tribes. It is difficult to accept that those living in Bodrum along the Mediterranean beaches are from the same country as those living in the deserted Diyarbakir; and it would be hard to argue that those living in the orthodox Kayseri are the same culture as those in modern Istanbul. Colloquially one could say that Turkey suffers from an identity problem. This has been seen as an obstacle for the government, obsessed with standardizing religion so as to moderate extremist clans that have an unfavourable view in Europe. To unite people under the giant Turkish state, the government has spread the same flag over the whole country, trying to make it present in every village, town or major city. But far from making one single body of Anatolian citizens, the red fabric painted with a star and a moon all abroad the country only denounces the paradox of Turkish society in religious affairs.
We will be publishing a series of reports related to freedom on Turkish lands and minds. For more information or if you want to help us continue our work contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wikileaks_world.
PART 1, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND EQUALITY
“Turkey's reputation as a moderate, tolerant, and secular country is due in large measure to the oppressive and authoritarian manner in which the State monitors and controls religion” (05ANKARA6106).
WL Central continues the coverage of Greek diplomatic cables, revealed by SKAI media group and Kathimerini newspaper. Today’s cables refer to the internal party workings of PASOK from 2007 until today, with the last cable being especially interesting as it reveals key and unknown people behind the Prime Minister Papandreou.
PASOK, whose leader is George Papandreou, now Prime Minister of Greece, was the main opposition party during the period 2007-2009 and from 2009 until today it is the ruling party. PASOK self-indentifies as a socialist party. However, since PM Papandreou’s administration orchestrated Greece’s loan from the International Monetary Fund and the EU, and its subsequent impact on the living standards of Greeks, its popularity diminishes at an unprecedented pace.
PASOK’s leadership crisis; “Knives sharpened” states the American ambassador
“PASOK’s defeat in the September 16  election has prompted a furious internal debate over the party’s leadership” notes the American ambassador in the cable dated October 11, 2007. Immediately, after the defeat of PASOK in the national elections from the right-wing party New Democracy, PASOK’s president George Papandreou, was immediately challenged by former colleague Evangelos Venizelos.
Among others, the embassy’s attaché notes that even if Papandreou wins the internal party elections, his supporters believe that the party needs a leadership change and also that the best people for the presidency aren’t even candidates. He states that much of Papandreou’s support is lukewarm, and that he was considering resigning.
In an almost prophetical tone the cable continues: “Papandreou declared PASOK the party of "radical platforms;"[…] He sought, he said, a meaningful political mandate that would allow him to reconstruct the party and be ready for the next general election campaign”.
He concludes by saying that “Venizelos can win an election – But Papandreou can win the party”.
Last Thursday, 17th March, Wikileaks announced the first partnership with a newspaper in Turkey on releasing around 11,000 U.S. State Department cables regarding Turkey from between 2000 and 2010 to Taraf, a liberal Turkish newspaper . Publishing since late 2007, Taraf has distinguished itself by opposing interference by the Turkish Military in civilian affairs. After Taraf revelations made on June 21 (2008) regarding the Egenoton (an alleged clandestine, ultra-nationalist organization in Turkey with ties to members of the country's military and security forces), when Adnan Demir, who was on the editorial staff of Taraf, was charged with leaking secret military information, the military responded by canceling the newspaper's accreditation for press releases at its headquarters for a short time. Taraf itself is also a whistle-blower journal, since Turkish military leaks were published on its pages more than once. Taraf holds a very good reputation worldwide, the journal was quoted by Der Spiegel, Times Online and such others as "Courageous," "independent," "plucky," and "scrappy".
Because of heavy political persecution on Taraf, deriving from its famously bad relationship with the Turkish Military, most enterprises have a fear of advertising in the journal and its pages present very little propaganda. Various suspicions about who supports Taraf were always present in Turkish people’s mind. Rumors that the CIA or the major party AKP are financially responsible for Taraf still exist among the public. The jewish millionaire who described himself as Taraf’s supporter gave an interview to NYT in 2009.
Over the course of the past 2 days, a Turkish court has reportedly ordered a writer and 6 journalists to be remanded in custody for alleged membership in an anti-government terrorist organization (Ergenekon). Odatv.com reports that a total of 15 journalists who write for the Turkish anti-government web site have been detained as a result of the "Odatv raid," which apparently revealed connections with Ergenekon. Yet Odatv reporters insist that the relationship between the suspects and Ergenekon is one of friendship and not active involvement.
