2011-03-24 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

El País: Clinton y Moratinos sugirieron que Juan Carlos I llamara a Mohamed VI para resolver el 'caso Haidar' (Moratinos suggested that Clinton and Juan Carlos I called Mohamed VI to solve the 'case Haidar')

"En diciembre de 2009, con una opinión pública conmocionada por la huelga de hambre en la que se había embarcado la activista saharaui Aminetu Haidar, arreciaban las peticiones de que el Rey Juan Carlos mediara en la crisis que había comenzado cuando la autoridades marroquíes impidieron a la líder saharui aterrizar en El Aaiún, le requisaron el pasaporte y la confinaron en el aeropuerto de Lanzarote. (In December 2009, with a public shocked by the hunger strike in which the Sahrawi activist Haidar had embarked, the requests grew for King Juan Carlos to mediate in the crisis that began when the Moroccan authorities prevented the Sahrawi leader landed at Laayoune, seized her passport and confined her at the airport of Lanzarote.)"

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El País: La exministra de Salud argentina comunicó a la Embajada de EE UU las carencias de la atención médica (Argentina's former Minister of Health informed the U.S. Embassy about gaps in health care)

2011-02-11 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageThe Telegraph: Charles Taylor may have $400 million out of reach

"Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, could have as much as $400 million hidden away out of reach of prosecutors, according to leaked US diplomatic cables."

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"A usually reliable source on January 5 conveyed additional details to us about NATO SYG Anders Fogh Rasmussen,s December 17 interactions in Moscow with President Medvedev and PM Putin that were not reflected in the SYG,s report on the visit (reftel). Based on information from someone present at the Moscow meetings, the source reported that while Russian President Medvedev was polite, neither he nor PM Putin had expressed any real interest in cooperating with NATO. Putin allegedly told Rasmussen that NATO no longer has a purpose and it was in Russias interest that NATO no longer exist. 2. (S) The source claimed that in the SYG meeting with the PM, Putin had not let Rasmussen sit down before challenging him with the allegation that NATO planned to put missiles in Bulgaria, and demanding further information. This reporter threw the SYG off balance, although the source did not indicate how he responded."

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2011-03-27 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageNext: A culture of vengeance

"Following clashes between Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups in Benue State in October 2001, President Olusegun Obasanjo took the customary step during our all too frequent periods of violent civic unrest and ordered in the army to maintain the peace.

But on Friday October 12 of that year, the bodies of 19 soldiers were found in the village of Zaki-Biam, victims of a local militia. In response, the Army deployed even more troops and subsequently exacted its revenge, with the result that more than 200 villagers, militiamen and innocents alike, were massacred. Local and international observers condemned the barbarous killings, though the military appeared unmoved."

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2011-03-20 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageNext: Police admit no justice for Bola Ige

"Police spectacularly bungled the investigation into the brutal murder of Bola Ige, then the attorney general, from the very beginning, and have, to all appearances, given up trying to apprehend the killers. In the days immediately following the murder, the assistant inspector general directly in charge of the investigation confessed to American authorities that the police had already made a mess of their work, and compounded initial errors with even graver ones. The result is that the investigation has hit a dead end, and the police appear to have given up the search."

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2011-03-14 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

Next: Ojo Maduekwe, an opportunist, says American official

"A former minister of foreign affairs, Ojo Maduekwe, is an opportunist who is willing to serve any administration in power irrespective of how it gets to office, according to a leaked United States diplomatic cable made available to NEXT.

In the October 19, 2007 cable to Washington, Lisa Piascik, the Charge d'Affairs of the US embassy in Nigeria, analysed the different contending groups pulling and pushing for the soul of the ruling People's Democratic Party."

