Monday, April 08, 2013

WikiLeaks releases more documents

Al Rafidayn reports that today WikiLeaks  published 1.7 million US diplomatic documents from the seventies (1973 - 1976).  The paper notes that WikiLeaks angered the US government in 2010 with the publication of government documents but, unlike those, these documents came from the US National Archives and a large number were from or to former US Secretary of State and War Criminal Henry Kissinger. 

WikiLeaks issued a press release which includes:


"The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." -- Henry A. Kissinger, US Secretary of State, March 10, 1975:
The Kissinger Cables comprise more than 1.7 million US diplomatic records for the period 1973 to 1976, including 205,901 records relating to former US Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. Dating from January 1, 1973 to December 31, 1976 they cover a variety of diplomatic traffic including cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence. They include more than 1.3 million full diplomatic cables and 320,000 originally classified records. These include more than 227,000 cables classified as "CONFIDENTIAL" and 61,000 cables classified as "SECRET". Perhaps more importantly, there are more than 12,000 documents with the sensitive handling restriction "NODIS" or 'no distribution', and more than 9,000 labelled "Eyes Only".
At around 700 million words, the Kissinger Cables collection is approximately five times the size of WikiLeaks' Cablegate. The raw PDF data is more than 380 Gigabytes in size and is the largest WikiLeaks publication to date.
WikiLeaks' media partners will be reporting throughout the week on their findings. These include significant revelations about US involvements with fascist dictatorships, particularly in Latin America, under Franco's Spain (including about the Spanish royal family) and in Greece under the regime of the Colonels.
The documents also contain hourly diplomatic reporting on the 1973 war between Israel, Egypt and Syria (the "Yom Kippur war"). While several of these documents have been used by US academic researchers in the past, the Kissinger Cables provides unparalled access to journalists and the general public.
Most of the records were reviewed by the United States Department of State's systematic 25-year declassification process. At review, the records were assessed and either declassified or kept classified with some or all of the metadata records declassified. Both sets of records were then subject to an additional review by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Once believed to be releasable, they were placed as individual PDFs at the National Archives as part of their Central Foreign Policy Files collection. Despite the review process supposedly assessing documents after 25 years there are no diplomatic records later than 1976. The formal declassification and review process of these extremely valuable historical documents is therefore currently running 12 years late.
The form in which these documents were held at NARA was as 1.7 million individual PDFs. To prepare these documents for integration into the PlusD collection, WikiLeaks obtained and reverse-engineered all 1.7 million PDFs and performed a detailed analysis of individual fields, developed sophisticated technical systems to deal with the complex and voluminous data and corrected a great many errors introduced by NARA, the State Department or its diplomats, for example harmonizing the many different ways in which departments, capitals and people's names were spelt. All our corrective work is referenced and available from the links in the individual field descriptions on the PlusD text search interface:


The CIA and other agencies have attempted to reclassify or withhold sections of the US National Archives. Detailed minutes of US State Department meetings show that these attempts, which originated under the Bush II administration, have continued on through until at least 2009. A 2006 analysis by the US National Security Archives, an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at George Washington University, found that 55,000 pages had been secretly reclassified.
The censorship of the US National Archives was thrown into stark relief in November last year when the Archive censored all searches for 'WikiLeaks' from its records. See
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' publisher, said: "The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world. Fortunately, an organisation with an unbroken record in resisting censorship attempts now has a copy."

As with previous releases from WikiLeaks, this one has caused controversy.  We'll zoom in on India.  Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi passed away in 1991.  Today, the son of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (he became prime minister when she was assassinated), is the focus of much debate.  Murali N. Krishnaswamy (The Hindu) reports:

Much before he became Prime Minister, during his years as an Indian Airlines pilot, Rajiv Gandhi may have been a middleman for the Swedish company Saab-Scania, when it was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to India in the 1970s.
The astonishing revelation that he was the “main Indian negotiator” for a massive aircraft deal for which his “family” connections were seen as valuable, is contained in the Kissinger Cables, the latest tranche of U.S diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and accessed by The Hindu as part of an investigative collaboration. The cables will be released on Monday.

 CNN-IBN report the immediate response from the Indian Congress, "The Congress has rejected the WikiLeaks revelation that named late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in a scandal." The Times of India and other outlets including BBC News and Zee News are reporting on this.

Zee News is also reporting on an October 18, 1973 cable that reveals the Vatican's immediate response to the slaughters and massacres launched by thug Augusto Pinochet when he took over Chile as false and "Communist propaganda."  There are embarrassments and exposures.  Australia will focus on the latter.  Paul Bleakley (Australian Times) reports:

AUSTRALIAN Foreign Minister Bob Carr has been revealed as a long-term source of intelligence to the United States of America in previously secret diplomatic reports released by WikiLeaks today.
The reports show Senator Carr began communicating with American diplomats over forty years ago when he was still a rising star in the New South Wales Labor Party. It is understood that American officials approached Carr to gather information regarding internal Labor politics during the mid-1970s, at a time when the left-wing Whitlam government threatened to undermine the US-Australian alliance.

Other documents in the release have historical value.  Sofia News Agency explains:

The site for investigative journalism, official partner of WikiLeaks for Bulgaria, has analyzed the records from the latest whistle-blowing project "The Kissinger Cables."
The 1.3 million US diplomatic cables from the period of the Cold War, 1973 – 1976, released by WikiLeaks, contain 4 226 diplomatic cables from the US Embassy in Sofia. 574 of them are classified as "CONFIDENTIAL" and just 31 are classified as "SECRET." The key word (tag) Bulgaria is found in 16 389 texts, 405 of which have the grief "SECRET."

 Last week, WikiLeaks released a cable regarding Venezuela -- a cable from the current administration.  RT reported:

In a secret US cable published online by WikiLeaks, former ambassador to Venezuela, William Brownfield, outlines a comprehensive plan to infiltrate and destabilize former President Hugo Chavez' government.
Dispatched in November of 2006 by Brownfield -- now an Assistant Secretary of State -- the document outlined his embassy’s five core objectives in Venezuela since 2004, which included: “penetrating Chavez’ political base,” “dividing Chavismo,” “protecting vital US business” and “isolating Chavez internationally.

Whistle blower Bradley Manning supplied WikiLeaks with documents for their 2010 release.  Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December.  At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial.  Bradley has yet to enter a plea and has neither affirmed that he is the leaker nor denied it.  The court-martial was supposed to begin before November 2012 but was postponed until after the election.  Februrary 28th, Bradley explained he leaked the documents so that US citizens could know what was actually going on,  "I felt we were risking so much for people who seemed unwilling to cooperate with us, leading to frustration and hatred on both sides. I began to become depressed at the situation we found ourselves mired in year after year. In attempting counterinsurgency operations, we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists.  I wanted the public to know that not everyone living in Iraq were targets to be neutralized."

Bradley's court-martial is currently expected to begin in June.  Making Bradley a political prisoner has not helped the image of War Hawk Barack Obama.  Norman Solomon (San Francisco Bay Guardian) noted last week:

This week, a challenge has begun with the launch of a petition urging the Norwegian Nobel Committee to revoke Obama’s Peace Prize. By midnight of the first day, nearly 10,000 people had signed. The online petition simply tells the Nobel committee: “I urge you to rescind the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to Barack Obama.”

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include political prisoner Lynne Stewart, an update on the Guantanamo hunger strike from CCR attorney Omar Farah, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi joins the hosts to discuss how the US government de-stabilizes the Middle East and NLG attorney Larry Hildes addresses the 9th Circuit ruling that allows the lawsuit against the US military for spying on peace activists to go forward.

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