The current Turkish government, in power since 2001 and led by the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), claims that Ergenekon is one of many terrorist organizations aiming to overthrow the AKP by force. Approximately 400 suspects are already on trial for suspected ties to the Ergenekon coup and similar anti-government coups. Since 2007, AKP government authorities have been rounding up suspects perceived as secularist or anti-Islamist, having questioned, detained and jailed writers (including fiction writers), professors, editors, military officers (including 4-star generals) and others.
The German language website Welt Online continued publication of WikiLeaks cables critical of Turkey, in their bid to "Break the WikiLeaks Cartel". According to cables cited today, the opening of the PLO Embassy in Turkey was only an excuse for Abbas' visit in 2009, and Israel considers Turkey to be "lost to the west".
The cables document how not only the USA and Israel, but also the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah were concerned with Turkey's silent support for Hamas, which the PLO official quoted in the cable of June 3, 2009 called "very dangerous". Turkey's ambivalent relationship to Hamas, while nothing new, required Turkish officials to "talk out of both sides of their mouth" when dealing with American officials. The U.S. Congress' anger is is clearly visible in the cables. This push-me pull-you continued well into 2009, when U.S. Ambassador James F. Jeffrey reported on February 9th that President Gül and especially Foreign Minister Babacan were taking extra care to deal with the "extremely critical" remarks that Erdogan had made towards Israel in order to repair the "traditionally strong relationship between Israel and Turkey".
The cables document the further deterioration of the relationship, to the degree where the Israeli Ambassador to Ankara, Gabi Levy, called Erdogan a fundamentalist who "hates us with religious fury". Whereupon the Americans soberly confirm that their contacts inside and outside of the Turkish government are of the opinion that Erdogan probably "just hates Israel".
The Guardian: US advised to sabotage Iran nuclear sites by German thinktank
"As Stuxnet cyber attack pinned on US and Israel, US embassy cable reveals advice to use undercover operations.
The United States was advised to adopt a policy of "covert sabotage" of Iran's clandestine nuclear facilities, including computer hacking and "unexplained explosions", by an influential German thinktank, a leaked US embassy cable reveals."
The Guardian: US feared Turkish military backlash in 'coup plot' arrests
"Turkish arrests of senior military officers last year could trigger 'unpredictable reaction', US embassy cable warned.
US diplomats in Turkey feared that a wave of arrests of senior military officers last year over an alleged plot to topple the country's Islamist-rooted government could trigger an "unpredictable military reaction", according to a leaked diplomatic cable."
Der Spiegel: Copenhagen Climate Cables: The US and China Joined Forces Against Europe
"Last year's climate summit in Copenhagen was a political disaster. Leaked US diplomatic cables now show why the summit failed so spectacularly. The dispatches reveal that the US and China, the world's top two polluters, joined forces to stymie every attempt by European nations to reach agreement.[...]
The cooperation began under the last US president, George W. Bush. In 2007 Bush's senior climate negotiator, Harlan Watson, organized a 10-year framework agreement with China on cooperation on energy and the environment. The two countries also agreed to hold a "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" -- backroom talks that neither the Americans nor the Chinese were willing to admit to at first.
Bush's successor, President Barack Obama, and the new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, continued this dialogue. During Clinton's inaugural visit to China, Beijing agreed to the formation of a "new partnership on energy and climate change," according to a US embassy dispatch dated May 15, 2009. Here too the aim was to ensure the outcome of the climate talks in Copenhagen would be favorable to Washington and Beijing."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Vatican refused to engage with child sex abuse inquiry
"The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating the clerical abuse of children and was angered when they were summoned from Rome, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks reveal.
Requests for information from the 2009 Murphy commission into sexual and physical abuse by clergy "offended many in the Vatican" who felt that the Irish government had "failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations", a cable says."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Pope wanted Muslim Turkey kept out of EU
"The pope is responsible for the Vatican's growing hostility towards Turkey joining the EU, previously secret cables sent from the US embassy to the Holy See in Rome claim.
In 2004 Cardinal Ratzinger, the future pope, spoke out against letting a Muslim state join, although at the time the Vatican was formally neutral on the question.
