Few shockers in WikiLeaks’ first batch
According to the advance headlines from the first batch of quarter of a million WikiLeaks confidential US files, mostly diplomatic cables, run by The German Der Spiegel, US officials are quoted as referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "Hitler," French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the emperor who has no clothes, the Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai as "motivated by paranoia"and UK Prime Minster David Cameron as "lightweight." The WikiLeaks site came under cyber attack ahead of publication.
The files were also released to The New York Times, The Guardian of UK, French Le Monde and El Pais, Spain for publication Sunday night, Nov. 28 after the WikiLeaks site came under cyber attack.
Although these backhanded remarks are unflattering, they are hardly surprising. debkafile finds that Ahmadinejad has earned his epithet honestly by threatening to wipe Israel off the map, although if he takes umbrage, he may order his government to boycott the nuclear talks with the world powers on Dec. 5.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is defined by a US diplomat as unwilling to take risks and rarely creative. But her success in steering Germany clear of the world recession is undeniable.
The US President Barack Obama is described as overly attuned to the East while letting relations with Europe slide. He is not alone. His predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush shared the view that Europe is a spent force and Asia is on the rise. For more than a decade, the US has been shifting its focus eastward.
As for Karzai, he cannot be said to have a flattering opinion of America's military involvement in Afghanistan is either.
"The material that we are about to release covers essentially every major issue in every country," WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange told reporters in Jordan by video link from an undisclosed location on Sunday. (Sweden has issued an international warrant for his arrest.) They were given to understand that the bulk of the material to be released in waves would be of special interest to Middle East intelligence services and academic researchers. One such disclosure revealed that Jordanian agents liquidated anti-Western politicians in East Timor – hardly a sensation.
That Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked US diplomats to spy on other countries is par for the course and Saudi King Abdullah pressed the US to attack on Iran was no secret. Israel is therefore not the only country which has urged this course. In fact, as debkafile published, Saudi Arabia was prepared to place its own airfields at the disposal of an Israeli air strike against Iran's nuclear sites.
Assange was not put off by a last-minute warning from the US State Department's legal adviser Harold Hongju Koh that documents provided by government officials without proper authorization were "in violation of US law and without regard for the grave consequences of this action." Koh said their illegal dissemination would
"place at risk the lives of countless individuals" and jeopardize relationships with US allies, military actions and anti-terrorism operations.