Wikileaks release begins; Updated with raw info
NOFORN UPDATE LOL
I’m going though the raw cables now and will put interesting things up here as I find them. There’s not a whole lot available at this point which merits much attention, as Wikileaks is releasing the cables gradually, but I’ll keep an eye on those releases as they come over the next week and afterwards.
* The head of Mossad believes that the most recent Israeli war against Lebanon had the effect of emboldening Syria.
* In 2005, the crown prince of the UAE was encouraging the U.S. not only to launch air strikes on Iran, but to send in ground forces if that’s what would be required to take out that country’s dispersed nuclear program. Maybe he can write for Commentary now that whats-her-name has been poached by the Washington Post. From the same cable:
[The jolly Emirati] then slapped his knee and said “you’ll never guess what Musharraf asked me…he asked me whether the UAE had received approval for the Predator!” (Note: the USG’s inability to meet the UAE’s request for an armed Predator remains a sore point for MbZ, although he has not directly raised the issue with us for some time.)
* The State Department’s Operations Center phone number to which all embassy calls should be directed on occasions of walk-ins is (202) 647-1512. Sample prank call idea: “Yeah, this is Oslo. A guy named Julian Assange just came in and said he has a lot of interesting information for us. Please advise.”
* On the occasion of a visit by Netanyahu to Russia, Israeli DCM Roi Rosenblit “said Netanyahu’s visit emphasized the ‘special relationship’ between Israel and Russia.” Can someone please forward this to Joel Rosenberg and the millions of other people who believe that the Bible predicts an alliance between Russia, Iran, and the Arab states against Israel? Also, forward them all the stuff about the Arab states being more hawkish on Iran than Bush was. Actually, forget it.
The Guardian, which is one of the publications that will be hosting a couple of hundred thousand U.S. diplomatic cables beginning today, has now posted a preview summary of what some of these documents will reveal. Thus far, the paper reports that several Arab leaders are backing a potential airstrike on Iran and that the U.S. has been spying on the U.N. Neither of these things are particularly surprising, but – as will likely be the case with many of the revelations – both will prove rather embarrassing in certain quarters by virtue of being confirmed and nailed down by way of specifics.
I’ll provide updates throughout the day as other outlets put up additional summaries and as I get a chance to go through the raw documents myself.
The Guardian piece goes on to list a few more revelations, including this one:
•Allegations that Russia and its intelligence agencies are using mafia bosses to carry out criminal operations, with one cable reporting that the relationship is so close that the country has become a “virtual mafia state”.
This one must be from ten years ago or thereabouts.
Update the Second
Also from the Guardian piece:
PJ Crowley, the state department spokesman in Washington, said: “Let me assure you: our diplomats are just that, diplomats. They do not engage in intelligence activities. They represent our country around the world, maintain open and transparent contact with other governments as well as public and private figures, and report home. That’s what diplomats have done for hundreds of years.”
What’s striking about this position is that not only is it particularly untenable in light of the numerous facts to the contrary that are now coming out, but that it such a statement is also plainly false in light of what every knowledgeable person already knew about how U.S. embassies operate even before today. The idea that U.S. intelligence does not make clandestine use of the diplomatic infrastructure is more ludicrous today that at any point in the past, and yet here we have a State Department spokesman claiming otherwise in such a manner that will convince literally not a single person when State could have merely said something like, “Yes, like many countries and world powers in particular we have used our embassies to our advantage in the collecting of information that is vital to our nation’s security.” Does anyone here think that this was a competent response to the situation on behalf of the State Department, one that will have a net positive effect even from their own standpoint, setting aside issues relating to truth and other apparent luxuries?
I’m giving my Most Idiotic Assertion Regarding the Wikileaks Release By Someone Who Is Not Jim Hoft Award to John Hinderaker over at Powerline, who has made the following assertion regarding The New York Times‘ decision to run leaked cables that are already on their way to the public domain anyway:
The paper needn’t have much fear of criminal prosecution, since it uses the leaked cables as an opportunity for a paean to the Obama administration’s foreign policies.
Nevermind that the vast majority of the cables are in fact embarrassing to the Obama Administration, or that the analysis piece to which Hinderaker links highlights the assertion that Iran has purchased missiles from North Korea which are capable of hitting Europe. Any analysis that includes something as irrelevant as new and factual information regarding Obama’s success in organizing international sanctions against Iran at some point in a long article about Iran’s nuclear program is clearly written in service to the liberal media conspiracy.
Wikileaks has now released the entirety of the cables to the public.