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"Obasanjo network:
-- David Mark (former Minister of Communications under Obasanjo, current Senate President)
-- Patricia Etteh (former hairdresser, romantic interest of Obasanjo, current Speaker of the House of Representatives)
-- Aliko Dangote (owner of the Dangote Group with substantial business interests in food processing, cement and freight, prominent funder of Obasanjo's 2003 re-election campaign)
-- Chris Uba (godfather of Anambra State, criminal ties)

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2011-03-13 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageNext: America humiliates Waziri

"On March 14, 2009, Ojo Maduekwe, former minister of foreign affairs, placed a call to Robin Sanders, former United States ambassador to Nigeria. Mr. Maduekwe asked to have a lunch meeting with Ms. Sanders in his private residence in the posh district of Maitama, in Abuja, popularly called Ministers Hill.

The agenda, the minister said, was the African Union Mission in Somalia. As detailed in a US diplomatic cable made available to NEXT, Ms. Sanders hurried to the minister's home. But on arrival, she realized that Mr. Maduekwe had lied to her about the essence of the meeting. The minister had set up another meeting for the US ambassador, and the agenda was far from being about AMISOM, as the Somali peacekeeping mission was known."

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2011-03-06 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageNext: The Ugly Truth

"Less than a month to the commencement of the next general elections, politicians appear to be scheming again to rig the polls. Attahiru Jega, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), told a beleaguered audience in Abuja that some high profile Nigerians were involved in double registration.

“We even caught some high profile double registrants, and we will start with them in the area of prosecution,” Mr. Jega said."

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Next: 'Jonathan voted four times in 2007'

"He was only a candidate for vice president then but in 2007, Goodluck Jonathan took matters into his own hands — literally. According to US diplomatic cables leaked to the whistleblower site Wikileaks, and which were made exclusively available to us, Mr. Jonathan helped himself gain the vice presidency four years ago by voting illegally four times. The astonishing accusation against Mr. Jonathan, now a president seeking validation at the polls next month, came from Edo governor Adams Oshiomhole, in a December 2008 briefing with US diplomats."

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2011-03-28 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageRomanian Insider: New round of Wikileaks cables on Romania: energy sector, political corruption

"Several confidential documents concerning Romania have recently appeared on Wikileaks and have made headlines in the Romanian media. According to a Wikileaks cable quoted by news website, EU advisor Onno Simmons “warned that some sources have said that there is an <> between <> and the Romanian government: <>” The telegram is undated but seems to show information from 1996."

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La Jornada: Bajo la mesa, Washigton culpa a México del tráfico de armas (Under the table, Washington blames Mexico for the traffic of weapons)

"El escándalo por el plan Rápido y furioso revela el diálogo de sordos que existe entre ambos gobiernos. (The "Fast and Furious" scandal reveals the deaf dialogue between both governments.)"

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2011-03-26 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

Der Spiegel: Die verkaufte Demokratie (The sold democracy)

"Indiens Regierung - eine Vetternwirtschaft, die sich aufs Schmieren versteht und politische Mehrheiten einfach kauft: So beschreiben Medienberichten zufolge US-Botschaftsdepeschen den indischen Staat. Premier Singh soll tatenlos zugeschaut haben. Die Beschuldigten weisen das zurück. (India's government - a partisanship that knows how to facilitate its ways and simply buy political majorities: so media reports describe the indian state, according to U.S. embassy dispatches. Premier Singh said to have watched passively. The defendants reject it.)"

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2011-03-26 WikiLeaks Notes

ImageDebate: This House believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place

On 9 April, the Frontline Club and the New Statesman will host a public debate in which Julian Assange will speak for the proposition "This House believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place."

The debate will be chaired by Jason Cowley, editor of the New Statesman; other panelists have yet to be announced. The event will be held at Kensington Town Hall at 5 pm GMT; it is already fully booked but should be both livetweeted and filmed.

Rob Stary, Australian lawyer for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks: interview

Last week the WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance (WACA) posted the video of an interview they did with Rob Stary, Julian Assange's lawyer in Australia, before the WikiLeaks Free Speech Forum in Melbourne on 4 February.

