A leaked US cable summarises a July 2008 discussion between the Prime Minister of the West Bank, Salam Fayyad, and chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, on the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations. While Fayyad thanked Washington for "unprecedented" assistance, complained about Israel's "unwanted" actions and discussed "relations" with Gazans; Erekat underlined the Palestinian Authority's commitment to finish a framework for permanent status.
In May 2006, the US Liaison Office in Tripoli documents the extensive interests of the family of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in the Libyan economy: "The...family and other Jamahiriya [Libyan system] political favorites profit from being able to manipulate the multi-layered and regularly shifting dynamics of governance mechanisms in Libya.
Israeli officials may have told Americans in 2008 that "they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis" (see our separate entry), but another U.S. embassy cable from 2006 indicates a possible way around the siege: bribing Israelis were bribed to accept US goods into Gaza.
For more than 20 years, one of the controversies over the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent US-led war against Baghdad is whether the US Ambassador in Iraq --- deliberately or inadvertently --- gave a "green light" to Saddam Hussein to attack the Kuwaitis.
With another round of discussions on Iran's nuclear programme soon to take place in Turkey, this document from WikiLeaks is an important snapshot of why the last set of talks between Tehran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia) failed to make progress in autumn 2009.
In June 2008, the US Embassy in Tunis takes a full and frank look at corruption in Tunisia. It "is getting worse" and it starts at the top: "President [Zine El Abidine] Ben Ali's extended family is often cited as the nexus of Tunisian corruption....Seemingly half of the Tunisian business community can claim a Ben Ali connection through marriage, and many of these relations are reported to have made the most of their lineage."
In August 2009, less than two months after the disputed Presidential election, the Iranian authorities held a mass trial of more than 100 defendants in Tehran. The proceedings were more for show than for due legal process: unlike most hearings, they were held in public --- indeed they were televised --- and they were accompanied by a series of high-profile "confessions".
In August 2007, a well-placed Iranian approaches the US Embassy in London with an offer. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), with its "central and preeminent role in the Iranian government", will co-operate with the US in Iraq, but "a U.S. terrorist designation of the IRGC would prevent any such cooperation".
In December 2007, the US Embassy in France confronts opposition to genetically-modified crops in Europe. The intervention was prompted by a ban on GM corn produced by the agricultural company Monsanto. The cable, sent to Washington and US missions in Europe in the name of Ambassador Craig Stapleton is blunt: "In our view, Europe is moving backwards not forwards on this issue with France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the Commission....Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices."
Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months -- and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait -- under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.
A confidential cable sent on April 25, 2008 by then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to State Department representatives worldwide states that "on September 6 2007, Israel destroyed the nuclear reactor built by Syria secretly, apparently with North Korea's help."
The London attacks of 7 July 2005 were a watershed for counter-terrorism. Although UK citizens had been involved in terrorist activity outside Britain and had been arrested for planning terrorist acts inside the country, the suicide bombings by four young British citizens, killing themselves and 52 others, put an exclamation mark on the threat. The murders triggered considerable soul-searching within the UK and hurried and ill-considered responses by the government of Tony Blair
Journalists and politicians are calling for the criminalisation of Wikileaks and even the assassination of its members. The US government is coercing companies into blocking access to the website, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is normally a strong proponent of internet freedom, has been forced to "evolve" her positions.
In September 2009, an Iranian political source --- who also happens to be trained in martial arts --- tells the US Embassy in Azerbaijan that the regime is pressuring martial arts clubs, despite suspicions that they could be assisting opposition groups, to provide instruction for the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards.
Paucelle explained that European Union members would protest the first of two inauguration ceremonies for President Ahmadinejad by sending low-ranking diplomats. Paucelle continued, however, that the Iranians would not know of the protest: "If the Iranians find out beforehand that the EU will not send Ambassador-level representation, then they may rescind the invitations to the August 3 event." Maintaining this sign of disapproval that would not be known to the Iranians as a sign of disapproval was difficult, Paucelle noted, "It's hard to keep a secret when 27 nations are involved but we are trying."
To talk about current events is one thing. Would talking about it make you ineligible for a job at the State Department? No. But to go into detail, and propagate information that was illegally obtained I don't think that's a good move for anyone. Not Julian Assange, not Wikileaks, and not any U.S. citizen.
The second of three long cables from the US Consulate in Dubai in January 2010 assessing the political situation in Iran. (The first cable was published on EA yesterday.) We think the document is very significant, both for a vision of US thinking in January and for the situation today, and will have a full analysis on Sunday.
Aluf Benn writes in Haaretz, "WikiLeaks did not succeed in penetrating the most sensitive channels of US-Israel relations" because "there are no large gaps between what it said domestically and what it said for public consumption": The "Israeli portion" of the U.S. government dispatches that were revealed yesterday by the WikiLeaks website revealed almost no new details regarding the exchange of messages between Jerusalem and Washington.
It is March 2009. Senator Benjamin Cardin (Democrat, Maryland) is in a Congressional delegation visiting Syria. He gets an audience with President Bashar al-Assad. What does he say?
Journalist Gareth Porter speaks with The Real News about the initial handling of the Wikileaks documents on Iran, putting another context on the headline that Arab leaders called for military action against Tehran. (The interview starts at the 3-minute mark.)
In May 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent out a cable to the Department's Iran experts around the world about "a report regarding an Iranian Government decision to remove anti-American slogans and art from Tehran's buildings":
Gary Sick analyses the Wikileaks documents, "The only conclusion I can draw from this is that Obama was never sincere about his engagement strategy. It has yet to be tried": The latest Wikileaks information dump includes an enormous body of cable traffic dealing with the US and Iran. Most of it simply confirms what most people already believed:
"The biggest 'game changer' had been this past summer's presidential elections. The events were causing backlash from much of the population. Parents and grandparents were saying that they do not want their children to be forced to experience the same Iran that they, themselves, have been living under for the last 30 years. For the first time, one can see "kill Khamenei" and "death to Khamenei" scrawled on walls in Tehran.
A report from the American Embassy in Istanbul on 28 August 2009. This was six weeks after former President Hashemi Rafsanjani's dramatic Tehran Friday Prayer, accompanied by demonstration, and three weeks after President Ahmadinejad was finally inaugurated for a second term: