Online whistle blower WikiLeaks unveiled another portion of compromising materials. While earlier the website published documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this time they made public secret correspondence of American diplomats. Most materials relate to the period of 2004 – 2010.
Online whistle blower WikiLeaks unveiled a new batch of compromising materials. This time correspondence of American diplomats was leaked, which clearly shows that the U.S. did not stop its subversive activities against other countries. The published papers can also adversely affect the relationship between certain countries. The main question is who benefits from it.
Most of them are recordings of conversations of American diplomats with foreign politicians, officials and individuals in different countries, as well as reports about the events in different countries and analysis of the situation.
According to Der Spiegel, these documents are interesting precisely because diplomats and politicians did not expect them to be published and openly expressed their opinions. The psychological characteristics of foreign leaders devised by American diplomats are particularly of interest.
For example, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is compared to Hitler in U.S. diplomatic files, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is called “risk averse and rarely creative.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy was nicknamed “the emperor with no clothes.”
Diplomats talked of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as “physically and politically weak” and “feckless.” He is particularly disliked by the American diplomats for his friendship with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
In turn, the latter is called by American diplomats the “alpha male,” “Batman” and “brutal politician.” Dmitry Medvedev, in contrast, is called “pale and hesitant” ”who plays Robin to his strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s ”Batman.”
However, the greatest harm to the United States could be caused by making public methods of work of the American diplomats.
Judging by the documents available in open access on WikiLeaks, Washington spied on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as well as the representatives of this international organization in Russia, China and other countries. Allegedly, the secretary of state Hillary Clinton gave an executive order to do so in July 2009.
The degree of the U.S. influence on the foreign policies of other countries is obvious because before the controversial speech by Iranian President Ahmadinejad at the UN General Assembly, the State Department sent a directive to the members of the European countries to leave the hall, which was done nearly by everyone.
A great part of the compromising materials refers to the U.S. actions in the former Soviet Union. For example, following the instructions from Washington, Tajik President Rakhmonov dismissed the head of narcotics control Mirzoyev, who allegedly posed a threat to the President.
American diplomats in Ukraine do not look well either. According to the available documents, they were poking their noses into all internal affairs of this country. This emphasizes the fact that Americans do not intend to abandon attempts to influence certain countries around the world.
Take, for example, the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia John Tefft, who, speaking of the beginning of the August war confuses Ossetian villages subjected to shelling with the Georgian ones.
On the other hand, based on the analysis of other documents, it becomes clear that the “confusion” was deliberate.
For example, back on August 7, he reported to Washington that the Georgian troops moved to the borders of South Ossetia, and after the failure of the Georgian adventure, he wrote to the State Department about the need to insist on “absolute innocence of Georgia.” In fact, the same information is contained in the reports of the U.S. ambassadors in other countries.
The qualifications of a number of American diplomats raise serious questions. For example, the U.S. ambassador to Russia puts too much trust into one group of sources and is not inclined to analyze the information in conjunction with other documents. In particular, we are talking about the reasoning of the deputies from the Communist Party about the future of the “ruling tandem.”
Some of the documents look more like jokes. Among the published materials WikiLeaks has a message from a “source” according to which the head of Russia presidential administration Vladislav Surkov is a fan of rap music who is asking someone to bring him rap albums from New York.
Yet, there are documents that deserve serious attention. For example, the reports from U.S. embassies on their participation in promotions of the Russian opposition and gathering information about the stability of the ruling regime.
Judging by the reaction of Washington, this leak is extremely unpleasant. Indeed, thanks to the scandalous publications the entire world had the opportunity to assess the methods of the American diplomacy and the extent of its influence on the planet.
The official White House described the actions of the portal as “irresponsible and dangerous” because they damage the national interests of America. “These revelations could harm the United States and our interests,” said State Department spokesman F. J. Crowley. “They will create friction between our diplomats and our friends around the world.”
According to a White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, the leak threatens the activities of the American diplomats and cooperating foreign counterparts. This way, they virtually recognized the genuineness of the documents.
They were echoed by Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, who believes that this event is the “September 11 for the world of diplomacy.” According to him, after such publication the trust between Washington and Rome “will be undermined.” However, everyone who is one way or another affected by these publications have to swallow it all. After all, the U.S. is obviously not the country to be fighting with.
There is nothing disturbing for the American-Italian relations in the fact that Berlusconi was called the names he deserves to be called.
The question arises as to how these documents fell into the hands of journalists. It is believed that the source of current leakage is a fellow of the American U.S. military intelligence Bradley Manning. The question is how such a volume of documents was left unprotected, and why no heads are rolling in the States.
One of the reasons is that essentially there is nothing new in these documents. Nobody has illusions as to how the U.S. acts and what methods it uses. We all know what role, for example, American diplomats have played in nearly every revolution in Latin America.
