Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 29, 2010 18:56:33 GMT -5
Saudi King Pressing for US War Against Iran.
King Abdullah 'Repeatedly' Urged US to Attack Rival.
Antiwar.com by Jason Ditz, November 28, 2010
Among the first major revelations of the massive release of WikiLeaks diplomatic cables comes from Saudi Arabia. Saudi King Abdullah has been repeatedly pressing the United States government to launch a unilateral attack on his long-standing rival, Iran.
The calls to attack are nominally presented as about Iran’s civilian nuclear program but seem to center around the king’s belief that Iran is uniquely “evil” and needs to be stopped to save the region. Given that the Saudi King and the Iranian Supreme Leader are extremely influential in two rival sects of Islam, the effort seems more aimed around getting the US involved in a Holy War of sorts than stopping Iran’s modest civilian enrichment program.
That Saudi Arabia is putting forth so much effort to start a major regional war along sectarian lines would be troubling in and of itself, but doubly so as the Obama Administration has just completed agreeing on the largest arms sale in US history to Saudi Arabia.
The $60 billion arms sale was couched as important for regional stability. Yet this is the exact same Saudi government that is pressing for the Obama Administration to start a major, region-wide war which would destroy any such stability. It seems then that the arms sale is more about enabling Saudi Arabia to potentially start this major war themselves.
Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 29, 2010 19:02:58 GMT -5
Four European states host US nuclear bombs, Wikileaks reveals.
LEIGH PHILLIPS 29.11.2010 @ 19:33 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Turkey have US nuclear weapons situated on their soil, the Wikileaks whistleblower files have revealed.
The four countries, along with Italy, had long been suspected of being home to a collection of American nuclear armaments, but neither the states nor Nato had ever officially confirmed or denied their presence.
For the first time, the confidential files released on Sunday evening (28 November) have acknowledged what was until now only conjecture, upending decades of careful diplomatic ambiguity.
In a confidential memo from US ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy, he casually mentions the possible withdrawal of the weapons from Germany and perhaps from the Netherlands and Belgium as well.
The memo also confirms the presence of US nuclear weapons in Turkey.
Italy is also believed to be a silent custodian of American weapons of mass destruction.
Asked by EUobserver whether the country will now reassess its ambivalent public position on the matter in the wake of the leaks, the Dutch foreign ministry continued to stick by its long-standing stance, saying that there would likely be no comment forthcoming on the issue of US nuclear weapons.
According to estimates found in a 2007 report using a variety of different sources to catalogue deployment of US nuclear weapons in Europe from the Natural Resources Defence Council, an American environmental protection NGO, the continent is home to 480 such weapons.
The report estimated that the Kleine Brogel weapons base in northeastern Belgium near the city of Meeuwen housed 20 nuclear weapons.
The same document reckoned that another 20 are housed at Volkel Air Base near the town of Uden in southeast of the Netherlands. Nuclear weapons are thought to have been stored there since the 1960s and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Some 20 nuclear weapons are believed to be stored in an underground vault at the German Luftwaffe's Buchel Air Base near the Luxembourg border. Last October, the country's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, came close to admitting their existence when he called "for a country free of nuclear weapons."
However, he would not say where the weapons were located, or if they did indeed exist.
Italy is also thought to host a total of 90 such arms, with 50 at Aviane Air Base near Udine in the north of the country, and 40 at Ghedi Torre Air Base near Brescia on the Adriatic coast
Incirlik Air Base, east of Adana in Turkey on the northern Mediterranean coast, is believed to store 90 such weapons.
Beyond the undeclared European nuclear states, the UK, an admitted member of the nuclear club, is home to 110 US nuclear weapons, at RAF Lakenheath, about 30 kilometres northeast of the university town of Cambridge.
Dutch foreign minister Uri Rosenthal described the leaks in general as "not conducive to communication," but also warned: "We mustn't get spastic over them."
Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 29, 2010 19:04:21 GMT -5
WikiLeaks: US diplomats make fun of EU leaders, spy on EU citizens.
VALENTINA POP 29.11.2010 @ 07:49 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - American diplomats speak about EU leaders in terms of "Teflon Merkel," "authoritarian Sarkozy" and a "feckless, vain and ineffective Berlusconi" who is a "mouthpiece" for Russia, a first batch of secret cables sent to and from US embassies abroad and published by WikiLeaks shows.
The latest release of the whistle-blowing website, which recently published US war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq exposing war crimes and torture, began on Sunday evening (28 November) and will carry on throughout the next months until all 251,287 intercepted embassy cables are onlined.
The documents, dating from 1966 until the end of February 2010, are the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The move comes amid the US government's repeated warning to WikiLeaks that it will compromise relations with allies and military operations abroad.
"The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into US Government foreign activities" and expose "the extent of US spying on its allies," a statement on the WikiLeaks site says.
A first batch of documents, already processed by leading newspapers in Britain, Germany, Spain and the US, offers unflattering comments about European leaders and gives precise details about how US diplomats stationed in Europe should gather personal data such as email passwords and credit card data of European citizens.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for instance, is described as "avoiding risk" and being "seldom creative." A cable issued on 9 September 2009, three weeks before the parliamentary elections which swept her back into power, bears the headline: "Chancellor Angela 'Teflon' Merkel takes limelight as FDP waits in the wings."
Her foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, is seen as "arrogant" and "fixated on maintaining his 'cult of personality'," US diplomats note. They almost call him a liar, when reporting a meeting with the US ambassador following a crucial vote in the European Parliament in February, when the legislature rejected a data transfer deal with the US, known as the "Swift agreement."
"His comment that he was unable to affect the vote in the EU Parliament on TFTP [Terrorism Finance Tracking Program] was a bit disingenuous; on 4 February, an MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] official acknowledged to visiting Treasury officials in Berlin that German MEPs were in fact leading the charge against TFTP in the EU Parliament with the tacit support of the FDP [Mr Westerwelle's party], if not of specialists in the Justice Ministry and MFA themselves," the cable reads.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is described as having a "thin-skinned and authoritarian personal style," with US diplomats noting his tendency to noisily rebuke his team and the French prime minister, Francois Fillon.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader," according to Elizabeth Dibble, the US charge d'affaires in Rome. In reference to lavish parties and numerous scandals involving young escort girls, the US embassy noted that Mr Berlusconi is a "physically and politically weak" leader whose "frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest."
As for the Italian leader's growing fondness of Russian premier Vladimir Putin, the Rome embassy expressed its concern in 2009 over the "lavish gifts," lucrative energy contracts and a "shadowy" Russian-speaking Italian go-between. US diplomats even went as far as saying that Mr Berlusconi "appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of Putin" in Europe.
Mr Putin himself was dubbed an "alpha dog" by the US embassy in Moscow, while the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, "plays Robin to Putin's Batman." In a separate report, Mr Medvedev is described as "pale and hesitant" and having "none of the bravado" of the former KGB officer who is now, technically, his subordinate.
Regional leaders such as Chechnya's Ramzan Kadyrov, also came to the attention of American diplomats.
In a 2006 cable, Mr Kadyrov was spotted bringing "a five-kilo lump of gold" as a gift to a lavish wedding in Dagestan, where drunken guests were throwing $100 bills at child dancers, while nightttime water-scooters zig-zagged around on the Caspian Sea.
German regional politicians also make it into the cables sent to Washington. On 16 February, the US consulate in Munich, Bavaria's capital, reported on a meeting with Horst Seehofer, the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Ms Merkel's sister party in Germany's wealthiest state.
"An unpredictable politician," Mr Seehofer "revealed only shallow foreign policy expertise" and "seemed uninformed about basic things," for instance that his state, Bavaria, hosts 20,000 out of a total of 40,000 US soldiers stationed in Germany.
Entire countries are mocked too: the Belgian government was told that accepting Guantanmo inmates would be "a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe." Slovenia was told to take a prisoner if its leader wanted to meet with President Obama.
Other news likely to resonate loudly is the detailed "human intelligence" gathering US diplomats are being instructed to perform in Europe, blurring the traditional demarcation line between spies and government envoys.
