This afternoon Wikileaks, an organization which aims for “maximum disclosure” in the public arena, initiated the release of more than 250,000 critically important State Department cable communications from US embassies located around the world. Topics covered range from rogue states like Iran and North Korea to requests for information collection on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to well-wishes from the Saudi King to then incoming President Barrack Obama.
Wikileaks latest “dump” of classified information unveils the extensive backstage network that monitors, controls and orchestrates US foreign policy. It remains to be seen exactly how the world will react to some of the new insights, however this will unquestionably be a critical issue in the coming days and weeks ahead. Already this has relegated the Ireland bailout package to back page status as people digest the contents of the disclosures.
In a November 22nd message from the @Wikileaks Twitter account, the organization forewarned that “The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined.” Now it’s clear exactly what they were alluding to. Today’s leaks will force drastic changes on particular global relationships, a revision of security measures within the U.S. Government, and even lead to the redesign of how the U.S. Government manages and doncucts foreign affairs, espionage and the War on Terror.
The Guardian has put together an interactive database that allows users to search through the contents by originating country, people, subject matter and more. According to The Guardian, these leaks are already causing an international diplomatic crisis.
This should come as no surprise considering the contents of the initial disclosures to hit the press, which include some of the following revelations:
- Discussions have taken place between US and South Korean officials about the reunification of North and South Korea. In these discussions, South Korean officials even “considered commercial inducements to China, according to the American ambassador to Seoul. (NY Times)” This could certainly add fuel to the already fiery situation brewing between North and South Korea.
- These leaks provide explicit confirmation that China was in fact behind the hacking of Google’s servers and operations based in China. This was the catalyst that ultimately led to Google’s withdrawal from the country. Such espionage by China was not restricted to Google, as the country also targeted powerful companies and business people from around the globe. (NY Times)
- US Government officials asked diplomats to seek out personal and private information on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and other high ranking U.N. officers. (The Guardian). This calls into question the United States’ position on U.N. neutrality.
Many of the leaks focus on U.S. relations and interactions with countries regarding the War on Terror in the wake of 9/11. Popular topics include Middle East countries venting their concerns over a nuclear Iran and suspicions of ties between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the narcotics trade. These documents also include details on the relationships between U.S. and close European allies and leaders including the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Russia. Few people and places of global importance remain untouched in today’s leaks.