Some of the interview focuses on legal and political issues particular to Australia. More generally, however, Stary challenges the claims of a number of governments that their legal manoeuvres against Assange and/or WikiLeaks are unaffected by politics. His analysis of the international interplay between law and politics is a fine summary of the state of play so far.

2011-03-25 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

The Telegraph: BP's German Khan sees Godfather films as 'manual for life'

"German Khan, one of the central figures in oil gaint BP’s operations in Russia, told executives that the Godfather films were his “manual for life”.

At the time, the reports on Mr Khan, the billionaire founder of the Alfa Group consortium, raised questions about the British company’s Russian associates."

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2011-03-23 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

Next: Aondoakaa is a thug, say US officials

"Mike Aondoakaa, the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, is a thug who did the late President Umaru Yar'Adua's dirty work, a leaked US diplomatic cable, made exclusively available to NEXT, has said.

In the cable, dated December 24, 2008, American diplomats attached to the US embassy in Nigeria, also criticised the late Yar'Adua's anti-corruption fight citing his choice of people with questionable characters as ministers. The cable, classified by the then acting political counsellor, Cheryl Fernandes and endorsed by then American Ambassador, Robin Sanders, is a comprehensive biographical background check on some ministers that served under the late President. "Aondoakaa is an intelligent, politically savvy lawyer who is reputed to have done some of Yar'Adua's dirty work, including attempts to disgrace Economic and Financial Crimes Commission former chairman, Nuhu Ribadu," the US officials wrote in their dispatch to Washington. "He is considered to be a thug heavily involved in illicit enrichment and cannot be trusted. Yar'Adua keeping him on belies his commitment to the rule of law." Contacted yesterday, Mr. Aondoakaa said the assessment of him was nonsense. "Is it not the same woman who said things about the speaker, about the President?" Mr. Aondoakaa said. "The woman was just here carrying out the wish of her masters. The US doesn't have serious attachment to these cables. The Nigerian government has denied these cables. What she was saying, if she said them at all, is nonsense.""

2011-03-22 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageThe Telegraph: Qatar asked Shell and ExxonMobil for donations

"Qatar wrote to major international oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, to demand up to $1.7bn (£1bn) in donations for a medical centre, according to leaked diplomatic cables.

The Middle Eastern nation is one of the world's richest countries per capita on account of its oil and gas wealth. However, it caused surprise by approaching a number of companies that work with Qatar Petroleum with a cash call in 2007. According to the Wikileaks documents, letters signed by Abdullah al-Attiyah, the deputy prime minister, told each company how much they were expected to donate."

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El País: Periodismo a sangre y fuego en Yemen (Journalism, blood and fire in Yemen)

2011-03-22 Ghosts of Allende & Pinochet Haunt Obama During Visit to Chile

ImageUS President Barack Obama, currently on a trip through Latin America, visited Chile yesterday to further expand trade relations and military and security cooperation between the two countries. He did not intend for his visit to be about the US’ history of interfering in Chile’s domestic affairs or, for that matter, human rights. But, the first question President Obama was asked was the following: Is the United States “willing to ask for forgiveness for what it did in those very difficult years in the ‘70s in Chile?”

President Obama answered, “I think it’s very important for all of us to know our history. And obviously the history of relations between the United States and Latin America have at times been extremely rocky and have at times been difficult.” But, “I think it’s important, though, for us, even as we understand our history and gain clarity about our history, that we’re not trapped by our history.”

Furthermore, President Obama said he could not “speak to all of the policies of the past” but could “speak certainly to the policies of the present and the future.” As he noted that the US has supported democratic reform in Chile for two decades, President Obama refused to acknowledge the true history of US relations with Chile, a history that involved supporting Gen. Augusto Pinochet in a CIA-backed coup in 1973.

President Obama may not want to get “trapped” in a discussion that leads him to have to take responsibility for the country, which he currently presides over, but files released between 1998 and 2003 show, according to investigative reporter Peter Kornbluh, “The US created a climate of a coup in Chile, a situation of chaos and agitation.”

2011-03-21 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageNext: American official says PDP is not a party

"The United States does not consider the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party a political party, a US diplomatic cable leaked to the whistleblowing site, Wikileaks, and made exclusively available to NEXT has shown.

Charge d’ affaires of the US embassy in Nigeria, Lisa Piascik, in a dispatch dated October 19, 2007, informed Washington that despite its labelling as a political party, the PDP did not meet “the common western understanding” of a political party."

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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cable links defecting Yemeni general to smuggling rackets

"US diplomatic cables reveal powerful army chief behind moves to oust president is seen as unwelcome successor to Saleh.

The Yemeni general who has thrown his weight behind moves to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh is a powerful and shadowy figure who has amassed a fortune in arms and fuel smuggling rackets, according to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks."

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2011-03-18 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

Next: We got Obasanjo to anoint Yar'Adua, says Saraki

"Contrary to the belief that former President Olusegun Obasanjo personally hand-picked late President Umaru Yar'Adua as his successor, a United States diplomatic cable obtained by Wikileaks and made available exclusively to NEXT, has detailed how a group of governors led by Bukola Saraki, the Kwara State governor, worked behind the scene to pressure Mr. Obasanjo into anointing the former Katsina State governor as his replacement.

No other person than Mr. Saraki himself gave the account of the political intrigues that threw up the late president to a former US Consul General, Brian Browne."

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"Lower House Diet Member Taro Kono voiced his strong opposition to the nuclear industry in Japan, especially nuclear reprocessing, based on issues of cost, safety, and security during a dinner with a visiting staffdel, Energy Attache and Economic Officer October 21. Kono also criticized the Japanese bureaucracy and power companies for continuing an outdated nuclear energy strategy, suppressing development of alternative energy, and keeping information from Diet members and the public. He also expressed dissatisfaction with the current election campaign law."

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2011-03-17 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageNext: US view of Nigeria's most influential persons

2011-03-16 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageNext: 'Vengeance is his': US official on Obasanjo

"Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has a penchant for “storied vindictiveness” and “proverbial vengefulness”, American embassy officials told their superiors in Washington. In a cable titled ‘Bayelsa governor’s arrest strikes fear in the hearts of his peers’ and sent to Washington on October 21, 2005, the consul general at the American embassy in Nigeria at the time, Brian Browne, described how governors of other southern states became jittery following the arrest of the former Bayelsa State governor. Mr. Alamieyeseigha was arrested in London in September 2005 on charges of money laundering. At the time of his arrest, about £1 million cash was found in his London home. He jumped bail in December 2005 but was impeached upon his return to Nigeria and prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption. Two years later, on July 26, 2007, Mr. Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty to a six-count charge of corruption and was sentenced to two years in prison on each count. The consul general, in his cable, which was sent before the former governor’s escape from the UK, told his superiors that Mr. Alamieyeseigha’s arrest in the UK was not only due to corruption allegations, but also due to his friendship with former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who was Mr. Obasanjo’s arch enemy at the time."

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Next: Inside NDDC and EFCC

2011-03-15 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageNext: Yar’Adua asked Ibori to turn himself in, says Saraki

"Disturbed by the waning bilateral relations between Nigeria and the US government over the perceived lack of vigour in the anti-corruption fight, late President Umaru Yar’Adua asked James Ibori, the corrupt former governor of Delta State, to turn himself in to the British Metropolitan Police.

According to a U.S. diplomatic cable, made available to NEXT, Bukola Saraki, Kwara State governor, a close friend of Mr. Ibori and confidant of Mr. Yar’Adua, said this in a chat with former US ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders."

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Next: ‘We blocked Obasanjo, Babangida’s candidates for PDP chair’

"The emergence of Vincent Ogbulafor as National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2008 was a result of deft political manoeuvring and intense power play among three former Nigerian presidents which saw the camp of late President Umaru Yar’Adua triumphing, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable made available to NEXT.