A cable on Bulgarian "reporting and collection needs" dating back to 16 June 2009 reads that "intelligence on the rule of law, corruption, and crime in the national leadership is the top priority of a directive issued to diplomats in the months ahead of secretary of state Hillary Clinton's meeting with her Bulgarian counterpart."
Reporting officers are requested to include "as much of the following information as possible" on Bulgarian citizens in their texts: names, organisational titles, private phone numbers, email addresses, credit account numbers, frequent flyer numbers and work schedules.
"Details about organized crime groups, including leadership, links to government and foreign entities, drug and human trafficking, credit card fraud, and computer-related crimes, including child pornography," are also listed on the diplomat-spies' to-do-lists.
"Corruption among senior officials, including off-budget financial flows in support of senior leaders," is another area to be worked on, as well as "assessment, vulnerability, personality, financial, health, and biometric information about current and emerging leaders and advisers."
According to the New York Times, whose reporters analysed hundreds of cables prior to the Sunday release, "the more intrusive personal information diplomats are now being asked to gather could be used by the National Security Agency for data mining and surveillance operations. A frequent-flier number, for example, could be used to track the travel plans of foreign officials."
The details emerge just as a number of Nordic countries have launched investigations into alleged spying by the local US embassies on regular citizens, after Norwegian public TV uncovered that Washington secretly commissioned surveillance of hundreds of Norwegian nationals believed to pose a threat to US interests, such as the embassy in Oslo.
Washington has repeatedly denied that its diplomats are engaged in any illegal activities.
"Our diplomats are just that, diplomats," foreign affairs spokesman Philip J. Crowley told the New York Times on Sunday. "They represent our country around the world and engage openly and transparently with representatives of foreign governments and civil society. Through this process, they collect information that shapes our policies and actions. This is what diplomats, from our country and other countries, have done for hundreds of years."
Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 29, 2010 19:10:36 GMT -5
Leaked documents reveal tension between EU and Turkey.
ANDREW WILLIS 29.11.2010 @ 09:46 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Leaked US State Department documents on Sunday (28 November) make multiple references to EU accession state Turkey, painting an unflattering description of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's circle of advisers and highlighting the country's frustrations with French resistance to its EU membership.
The documents, released by WikiLeaks and published in an array of international newspapers, also underline Turkey's feeling of being cheated over recent Nato appointments and its belief that the EU's police training effort in Afghanistan (Eupol) has been a complete failure.
While Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is portrayed by American officials as a "perfectionist workaholic" but ill-informed, American perceptions of his support team are even less flattering, describing his advisers and foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as having little understanding of politics beyond Ankara.
Criticism of Mr Davutoglu included dispatches describing him as "dangerous" and having a "neo-Ottoman" vision.
Ankara's frustrations over the pace of EU membership talks are also evident in the leaked embassy cables, as are French fears over the predominantly Muslim state joining the 27-member union.
During US Assistant Secretary Phillip Gordon's visit to Paris in September 2009, he met with a number of French policy-makers including Elysee diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte, who said France still favoured a "privileged partnership" for Turkey rather than full EU membership.
He emphasised however that France was not preventing EU accession negotiations from moving forward in chapters where full membership was not pre-supposed.
Mr Gordon said he felt Turkey had become trapped in a vicious cycle, with Ankara failing to complete necessary reforms because the Turks do not believe that their EU candidacy will be allowed to progress, as indicated in polls.
The French official appeared to agree on this point, but indicated that Paris hoped Turkey itself would eventually decide against full EU membership. In a worst case scenario, France would block Turkish membership if all the negotiating chapters were completed by holding a referendum on the subject, he said.
A cable from foreign Turkish under-secretary Feridun Sinirlioglu to US under-secretary William Burns highlights Ankara's displeasure over recent Nato appointments.
Mr Sinirlioglu recalled a recent deal that included an understanding that a qualified Turk would be considered for Nato assistant secretary general. Instead, he said, a German of questionable merit was selected.
"We suspect a deal between Rasmussen and Merkel," he said. "We let [former Danish prime minister Anders Fogh] Rasmussen have secretary general, because we trusted you."