The Vatican's acting foreign minister, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, responded by telling US diplomats that Ratzinger's comments were his own rather than the official Vatican position.
The cable released by WikiLeaks shows that Ratzinger was the leading voice behind the Holy See's unsuccessful drive to secure a reference to Europe's 'Christian roots' in the EU constitution. The US diplomat noted that Ratzinger 'clearly understands that allowing a Muslim country into the EU would further weaken his case for Europe's Christian foundations'."
Le Monde: Wikileaks : les Américains se demandent où se trouve le cœur du pouvoir en Algérie (Americans ask who holds real power in Algeria)
"Qui détient le pouvoir en Algérie? Les militaires ou les civils? Une poignée de généraux qui ont la haute main sur l'armée et les services de renseignements ou le président de la République élu au suffrage universel, Abdelaziz Bouteflika?
La question continue à diviser les chancelleries étrangères tant le cœur du pouvoir à Alger est impénétrable depuis des décennies. Pour le chef de l'Etat algérien, la réponse est évidente : l'armée algérienne respecte "absolument" l'autorité d'un président qui est un civil et non un militaire. "Ça n'est pas du tout comme en Turquie", assure-t-il lors de sa première entrevue avec le général William Ward, le chef de l'Africom, la structure de commandement américaine pour l'Afrique, en novembre 2009."
The New York Times: China Resisted U.S. Pressure on Rights of Nobel Winner
"It was just before Christmas 2009, and Ding Xiaowen was not happy. The United States ambassador had just written China’s foreign minister expressing concern for Liu Xiaobo, the Beijing intellectual imprisoned a year earlier for drafting a pro-democracy manifesto. Now Mr. Ding, a deputy in the ministry’s American section, was reading the riot act to an American attaché.
Mr. Ding said he would try to avoid “becoming emotional,” according to a readout on the meeting that was among thousands of leaked State Department cables released this month. Then he said that a “strongly dissatisfied” China firmly opposed the views of the American ambassador, Jon Huntsman, and that Washington must “cease using human rights as an excuse to ‘meddle’ in China’s internal affairs.”"
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Pfizer 'used dirty tricks to avoid clinical trial payout'
"The world's biggest pharmaceutical company hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general in order to persuade him to drop legal action over a controversial drug trial involving children with meningitis, according to a leaked US embassy cable.
Pfizer was sued by the Nigerian state and federal authorities, who claimed that children were harmed by a new antibiotic, Trovan, during the trial, which took place in the middle of a meningitis epidemic of unprecedented scale in Kano in the north of Nigeria in 1996."
Der Spiegel: 'No and No Again': The Rocky US Relationship with Little Austria
"Austria may be small, but according to US Embassy dispatches from Vienna, the country causes big headaches in Washington. Not only are Austrian leaders seen as disconnected from international affairs, the country's neutrality means it is willing to do business with America's enemies.
The tone used by the US envoys in their reports to Washington ranges from resigned to openly hostile. Is it possible, they ask in bewilderment, for a tiny Alpine republic only half the size of the US state of Washington to ignore the primary objectives of American foreign policy? It would seem that it is."
El Pais: EE UU considera Cataluña el "mayor centro mediterráneo del yihadismo" (The US considers Catalonia the "biggest mediterranean center for jihadism")
"La Embajada de EE UU en Madrid cree que Cataluña es el punto más caliente del islamismo radical en España , un escenario que debe vigilar y controlar como puente hacia el Mediterráneo. La fuerte implantación de la comunidad paquistaní y marroquí en Barcelona y la efervescente actividad de islamistas en localidades como Tarragona, Hospitalet, Badalona y Reus preocupan a los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses que han convertido a esa comunidad en su primer objetivo de investigación. Los documentos secretos del departamento de Estado definen Cataluña como el principal centro mediterráneo de los islamistas."
Le Monde: Guinée : Comment France et Etats-Unis ont écarté le chef de la junte (Guinea: How France and the US neutralized the chief of the junta)
"L'occasion était trop belle pour neutraliser un chef de l'Etat devenu très embarrassant. Français et Américains cherchaient à écarter le capitaine Moussa Dadis Camara depuis le massacre par des militaires de la garde présidentielle d'au moins 156 opposants à Conakry, en Guinée, le 28 septembre 2009.
