Monday, November 29, 2010
WikiLeaks scramles USA and Many other Countries
WikiLeaks on Sunday unleashed a torrent of US cables detailing a wide array of potentially explosive diplomatic episodes, from a tense nuclear standoff with Pakistan to Saudi Arabia's king repeatedly suggesting bombing Iran.
The cables describe the bazaar-like bargaining over the repatriation of Guantanamo Bay detainees, a Chinese government bid to hack into Google, and quote Saudi King Abdullah as saying the United States should strike Iran to halt its nuclear program, telling it to "cut off the head of the snake."
They also detail plans to reunite the Korean peninsula after the North's eventual collapse.
The cables also detail fresh suspicions about Afghan corruption, Saudi donors financing Al-Qaeda, and the US failure to prevent Syria from providing a massive stockpile of weapons to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia since 2006.
They include closed-door remarks that could stoke scandal, including Yemen's president telling a top US general: "We'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours" when discussing secretive US strikes on Al-Qaeda in his country, and a description of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi as always being attended by a "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse.
Most of the 251,287 cables -- many of which are marked "classified" but none "top secret" -- date back to 2007, but the release also includes cables going back as far as 1966, The New York Times said.
The whistle-blower website's chief Julian Assange had earlier described the release as a "diplomatic history of the United States" that would cover "every major issue" as governments braced for damaging revelations.
"We can see already in the past week or so that the United States has made movements to try to disarm the effect that this could have," he said.