Bukola Saraki, the Kwara State governor, told former U.S ambassador, Robin Sanders, during a meeting on September 22, 2008 that he used his powerful position as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to help Mr. Yar’Adua’s anointed candidate emerge victorious."

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The Telegraph: US feared British 'sharia banks' would finance terrorist groups

"Britain's enthusiastic support for "sharia banking" raised concerns in Washington that the City of London could become a centre of terrorist funding, leaked documents show.

Financial reforms pushed through by the Labour government allowed Islamic banks to flourish in Britain, amassing assets valued at more than £12 billion."

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The Telegraph: US feared British 'sharia banks' would finance terrorist groups

"Japan was warned more than two years ago by the international nuclear watchdog that its nuclear power plants were not capable of withstanding powerful earthquakes, leaked diplomatic cables reveal.

An official from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in December 2008 that safety rules were out of date and strong earthquakes would pose a "serious problem" for nuclear power stations."

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La Jornada: EU rechaza que Josefina Reyes haya sido asesinada debido a su activismo (EU rejects that Josefina Reyes has been killed because of her activism)

"Señala en un cable que el homicidio es producto de "sus vínculos" con delincuentes. (It is pointed out in a cable that the murder is product of "ties" with criminals.)"

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La Jornada: Por "insistencia" de EU se relegó al Ejército de la lucha antinarco en Juárez (By "insistence" of EU was relegated the fighting anti-narco army in Juárez)

"Cables revelan la "colaboración" estadunidense para dejar al frente a la PF. (Cables reveal U.S. "collaboration" to give control to the Federal Police.)"

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La Jornada: PGR y SG pidieron ayuda a EU para enfocar la lucha en dos ciudades (SG [Secretary of Government] and PGR [General Police of the Republic] sought for help from U.S. to focus on the struggle of two cities)

"Calderón "se juega su reputación" en el combate al crimen organizado, afirmaron". (Calderón "is staking its reputation" in the fight against organized crime, they said.)

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El País: EE UU cree que Lugo carece de apoyos para gobernar Paraguay (The United States believes that Lugo lacks support to govern Paraguay)

"El presidente de Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, comenzó a gobernar en el año 2008 con serias turbulencias y maniobras desestabilizadoras de la oposición, que a los pocos meses de la investidura imputó al exobispo impericia, favoritismo, la promoción de la lucha de clases y le culpó por la inseguridad ciudadana y el estancamiento político. (The president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, began to rule in 2008 with serious disturbances and destabilizing maneuvers of the opposition, which a few months after the inauguration accused the ex-bishop of incompetence, favoritism, the promotion of fights between classes and blamed him about the insecurity and political stalemate.)"

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2011-03-10 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage


"Libya´s National Oil Corporation (NOC) renegotiated the terms of its production sharing agreements with France´s Total and its partners in Libya (Germany´s Wintershall and Norway´s StatoilHydro), adjusting the existing stand-alone contracts to bring them into compliance with the Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) rubric. The renegotiation of Total´s contract is of a piece with the NOC´s effort to renegotiate existing contracts to increase the Libya´s share of crude oil production. An interesting corollary is that one of the affected fields is that from which Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi, periodically obtains oil lifts, which he sells to finance his various activities. Depending on whether his lifts had been coming out of the NOC´s production share or Total´s (it´s not clear what the arrangement was), the renegotiated agreements could adversely impact his revenue stream."

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La Jornada: En 2009, Pascual destapó la debilidad de AN y Calderón tras la elección intermedia (In 2009, Pascual uncovered the weakness of AN and Calderon after the election term)

"En cable diplomático, el embajador describió el entorno político Calderón, "abrumado e inseguro" sobre la vía a seguir, sostuvo "Cree que un repentino éxito" en seguridad dará impulso a su posición, dijo. (In a diplomatic cable, the ambassador described the Calderón's political environment, [who was] "overwhelmed and unsure" about the way forward; "he believes that an overnight success" in security will boost its position, he said.)"

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