In the same tense conversation, Turkish ambassador Tacan Ildem, who recently concluded an assignment as Turkey's Nato permanent representative, declared the EU's police training effort in Afghanistan (Eupol) to be a failure. He added that the EU's criticism of Turkey's unwillingness to work directly with Eupol is unjustified.
He argued that since Turkey does not have a security agreement with the EU and is excluded from the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), the government lacks a legal basis on which to co-operate with Eupol. "We would like the EU to involve us not as a third country, but, in view of our accumulated rights," as a candidate for membership, he said.
Another cable outlines discussions during the second annual Franco-Israeli Strategic Dialogue in October 2009, during which Israeli participants expressed deep concerns about Turkey, according to Frederic Bereyziat, a senior French foreign ministry official who took notes on the meeting.
"The Israelis blamed the Europeans, and especially France, for this shift in Turkey's policy [to a more pro-Arab stance," Mr Bereyziat noted, according to the cable. "They said that if Europe had more warmly embraced Turkey, then the Turks would not be taking steps to earn approval in the Arab and Muslim world at the expense of Israel."
"The French, in response to this accusation, 'begged to differ,'" Bereyziat noted as a follow up.
Russia reshuffles foreign intelligence after spy scandal.
Russia's foreign intelligence service, the SVR, is holding a minor staff reshuffle following the recent Russian - U.S. spy scandal, SVR Director Mikhail Fradkov said.
"We make constant changes to our personnel," Fradkov said. "Those who do not meet modern requirements are of course asked to leave quietly."
A spy row between Moscow and Washington broke out in late June when 10 alleged Russian spies were arrested in the United States. The spies were freed in a swap deal between the two countries.
Russian media reported that a man known only as Col. Shcherbakov, who was the chief of an SVR department handling all intelligence sources in the United States, was to blame for the exposure of the Russian intelligence officers working under assumed identities.
Fradvov agreed with comments made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier in November that the SVR must learn from the episode.
He also said the SVR would analyze documents leaked by the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website on Sunday.
"There is nothing good about these materials," Fradkov said.
The site disclosed a secret cable sent by the U.S. embassy in Moscow that said Medvedev "plays Robin" to his strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's "Batman."
The site also disclosed comments made at a meeting in Paris in February between U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and then French Foreign Minister Herve Morin. In it Gates describes Russia in blunt terms: "Russian democracy has disappeared and the government is an oligarchy run by the security services."
The main suspect in the leak of the documents, along with previous logs disclosed by the site, is jailed U.S. Private Bradley Manning, who had top-secret clearance as an intelligence analyst for the Army when he was stationed in Iraq.
The WikiLeaks website does not have a central office or any paid staff and its operations are run only by a small dedicated team and some 800 volunteers.
Wikileaks' founder, Australian activist Julian Assange, has no home address but he often pops up in Sweden and Iceland, where Internet anonymity is protected by law. He is being hunted by Pentagon investigators and is suspected of releasing confidential U.S. State Department documents.
Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 30, 2010 12:07:19 GMT -5
American government refers to Croatia in 1,686 leaked documents.
Croatian Times 29.11.10. - 14:00
A total of 1,686 documents in which American diplomats exchange information about Croatia, have been published on WikiLeaks, a non-profit media organization that has made some 25,000 American government records available to the public.
Although the content of the Croatia-related leaks has not yet been confirmed, the largest number of records pertains to the period between 2006 and 2009 when the country was in the final stages of NATO negotiations. Another large part of the records refers to the time of the presidential elections and its aftermath, from December of 2009 and at the beginning of this year.
While the majority of the published records are either classified or unclassified, 24 of the documents have been marked as top secret. Their contents are not yet known, the daily Jutarnji List writes.
Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 30, 2010 12:14:10 GMT -5
Clinton: WikiLeaks Revelations ‘An Attack on the World’
Officials Rail At 'Serious Crime' of Unveiling Other Serious Crimes.
Antiwar.com by Jason Ditz, November 29, 2010
The truth about the unseemly way in which the US State Department has been behaving should not have gone public, insists Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who today called the revelation of these facts “an attack on the international community.”
