It’s like reading a who’s who in American politics, as WikiLeaks published more than 250,000 State Department documents mostly dealing with the two wars in the Middle East.
Names like President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and General Petraeus are on the country’s heavy hitter list and latest targets of intelligence documents released by the new “go to” sensational website WikiLeaks. http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/
Major news organizations like the New York Times and Britain’s Guardian have already posted stories highlighting many classified State Department cables- some the Obama Administration claim will endanger current and past government officials and diplomats.
As a result the White House released a statement following the latest WikiLeaks document dump. “President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal.” It continued to articulate that, “By releasing stolen and classified documents, WikiLeaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals.”
Some of the notable communiqué’s include;
* Corruption with the Afghanistan government, including reports of a senior official found carrying more than $50 million in cash on an overseas trip; also a cable reveals that President Karzai’s brother involvement with illicit drugs and said he “demonstrated that he will dissemble when it suits his needs. He appears not to understand the level of our knowledge of his activities. We will need to monitor his activity closely and deliver a recurring, transparent message to him about the limits of American tolerance.”
* It appears there was substantial bargaining to vacate Guantanamo Bay prison. The cable even shows the Obama Administration telling Slovenian diplomats to take a freed prisoner if they expected a meeting with President Obama.
* The Bush Administration was caught warning Germany in 2007 not to enforce arrest warrants for Central Intelligence Agency employees.
* Cables displayed Iran’s efforts to adapt North Korean long-range missiles.
* Another cable reveals Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telling U.S. officials to spy on the UN’s leadership.
* Perhaps most unnerving is the extremely close relationship between Russian Prime Minister Putin and his Italian counterpart Berlusconi and the fact the Italian leader was promoting Putin’s policies.
* The leaks also alleged a number of links between the Russian government and organized crime.
* Surprisingly WikiLeaks reveals Yemen’s president talking to then U.S. Middle East Commander General Petraeus about attacks on al-Qaeda bases in Yemen and quoting; “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.”
* The leaks also reveal the failure of the U.S. to stop Syria from supplying arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
* Allowing the “business as usual” methods in the fight against terrorism took center stage by allowing Saudi donors to remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like al Qaeda and Qatar. Both countries have been good hosts to the American military, but WikiLeaks cables allude to the fact they were the “worst in the region” in counterterrorism efforts.
* WikiLeaks contends that Qatar’s security service was “hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals.”
* The U.S. ambassador to Eritrea said last year “Eritrean officials are ignorant or lying” in denying that they were supporting the al-Shabaab, a militant-wing Islamist group in Somalia. There have been several recent arrests in San Diego of al-Shabaab sympathizers sending money to the North African terrorist organization.
Most of the documents released from WikiLeaks were unclassified and they claim none of the memos were marked “top secret,” which is the U.S. government’s secure category. However WikiLeaks admits some of the leaked documents were classified as “secret.”
Another 9,000 cables were labeled “noforn,” which is shorthand for material that is too delicate to mutually share with foreign governments.
As information begins to circulate and the war-time leaks make the international rounds, the State Department, Pentagon and White House will most likely have a lot of explaining to do- not something a battered Obama Administration looks forward to defending.
© Copyright 2010Kimberly Dvorak all rights reserved