Les événements du 3 décembre vont forcer le destin. Ce jour-là, le chef de la junte militaire au pouvoir depuis moins d'un an est victime d'une tentative d'assassinat. Grièvement blessé à la tête, le chef de la junte est envoyé d'urgence vers le Maroc pour y être hospitalisé. Dans la foulée, un diplomate américain en poste à Ouagadougou écrit : "La communauté internationale est d'une façon générale sur la même position. L'absence de Dadis a ouvert une fenêtre d'opportunité pour faciliter une transition démocratique."
"Bien qu'il ait été chassé de la scène violemment plutôt que par des moyens constitutionnels, il serait mieux pour la Guinée qu'il ne rentre pas dans son pays", ajoute l'ambassadrice américaine en poste à Conakry, Patricia Moller, dans un des télégrammes diplomatiques obtenus par WikiLeaks et révélés par Le Monde."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Former Croatia PM flees over corruption claims
"The former prime minister who dominated Croatian politics for most of the past decade fled the country today as state prosecutors moved to have him arrested in connection with a major sleaze investigation.
According to cables from the US Zagreb embassy released by WikiLeaks, Ivo Sanader, the centre-right politician who stood down suddenly as prime minister in summer last year, features in several of the corruption cases currently terrorising the Croatian political class.
The country's chief prosecutor told US diplomats in Zagreb this year he had evidence that Sanader had arranged a bank loan for a business crony in return for a kickback."
Der Spiegel: The Nigeria Report: A Cesspool of Corruption and Crime in the Niger Delta
"The leaked US diplomatic cables reveal just what multinational oil companies are up against in the Niger Delta. Security forces are ineffective and involved in dubious oil deals. The government demands millions in bribes. Even university students have earned pocket money by working as kidnappers.
Bombs used against civilians; millions paid to corrupt officials; and a kidnapping industry that employs students during university vacations: The US diplomatic cables from the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lagos paint an unusually bleak picture of the situation in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Hardly any of the international oil companies active in the delta publishes production figures, kidnappings and hostage-taking are a daily occurence and the civilian population is suffering -- not least because they too are occasionally targets of the Nigerian Army's special forces."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Serbia suspects Russian help for fugitive Ratko Mladić
"Russia may be withholding vital information about the whereabouts of the fugitive Bosnian Serb general and genocide suspect, Ratko Mladić, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague, senior Serbian government officials have privately told American diplomats in Belgrade.
In discussions detailed in a diplomatic cable marked "secret" and sent to Washington by US chargée d'affaires Jennifer Brush in September 2009, Miki [Miodrag] Rakić, chief of staff to the Serbian president, Boris Tadić, tells Brush it remains likely Mladić is hiding somewhere in Serbia.
But Rakić also suggests the fugitive is being assisted by "foreign sources" and hints darkly that Moscow may have better information about Mladić's exact situation than does the Serbian government."
El Pais: Palomares: 50.000 metros contaminados con plutonio (50,000 sq.meters contaminated with plutonium)
"España y Estados Unidos tienen un problema enquistado desde 1966: el accidente nuclear en Palomares, en el que cuatro bombas atómicas cayeron en la pedanía almeriense. España decidió en 2004 descontaminar la zona e insiste en que EE UU pague parte de la limpieza y se lleve la tierra contaminada con plutonio. Así se lo transmitió el 14 de diciembre de 2009 el entonces ministro de Exteriores, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, a la secretaria de Estado, Hillary Clinton, en Washington. Moratinos reclamó, según un cable confidencial, que Clinton hiciera lo posible "para ayudar desde el punto de vista de la opinión pública española, de la que temió que se volviera en contra de EE UU si se divulgaran los resultados de un reciente estudio sobre la contaminación". Clinton no contestó. El estudio, a cuyas conclusiones ha tenido acceso EL PAÍS pero que no ha sido hecho público, concluye que en Palomares queda medio kilo de plutonio que ha contaminado unos 50.000 metros cúbicos de tierra -el volumen de 27 piscinas olímpicas-."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables cast Hosni Mubarak as Egypt's ruler for life
"Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's long-serving president, is likely to seek re-election next year and will "inevitably" win a poll that will not be free and fair, the US ambassador to Cairo, Margaret Scobey, predicted in a secret cable to Hillary Clinton last year.
Scobey discussed Mubarak's quasi-dictatorial leadership style since he took power in 1981; his critical views of George Bush and American policy in the Middle East; and the highly uncertain prospects for a succession."