The Obama Administration has expressed outrage at what amounts to the revelation of a growing number of crimes committed under their watch (and often on their direct orders), with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs calling the leaks a serious crime.
Of course, the Supreme Court has already ruled that classified documents can be published by the press, and while the original leaker himself, apparently Pfc Bradley Manning, may well be liable for prosecution under the Military Code of Justice, his crime certainly pales in comparison to those the documents detail.
One of the documents, for instance, was signed by Secretary Clinton, and ordered officials at dozens of US embassies to attempt to steal personal data, including credit card information, from a number of top UN officials. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is said to be extremely concerned that the US attempted to steal his credit card, and likely much less concerned that someone revealed the attempted theft.
Wikileaks Chief Promises to Reveal Many More Government Secrets.
ABCnews.go.com By JIM SCIUTTO, RUSSELL GOLDMAN and LEE FERRAN Nov. 29, 2010 —
The chief Wikileaker who the U.S. promised today to prosecute said his Internet site was just beginning to unload its diplomatic secrets and said the documents will skewer "lying, corrupt and murderous leadership from Bahrain to Brazil."
Julian Assange, the Australian who heads the secret-sharing Web site, told ABC News today he believes his safety and freedom are in danger. He responded to questions by email from a clandestine hideout.
He was undaunted by vows from the U.S. and Australia to prosecute him and said the forthcoming diplomatic cables are aimed at "lying, corrupt and murderous leadership from Bahrain to Brazil."
"We're only one thousandth of the way in and look at what has so far being revealed. There will be many more," he wrote defiantly.
Assange also dismissed a warning today by Secretary of State HillaryClinton who said the dump of secret documents "puts peoples lives in danger," particularly those sources who provided the U.S. with information about abuses in foreign countries.
"U.S. officials have for 50 years trotted out this line when they are afraid the public is going to see how they really behave," Assange said in his email. "The facts are that we wrote to the State Department asking for a list of any specific concerns that might have. They refused to assist, and said they demanded everything, including those documents that revealed abuses, be destroyed."
The Obama administration's top diplomat and lawyer put Wikileaks and Assange on alert today, promising to prosecute any individual, regardless of nationality, who broke U.S. law by making public hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic cables.
"[To] the extent that we can find anybody involved of breaking American law who has put at risk the assets and the people that I have described&they will be held responsible. They will be held accountable," Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference.
Clinton called the release of hundreds of thousands of secret cables "not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests [but] an attack on the international community: the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity."
"Some mistakenly applaud those responsible," Clinton said. "There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people& nothing brave about sabotaging peaceful relations between nations."
Holder said he advocates closing any gaps in current U.S. legislation that would prevent the federal government from fully prosecuting a foreign national like Assange, who published secrets of vital American national interest.
"To the extent that there are gaps in our laws, we will work to close those gaps. Which is not to say& that anybody at this point because of their citizenship or their residence is not a target for or subject of the investigation that's ongoing."
"Let me be clear," the attorney general said. "It is not saber rattling. This is an active ongoing investigation."
Rep. Pete King Wants Wikileaks Declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Though dedicated to bringing to light secret government documents, Wikileaks operates in the shadows, running a sophisticated Website, manned by an international team from a bunker in Iceland.
The current raft of documents, some 250,000 diplomatic cables that span decades and include various and sometimes embarrassing details about the way U.S. evoys see their foreign counterparts is the latest document dump Wikileaks received last year from Army Private Bradley Manning, currently awaiting court marshall.
Assange, in a statement today, suggested there were other leakers aside from Manning who turned over documents.
Assange said there were people who entrusted us with the documents," and went on to described them as "good and courageous people inside government who believe in transparency and more ethical foreign policy."
Holder's declaration that he would seek to hold Wikileaks responsible was met with praise from across the aisle.
Rep. Peter King, R- NY, said he supported the efforts Holder was taking and said Assange's "purposeful intent to damage not only our national interests in fighting the war on terror, but also undermines the very safety of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Both Holder and King agreed that Wikileaks should not treated as a media outlet, but a criminal entity intimately involved in the effort to steal secret documents and make them public.