We know how the money and weapons got into the hands of the groups they support. We know that Americans carefully pushed the French out from their colonies and how they continue to destroy the remnants of the French influence in Africa and Oceania.
However, the helplessness of the most powerful nation in the world to the threat posed by a website is still surprising. Before publishing another portion of compromising material, Assange said that now hidden diplomacy will become impossible. Criminal plans and conspiracies will be leaked. He added that the world has entered a new phase – a strip of honesty and openness.
It is worth mentioning that back in the summer of this year unprecedented pressure was put on the founder of the whistle blower site Julian Assange. It involved initiating criminal proceedings against him on charges of harassment. However, despite this, the leak continues. According to the Wikileaks, another 250 thousand documents will be soon available in the open access.
The content of some materials already made public makes one carefully consider the true purpose of the publication. Take, for example, reports of American diplomats regarding the statements of the Azerbaijani leadership about Russia. According to these “documents,” the Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev is afraid of the imperial ambitions of the latter and is critical of the Russian system of government.
In particular, the U.S. report has mentioned that the President of Azerbaijan allegedly said that “you cannot cook two heads in one pot,” alluding to the ruling “tandem.”
In addition, some “documents” cannot withstand criticism. For example, the statements of US diplomats that during the negotiations Sarkozy-Medvedev in August of 2008, the French president allegedly grabbed the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and called him a liar are no more than a tale. The grounds for such conclusions were allegedly the statements of the French negotiators.
Note, however, that at a difficult time for Russia, Nicolas Sarkozy, in contrast to the American political elite, has shown himself at his best, playing a significant role in minimizing the consequences of the August war.
Therefore we cannot rule out the fact that this is a deliberate leak made by the United States, whose goal is to cause fights among different countries, including Russia.
US and British officials clashed over the use of a Cyprus air base for US spying missions in 2008, with London worried about complicity in potential rights abuses, leaked cables showed.
The government was particularly concerned about U2 spy plane missions to track militants in Lebanon, Turkey and northern Iraq that provided intelligence to Lebanese and Turkish authorities.
The newly-disclosed spat between the two close allies is the latest in a series of revelations stemming from the release of a trove of secret US embassy cables by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.
The cables describe how British officials demanded to be kept better informed about covert missions out of Akrotiri air base and whether other governments were involved, so they could decide if the operations might carry legal or other risks, according to the cables.
The acrimonious discussions, during former president George W. Bush’s administration, led a US diplomat to write that an element of “distrust” had emerged in relations between the traditional allies, according to the 2008 documents, first reported in The Guardian.
Under political pressure at home over Britain’s role in secret CIA flights to transfer terror suspects, officials ordered the Americans to provide in writing more details about planned spying flights out of the base to ensure London was not a party to “unlawful” operations, the cables said.
A British letter to Washington on April 18, 2008, said “recent U2 flights over Turkey/Northern Iraq, and the Lebanon, have highlighted important legal and political issues which require much more careful consideration by HMG.”
Britain believed “it is important for us to be satisfied that HMG is not indirectly aiding the commission of unlawful acts by those governments on the basis of the information gathered through the assistance we provide to the US,” said the letter, quoted in the cable.
London was also concerned about “sensitivities” with the government in Cyprus, to avoid operations that might anger the local government and lead to losing access to the air base, the letter said.
London’s requests angered the Americans, who saw the requirements as hampering counter-terrorism efforts.
“Embassy London is concerned by HMG?s piling on of concerns and conditions, which portend a burdensome process for getting the rest of our intel flights approved,” a cable said.
While the United States shared Britain’s human rights concerns, “we cannot take a risk-avoidance approach to CT (counter-terrorism) in which the fear of potentially violating human rights allows terrorism to proliferate in Lebanon,” the US embassy in London wrote.
London’s concerns were due to an earlier revelation that the US government had transferred captured terror suspects through the British territory of Diego Garcia “without UK permission” and London’s “need to ensure it is not similarly blindsided in the future,” the US embassy wrote.
The embassy urged a high-level US diplomat to intervene after a British official said his government expected Washington to “ensure” any detainees captured in Lebanon with the help of spy flights would be “treated lawfully” by Lebanese authorities, the cables said.
A senior administration official then met with the Foreign Office’s head of defense and intelligence, who appeared to strike a more conciliatory tone.
The foreign office official said the discussions over spy flights were “unnecessarily confrontational” and backed away from demands over detainees captured as a result of the Lebanon spy flights, the embassy wrote.
But the official said Washington had gotten “sloppy” in its use of the Cyprus base, and that the Americans need to fully inform Britain about operations involving third countries, the cable said.
Despite US objections, the official insisted that requests for future flights be made through the US embassy in London and between both governments instead of only going through military channels, it said.