The Guardian: US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomacy crisis
"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 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."
Further coverage from The Guardian:
Diplomats ordered to spy on UN leaders
Saudis repeatedly urge attack on Iran
How 250,000 US embassy cables were leaked
Siprnet: America's secret information database
Explore the US embassy cables database
The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment
The Guardian's Simon Jenkins writes: "Perhaps we can now see how catastrophe unfolds when there is time to avert it, rather than having to await a Chilcot report after the event. If that is not in the public's interest, I fail to see what is.
Clearly, it is for governments, not journalists, to protect public secrets. Were there some overriding national jeopardy in revealing them, greater restraint might be in order. There is no such overriding jeopardy, except from the policies themselves as revealed. Where it is doing the right thing, a great power should be robust against embarrassment."
El País: Los secretos de la diplomacia de Estados Unidos, al descubierto
"EL PAÍS, en colaboración con otros diarios de Europa y Estados Unidos, revela a partir de hoy el contenido de la mayor filtración de documentos secretos a la que jamás se haya tenido acceso en toda la historia. Se trata de una colección de más de 250.000 mensajes del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, obtenidos por la página digital WikiLeaks, en los que se descubren episodios inéditos ocurridos en los puntos más conflictivos del mundo, así como otros muchos sucesos y datos de gran relevancia que desnudan por completo la política exterior norteamericana, sacan a la luz sus mecanismos y sus fuentes, dejan en evidencia sus debilidades y obsesiones, y en conjunto facilitan la comprensión por parte de los ciudadanos de las circunstancias en las que se desarrolla el lado oscuro de las relaciones internacionales."
Further coverage from El País:
Washington ordena espiar en la ONU
Los árabes piden a EE UU frenar a Irán por cualquier medio
EE UU vigila de cerca la agenda islamista de Erdogan
WikiLeaks, información transparente contra el secretismo
"La seguridad de las fuentes, fundamental"
Directo: Las repercusiones de la filtración de papeles
Der Spiegel - English coverage
"Such surprises from the annals of US diplomacy will dominate the headlines in the coming days when the New York Times, London's Guardian, Paris' Le Monde, Madrid's El Pais and SPIEGEL begin shedding light on the treasure trove of secret documents from the State Department. Included are 243,270 diplomatic cables filed by US embassies to the State Department and 8,017 directives that the State Department sent to its diplomatic outposts around the world. In the coming days, the participating media will show in a series of investigative stories how America seeks to steer the world. The development is no less than a political meltdown for American foreign policy.
Never before in history has a superpower lost control of such vast amounts of such sensitive information -- data that can help paint a picture of the foundation upon which US foreign policy is built. Never before has the trust America's partners have in the country been as badly shaken. Now, their own personal views and policy recommendations have been made public -- as have America's true views of them."
Further English coverage from Der Spiegel:
Section front: WikiLeaks Diplomatic Cables
What Do the Diplomatic Cables Really Tell Us?
'Tribune of Anatolia': Diplomatic Cables Reveal US Doubts about Turkey's Government
The Germany Dispatches: Internal Source Kept US Informed of Merkel Coalition Negotiations
Foreign Policy Meltdown: Leaked Cables Reveal True US Worldview
Orders from Clinton: US Diplomats Told to Spy on Other Countries at United Nations
The US Diplomatic Leaks: A Superpower's View of the World
Der Spiegel: Geheimdepeschen enthüllen Weltsicht der USA
"Es ist ein Desaster für die US-Diplomatie. WikiLeaks hat mehr als 250.000 Dokumente aus dem Washingtoner Außenministerium zugespielt bekommen, interne Botschaftsberichte aus aller Welt. Sie enthüllen, wie die Supermacht die Welt wirklich sieht - und ihren globalen Einfluss wahren will.[...]
Solche Überraschungen aus den Annalen der US-Diplomatie werden in den nächsten Tagen die Schlagzeilen beherrschen, denn von diesem Montag an beginnen die "New York Times", der Londoner "Guardian", der Pariser "Monde", das Madrider "País" und DER SPIEGEL damit, den geheimen Datenschatz des Außenministeriums ans Licht zu holen. Aus einem Fundus von 243.270 diplomatischen Depeschen, die Amerikas Botschaften an die Zentrale sendeten, und 8017 Direktiven, welche das State Departement an seine Botschaften in aller Welt verschickte, versuchen die beteiligten Medien in einer Serie von Enthüllungsgeschichten nachzuzeichnen, wie Amerika die Welt lenken möchte."