King also called on Clinton to declare Wikileaks a foreign terrorist organization.
Over the course of the year, Wikileaks has released secret military documents from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The latest batch of documents span a variety of communications ranging from flippant remarks about foreign leaders to deadly serious security concerns.
Wikileaks Documents: Fears Over Iran and Missiles
Many of the sensitive cables deal with the imminent threat from Iran, revealing that the U.S. now believes Iran has missiles, obtained from North Korea, capable of striking Western Europe. Fearing mounting danger, Arab leaders are seen pleading with the U.S. to do something.
Saudi Arabia wants the U.S. to intervene against an ascendant nuclear Iran, but is unwilling to confront a fellow Muslim country or sacrifice its own citizens, suggested Defense Secretrary Robert Gates at a meeting with French envoys, according a secret diplomatic cable recently made public.
During a conversation with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in 2008 about encouraging China to sign a resolution condemning Iran, Gates said the Saudis "always want to 'fight the Iranians to the last American,' but that now it is time for them to get into the game," according the cable.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah repeatedly urges the U.S. to "cut the head off the snake." The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates says "Ahmadinejad is Hitler" and told one U.S. top State Department official that "the threat from al Qaeda would be minor if Iran has nukes."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that the leak would not affect his country's policy to any other countries, The Associated Press reported.
The cables also reveal the delicacy of negotiations with Iran over the release of the three American hostages taken prisoner last year. One of the hostages, Sarah Shroud was released this summer.
The cables depict a grim prospect, in which the U.S. government is warned by French diplomats its damned either way -- if they too vocally call for the hikers' release, or if they quietly try to negotiate behind the scenes.
The French warn "the Iranians have in the past tried to 'blackmail' them," trading release of a French national for an Iranian national.
"Be vocal," one French envoy advises, "even more so if the Iranians ask you not to be, because silence will not expedite the process."
Some of the documents also reveal a diplomatic struggle with Pakistan over nuclear proliferation -- a disagreement that Hoekstra said had no business in the public sphere.
"Bottom line here is we want to work with the Pakistanis on proliferation. Putting the negotiations, the agreements and the disagreements that we have with our allies, putting them in the public spotlight is going to make it more difficult for us to get to the ultimate objective, which is to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons," he said. "Wikileaks is not providing us a service."
Beyond policy concerns, the White House said that the leak puts individuals in danger.
"Such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government," the White House said in a statement Sunday.
One official told ABC News that the administration is concerned over cables that contain the name of foreign dissidents who could now be in danger in their home countries.
"These people will disappear," the official said.
The source of the leak is believed to be former military intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, who was arrested in July for distributing classified information. Authorities also believe Manning was behind a previous Wikileaks document drop, referred to as the Iraq War Logs.
This latest leak, seven times the size of the Iraq War Logs, amounts to "the Sept. 11 of world diplomacy," according to Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. Hoekstra said it reflected a "colossal failure" by the U.S. intelligence community.
"We have to take a look at our own intel community and recognize that this is a massive failure. This database should never have been created, hundreds of thousands of people should never have been given access to it," Hoekstra said. "This is a colossal failure by our intel community, by our Department of Defense to keep classified information secret."
Assange has given hints of what is still to come from Wikileaks, claiming in a statement the U.S. spies on its allies, turns a "blind eye" to corruption and human rights abuse and "makes backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries and lobbying for U.S. corporations."
Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 30, 2010 12:15:04 GMT -5
Tokyo sought out Bonn on going nuclear in '69.
Kyodo News The Japan Times: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
The Foreign Ministry released a report Monday effectively acknowledging that Japan discussed the possibility of going nuclear with West Germany in 1969, despite issuing a key declaration in 1967 stating that it opposed the production, possession and presence of nuclear weapons.
The report said that according to diplomatic papers from West Germany, Foreign Ministry officials met with their West German counterparts in the resort town of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, from Feb. 4 to 5, 1969, and hinted at possessing nuclear arms and sought support from West Germany.