The official said the then foreign secretary David Miliband believed that “policymakers needed to get control of the military.”
Julian Assange in exclusive interview with Russky Reporter magazine (Russian Reporter)
Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks, will voluntarily meet with British police to discuss a European arrest warrant, the Guardian said Tuesday citing his lawyers.
Assange, who has been in hiding since his website began releasing a huge number of confidential U.S. government documents to the public, is believed to be in the London area.
“He has not been charged with anything. We are in the process of making arrangements to meet the police by consent,” the Guardian quoted Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens as saying.
A court in Stockholm approved a prosecution request in November to detain the 39-year old Australian, who is accused of rape and sexual harassment. On November 20, Interpol circulated a red notice, or international wanted persons alert, for Assange to all 188 member countries of the organization.
Stevens earlier said Scotland Yard initially dismissed the order for violating legal norms, but that the British authorities had now received all the necessary documents from Sweden to make an arrest.
According to the Guardian, “once Assange turns himself in to the police, he will have to appear before a magistrates’ court within 24 hours, where he will seek release on bail. A full hearing of his extradition case would have to be heard within 28 days.”
His lawyers fear that following Asssange’s extradition to Sweden he could be then extradited to the United States where he could face death penalty for violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has been forced to move to a Swiss host after being dumped by U.S. internet companies, the Guardian reported.
However, it continues to spawn mirror sites around the world despite Washington’s strong efforts to stop its activities.
NATO drew up plans in January to defend the Baltic states against Russia, the latest batch of leaked U.S. cables released by Wikileaks show.
“On January 22, NATO’s Military Committee agreed to expand Eagle Guardian, the Alliance’s contingency plan for the reinforcement and defense of Poland, to also include the defense and reinforcement of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania,” the cable, published on Monday in the Guardian, read.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentions the plan in another cable released on Monday and stresses that it must be kept secret.
“We see the expansion of Eagle Guardian as a step toward the possible expansion of NATO’s other existing country-specific contingency plans into regional plans,” the cable said.
In May 2010, following the U.S. – Polish Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the United States opened a temporary military base near the northern Polish town of Morag , 80 km (50 miles) from the Russian border. The base, which will become permanent from 2012, will deploy U.S. Patriot missiles and Standard Missile interceptor SM-3s.
Moscow was angered by the base’s proximity to the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.
Britain received an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Monday. The whistleblower, who is wanted in Sweden on rape allegations, agreed on Tuesday to meet with British police to discuss the warrant.
Assange’s lawyers fear that from Sweden, Asssange could be extradited to the United States, where he could face death penalty for violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.
The founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been arrested by the Metropolitan Police in London on sexual assault charges, the BBC said.
Last week, Swedish prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for the 39-year-old Australian on suspicion of committing sexual assaults including rape. Assange denies the allegations.
Police said Assange was arrested at 09:30 a.m. GMT on Tuesday by appointment at a London police station on a European Arrest Warrant.
“He is accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape, all alleged to have been committed in August 2010,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.
He is due to appear before the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court later today. WikiLeaks is under increasing international pressure over the release of U.S. diplomatic cables.
A month after dropping out of public view, the 39-year-old Australian surrendered to Scotland Yard to answer a warrant issued for his arrest by Sweden. He is wanted for questioning after two women accused him of having sex with them without a condom and without their consent.
Assange said he would fight extradition to Sweden, setting the stage for what could be a pitched legal battle. And as if to prove that it can’t be intimidated, WikiLeaks promptly released a dozen new cables, including details of a NATO defense plan for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that made Russia bristle.
The Pentagon welcomed Assange’s arrest.
“That sounds like good news to me,” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on a visit to Afghanistan.
WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson insisted Assange’s arrest and the decision Tuesday by both Visa and MasterCard to stop processing donations to the group “will not change our operation.” Hrafnsson said the organization has no plans yet to make good on its threat to release en masse some of its most sensitive U.S. documents if it comes under attack.
At a court hearing in London, Assange showed no reaction as Judge Howard Riddle denied him bail while he awaits an extradition hearing Dec. 14. The judge said Assange might flee if released. When the judge asked him whether he would agree to be extradited, Assange said: “I do not consent.”
It was not publicly known which jail Assange was sent to, since British police never reveal that for privacy and security reasons. Some prisoners occasionally get Internet access, though only under close supervision.
The U.S. government is investigating whether Assange can be prosecuted for espionage or other offenses. On Tuesday, Pentagon and State Department officials said some foreign officials have suddenly grown reluctant to trust the U.S. because of the secrets spilled by WikiLeaks.
“We have already seen some indications of meetings that used to involve several diplomats and now involve fewer diplomats,” said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. “We’re conscious of at least one meeting where it was requested that notebooks be left outside the room.”
Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said the military had seen foreign contacts “pulling back.”
“Believing that the U.S. is not good at keeping secrets and having secrets out there certainly changed things,” Lapan said.
During the hour-long court hearing in London, attorney Gemma Lindfield, acting on behalf of the Swedish authorities, outlined the allegations of rape, molestation and unlawful coercion that were brought against Assange following separate sexual encounters in August with two women in Sweden.
Lindfield said one woman accused Assange of pinning her down and refusing to use a condom on the night of Aug. 14 in Stockholm. That woman also accused of Assange of molesting her in a way “designed to violate her sexual integrity” several days later. A second woman accused Assange of having sex with her without a condom while he was a guest at her Stockholm home and she was asleep.
A person who has sex with an unconscious, drunk or sleeping person in Sweden can be convicted of rape and sentenced to two to six years in prison.
Assange’s lawyers have claimed the accusations stem from disputes “over consensual but unprotected sex” and say the women made the claims only after finding out that Assange had slept with both.
Prosecutors in Sweden have not brought any formal charges against Assange. WikiLeaks lawyer Mark Stephens said there are doubts as to whether Sweden has the legal right to extradite him simply for questioning.
Experts say European arrest warrants like the one issued by Sweden can be tough to beat. Even if the warrant were defeated on a technicality, Sweden could simply issue a new one.
The extradition process could take anywhere from a week to two months, according to Assange’s Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig. If Assange loses, he may appeal to the High Court. There can be further appeals, and Sweden also has a right to appeal if the court finds in Assange’s favor.
In the meantime, Stephens said he would reapply for bail, noting that several prominent Britons — including socialite Jemima Khan and filmmaker Ken Loach — have each offered to post 20,000 pounds ($31,500) so Assange could go free.
Australian government officials said they are providing Assange with consular assistance, as they do with any countryman arrested abroad. The consul general in London spoke to Assange to ensure he had legal representation, the government said.
Some people protested outside the London court, bearing signs reading, “Save Wikileaks, Save Free Speech” and “Trumped Up Charges.”
“I came to show my support for Julian,” said 26-year-old electrician Kim Krasniqi. “He is innocent. Europe is bullying him, They don’t want him to publish what he is publishing.”
The latest batch of confidential U.S. cables could strain relations between Washington and Moscow. The documents show that NATO secretly decided in January to defend the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania against military attack.
Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, said Tuesday that Moscow will demand that NATO drop the agreement, which he argued is clearly aimed at his country.
“Against whom else could such a defense be intended? Against Sweden, Finland, Greenland, Iceland? Against polar bears, or against the Russian bear?” Rogozin said.
Popular Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul is no stranger to breaking with his party, but in a recent television appearance the libertarian-leaning Rep. went even further than any member of Congress in defending whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
Speaking to Fox Business host Judge Napolitano on Thursday about recent revelations at the Federal Reserve, Paul’s typical candor showed through.
“What we need is more WikiLeaks about the Federal Reserve,” he said. “Can you imagine what it’d be like if we had every conversation in the last 10 years with our Federal Reserve people, the Federal Reserve chairman, with all the central bankers of the world and every agreement or quid-pro-quo they have? It would be massive. People would be so outraged.”
Paul, a longtime critic of the US Federal Reserve, is the incoming chairman of a House subcommittee on monetary policy. His most recent book, titled “End the Fed,” takes aim at central banks the world over, blaming fiat money systems and fractional reserve banking for the world’s increasingly volatile economies.
“In a free society we’re supposed to know the truth,” Paul insisted. “In a society where truth becomes treason, then we’re in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it.
He added: “This whole notion that Assange, who’s an Australian, that we want to prosecute him for treason — I mean, aren’t they jumping to a wild conclusion? […] I mean, why don’t we prosecute The New York Times or anybody that releases this?”
The Texas congressman echoed his message from Fox Business in a twitter post early Friday.
“In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth,” he wrote. “In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble.”
Many Republicans have called for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, an Australian, to be prosecuted under the US Espionage Act, or for his site to be deemed a “foreign terrorist organization.” The Department of Justice said it was looking into who leaked the massive caches of documents to Assange and whether or not he could be prosecuted.
The site experienced a series of domain take-downs by mid-day Friday, but was back online via an IP address, with mirrors popping up across Europe.
Data released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday showed that foreign banks were among the biggest recipients of some $3.3 trillion in emergency loans offered by the US central bank amid the 2008 financial crisis.
More than $290 billion worth of mortgage securities were sold to Deutsche Bank, a German lender. Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank, got more than $287 billion in mortgage bonds. Corporations like Caterpillar, General Electric, Harley Davidson, McDonald’s, Verizon and Toyota also relied the programs.