Further coverage from Der Spiegel:
US-Depeschen über Deutschland: Skepsis gegenüber Schwarz-Gelb
US-Depeschen über die Türkei: Furcht vor islamistischen Tendenzen unter Erdogan
US-Depeschen über Iran: USA paktieren mit Arabern
US-Depeschen über die Uno: Außenministerium lässt Diplomaten ausspähen
Themenseite: Alles zu den Botschaftsdepeschen
Le Monde: Les révélations de WikiLeaks sur les coulisses de la diplomatie américaine
"Les cinq journaux vont publier, à partir du 28 novembre, des dizaines d'articles sur les coulisses de la diplomatie américaine, ainsi que des pays avec lesquels les Etats-Unis sont en contact. Les thèmes sont avant tout diplomatiques et politiques. Les relations des Etats-Unis avec l'Europe, la Russie, la Chine et les pays du Moyen-Orient sont longuement évoquées. L'Afghanistan et l'Irak, les deux pays où l'Amérique est en guerre, sont très présents. Le terrorisme et la prolifération nucléaire sont des sujets permanents. Le Monde publiera des dossiers spéciaux sur la France.
De même que l'on ne découvrira pas le nom de l'assassin du président Kennedy dans les archives du département d'Etat, ce n'est pas en lisant ces télégrammes qu'on connaîtra les plus protégés des secrets d'Etat. Mais aucun sujet d'intérêt politique, du plus sérieux au plus futile, n'est absent de ces câbles qui, selon le degré d'information et le talent du diplomate, dresse un passionnant état des lieux de la planète, scrutée par des regards américains."
Further coverage from Le Monde:
Pourquoi "Le Monde" publie les documents WikiLeaks
Observer le régime iranien et ses méthodes d'intimidation
Iran : comment les Israéliens ont poussé Washington à la fermeté
La peur des pays arabes face à l'Iran
Espionnage : les ordres de Washington aux diplomates américains
Manning, un militaire à l'origine des plus grandes " fuites " de l'histoire
The New York Times: State's Secrets: Cables Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels
"A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at backroom bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.
Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks intends to make the archive public on its Web site in batches, beginning Sunday.
The anticipated disclosure of the cables is already sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could conceivably strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict."
Further coverage from the New York Times:
Documents: selected dispatches
Around the world, distress over Iran
Mixing diplomacy with spying
Iran is fortified with North Korean aid
A note to readers: the decision to publish diplomatic documents
Radio Free Europe: WikiLeaks And Its Brave New World
"The imminent new WikiLeaks expose promises to be especially revelatory because, simply put, the Americans have dirt on everyone. Assange and company's logic is as elegant as it's unsettling: by revealing the secrets of the world's leading superpower, the secrets of the world -- namely, the all-too-often dirty web of interconnections between governments, corporations, intelligence and media agencies, and key personalities -- are also revealed.
There are potential lessons here, some likely old, some hopefully new, and all doubtlessly very unhappy, about the nature of power and what it really means to be an "international community." So, it's noteworthy that WikiLeaks recently tweeted, "In the coming months we will see a new world, where global history is redefined." Perhaps this isn't just hyperbole after all."
JTurn: Next Up: The “War on Journalism”?
Jonathan Lundqvist writes an analysis of war in the 21st century, the relationship between the media and the military, the internet as a new domain for warfare and the role of WikiLeaks and the free press:
"Pentagon, with its newly founded US Cyber Command, is going all-in against an undefined enemy, with fear-mongers on the sidelines crying for blood. The state of the world being as it is, the question is if WikiLeaks is going to be the first victim of this new offensive force.[...]
WikiLeaks crushed, with a few swift blows, the information monopoly of the military. “Truth”, says Julian Assange, the site’s founder and iconic spokesperson, “is the first casualty of war”, repeating a truism that is rarely backed up with hard evidence. Going through the material, the cliché was proven. Not only did the documents show many things that were never reported, but it also showed outright lies and distortions.
With a very broad definition of security, the free press will be at stake. It goes without saying that exposing certain truths about how we wage wars; on the justifications or actions of troops, is a security problem for the military – and the long run, also for society. But, wait, why if so, do democracies have a free press?"