The ministry also questioned Egon Bahr, who was head of the German Foreign Ministry's policy planning office and was at the 1969 meeting. As he told it, he heard the Japanese making a statement there suggesting Japan may try to get nuclear weapons, the ministry said.
Citing the documents from West Germany, the report said a diplomat who headed the Japanese delegation told West Germany that Japan could make nuclear weapons in the event of a threat from the Korean Peninsula, and that Japan and West Germany should cooperate to be free from the United States.
The report indicates that government officials seriously discussed whether Japan should go nuclear before signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1970.
In 1967, Japan declared what are now called the "three nonnuclear principles" of not producing, not possessing, and not allowing the entry of nuclear weapons into the country, and a resolution to abide by them was adopted by the Diet in 1971.
The ministry released the report and the documents concerned after receiving instructions from Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Oct. 4 to look into a TV program aired the previous day by NHK.
Quoting a former senior foreign ministry official, NHK reported that at the 1969 meeting, Japan told to West Germany that it may have to consider acquiring nuclear arms in 10 to 15 years, and that it had a technology for extracting nuclear materials to create nuclear warheads.
Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 30, 2010 12:19:29 GMT -5
Exclusive: Leaked cable reveals US-Israeli strategy for regime change in Iran.
Rawstory.com By Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane Monday, November 29th, 2010 -- 1:39 pm
Wiki-leak confirms reporting by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh.
According to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, in August 2007 the head of Israel's intelligence agency urged US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, R. Nicholas Burns, to join with Israel in carrying out a five-part strategy to implement regime change in Iran.
Mossad Director Meir Dagan acknowledged at the meeting that the American analysis of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program was different from Israel's, but he insisted that the threat from Iran was "obvious" and stated that Israel was willing to take action unilaterally.
The classified diplomatic cable outlining the meeting is part of a large cache of documents leaked to the whistleblower website Wikileaks, and released to the public on Sunday via several international newspapers, including The Guardian and The New York Times.
Dagan began the meeting by thanking the US for its support of Israel, as well as for a recent $30 billion aid package.
The Mossad chief then conceded that US analysis of Iran's alleged nuclear capabilities differed from Israel's, but remarked that such differences were essentially irrelevant and that if need be Israel would take action alone.
"The threat is obvious, even if we have a different timetable," he said. "If we want to postpone their acquisition of a nuclear capability, then we have to invest time and effort ourselves."
Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and the Central Intelligence Agency, who served for eighteen years in Turkey, believes Dagan's comment that Israel will have to "invest time and effort ourselves” in dealing with Iran was, in essence, a veiled threat.
"It is essentially setting up a situation in which the threat of Israel acting alone becomes a wedge issue to force the US to do something so that it will be able to manage the situation rather than respond to Israeli initiatives," Giraldi told Raw Story on Sunday. "It pushes Washington into planning a military strike to force the Israelis to stand down on their own plans."
The differences between how each nation viewed the Iranian nuclear program were not discussed by either the US or Israeli officials in the cable.
R. Nicholas Burns, the U.S. envoy at the meeting -- who is now the Sultan of Oman Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government – did not respond to requests for comment.
The Israeli embassy also did not respond to request for comment.
The Five Pillars of Israeli Strategy
According to the cable, Dagan continued the meeting by enumerating Israel's "five pillar" strategy on Iran, which he urged that the US and Israel both implement:
1. Political Approach 2. Covert Measures 3. Counterprolifiration 4. Sanctions 5. Force Regime Change
Each of the so-called pillars is briefly summarized in the cable.
The political approach advocated by Dagan involved continued pressure from the United Nations Security Council to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
The covert pillar of the Israeli strategy was not discussed by Dagan or other Israeli envoys, nor does the classified cable elaborate on the particulars.
The counterproliferation part of the Israeli plans emphasize that Iran must be prevented from obtaining nuclear "know-how and technology."
Dagan noted that the economic sanctions pillar of the strategy was already working, citing the failure of three Iranian banks.
Finally, Dagan suggested that the U.S and Israel should both help "force regime change" in Iran by proxy, "possibly with the support of student democracy movements, and ethnic groups (e.g., Azeris, Kurds, Baluchs) opposed to the ruling regime."