Bloomberg: Italy Says WikiLeaks Reports on U.S. May Harm Nation
"Italy’s government said “classified reports” on U.S. foreign relations expected to be published by the website Wikileaks.org may harm the country as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi fights for his political survival.
Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said during a Cabinet meeting in Rome today that the documents may have “negative repercussions” on Italy, according to an e-mailed statement from Berlusconi’s office."
The Age: Tensions rise as WikiLeaks release nears
"Speculation last night that WikiLeaks may reveal clandestine US support for terrorism had US embassies across the globe scrambling to limit damage ahead of the latest threatened release of US government documents by the whistleblowing website.
According to the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat, several documents show that the US had in turn been providing assistance to Turkey's Kurdish separatist movement, the PKK."
AFP: US slams WikiLeaks ahead of latest release
"Washington's envoy to Iraq condemned WikiLeaks as 'absolutely awful' Friday as world capitals braced for the looming release of some three million sensitive diplomatic cables by the whistleblower website.
The latest tranche of documents, the third since WikiLeaks published 77,000 classified US files on the Afghan conflict in July, have spurred Washington to warn both Turkey and Israel of the embarrassment they could cause, and American diplomats have also briefed officials in London, Oslo and Copenhagen."
IOL: WikiLeaks docs may hurt US-Russia ties
"The documents include recordings of US diplomats' conversations with Russian politicians, assessments of Russia's most notable events, and analyses of what is happening in the country and in its domestic and foreign politics," according to Kommersant.
Aftonbladet: Sverige varnat inför WikiLeaksavslöjanden
"The United States has warned Sweden to WikiLeaks future revelations. 'Yes, we can confirm that discussions have occurred,' said Henrik Knobe from the Swedish Foreign Ministry.
It remains unclear what the documents that WikiLeaks will release contain, but the U.S. is currently trying to minimize the damage by contacting countries around the world."
De Volksrant: VS waarschuwt Nederland om inhoud WikiLeaks
"The United States has warned the Netherlands that new documents are to be published on the whistleblower website WikiLeaks in the coming days, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal (VVD) on Friday."
Die Zeit: USA kontaktieren vorsorglich ihre Bündnispartner
"The German Foreign Ministry would not confirm or deny such contact on Friday. Andreas Peschke, spokesman at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, responded to journalists: 'I will not single out aspects of the wide-ranging discussions with our American partners.'"
AFP: US contacts Turkey over WikiLeaks files: diplomat
"The United States has been in contact with Turkey over new files to be released on the Internet by WikiLeaks, Turkish officials said Friday, stressing Ankara's commitment to fighting terrorism."
World Dawn: WikiLeaks plans to release 94 papers about Pakistan
"WikiLeaks is expected to put 94 documents about Pakistan on its website this weekend, diplomatic sources told Dawn. The documents mainly contain telegrams sent by the US Embassy in Islamabad to the State Department in Washington.
Some of these papers relate to US observations about Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan, the debate within Pakistan on the war against terror, Islamabad’s cooperation with Washington and other military and intelligence matters."
The Telegraph: WikiLeaks: US diplomats predicted Coalition would fail
"Sources revealed that the documents include commentary on the likely fate of the Coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Transmitted in the early days of the Coalition, the messages are understood to predict that the Government was likely to prove ineffective and short-lived, ultimately doomed by tensions between Tories and Lib Dems.
Earlier messages about the previous Government could prove at least as embarrassing for Mr Brown."
AP: Clinton talks to China about WikiLeaks release
"Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday spoke with the Chinese government about the expected release of classified cables by the WikiLeaks website.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed Friday evening that Clinton spoke by phone with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. He did not provide details."
Reuters: WikiLeaks must stop "dangerous" leaks: military
"I would hope that those who are responsible for this would, at some point in time, think about the responsibility that they have for lives that they're exposing and the potential that's there and stop leaking this information," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS due to air Sunday.
This is not the first time Adm. Mullen has made this claim. The allegation that "WikiLeaks has blood on its hands" has been made both at the time of the Afghanistan war diaries release, and the Iraq war logs release. It has been disproven by facts both times, and the military top brass finally admitted it. Please see our article on the topic: Debunked: "WikiLeaks Has Blood on Its Hands".