It is unclear from the cable just exactly what "support" of "ethnic groups" meant or whether Dagan offered any suggestions.
Robert Baer -- a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who spent his career stationed in the Middle East, including in Iraqi Kurdistan and on whom the Academy Award winning movie Syriana is based -- interprets Dagan's suggestion as a violent one.
When asked what he thought forced regime change meant in this context with respect to support for the Azeris, Kurds, and Baluchs, Baer told Raw Story, "it means give them money so they can set off bombs - the Mad Max approach."
Dagan suggested that all five pillars be enacted simultaneously, including regime change, implying there was no need to allow time for the other pillars to work, including economic sanctions and political pressure. This would have put the U.S in a difficult position, given its history in Iran.
Events leading up to and after the meeting
According to published sources, both the United States and Israel have been active in attempts to spy on Iran's nuclear program and destabilize its government since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and those efforts intensified as concern over Iran's nuclear program mounted in late 2005.
Seymour Hersh wrote for the New Yorker In April 2006 that the previous December, Mossad Director Dagan had told the Knesset, "Iran is one to two years away, at the latest, from having enriched uranium. From that point, the completion of their nuclear weapon is simply a technical matter."
Over the next few months, Under Secretary Burns was active in diplomatic approaches to dealing with Iran. By the end of January 2006, he and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had convinced Russia and China to vote for the International Atomic Energy Agency to report Iran to the Security Council.
But in March, the Bush administration decided against direct talks with the Iranians and the State Department announced "that a newly established Office of Iranian Affairs within the department would focus on introducing democracy in Iran." Burns, Rice, and Elizabeth Cheney --daughter of then Vice President Dick Cheney -- were all said to be behind the new policy.
A few weeks later, Hersh noted that "the Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups."
Those clandestine efforts continued over the next year, amid widespread reports that the CIA was behind "a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials."
In the spring of 2007, there were signs of an apparent softening of policy towards Iran, including the disbanding of Liz Cheney's Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group, which had been seen as "plotting covert actions that could escalate into a military conflict with Iran or Syria."
Any softening, however, was short-lived. On July 21, 2007, Burns and Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams met with representatives of Iranian ethnic groups in the US to discuss (pdf) Iran's nuclear policies. And in August, Burns joined the Israeli foreign minister in Jerusalem to sign a new military aid package amounting to $30 billion over ten years -- an increase of 25% from previous levels.
That was the immediate background for Burns' meeting with Dagan, as described in the newly-released cable.
Within a few months, the Bush administration had decided to intensify its covert actions against Iran.
According to Hersh, in late 2007, "Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country's religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran's suspected nuclear-weapons program."
This is precisely the approach Dagan and Burns discussed at August 2007 meeting, as described in the leaked cable.
Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 30, 2010 16:41:20 GMT -5
WikiLeaks Founder: Next Target Is 'Big US Bank'
Novinite.com World | November 30, 2010, Tuesday
WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has told Forbes Magazine that the next leak would target a "big US bank" and will happen "early next year."
In the interview Assange refused to give details about the bank and only said it is as major US bank that still exists. He added that he expected that the leak would lead to investigations.
We have one related to a bank coming up, that's a megaleak. It's not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it's either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it," Assange said in the interview posted on the Forbes website.
He also said he was "not sure" about the results he wants to achieve with the leaks.
"I'm not sure. It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume," he said.
Assange also said that WikiLeaks has materials on many businesses and governments, including Russia, and that it has information on pharmaceutical companies.
However, he pointed out that in the future, the group may be focusing its efforts on exposing secrets about finance and the private sector, including banks across the world and other major companies.
"We have a lot of finance related things. Of the commercial sectors we've covered, finance is the most significant," Assange said.
His philosophy is that leaking information will mean good business for people who embrace ethical business practices and treat their employees well.
In his words, happy employees do not leak documents that might hurt their employer.
"Let's say you want to run a good company. It's nice to have an ethical workplace. Your employees are much less likely to screw you over if they're not screwing other people over," Assange told Forbes Magazine.
More than 250,000 cables were obtained by WikiLeaks and were given to major US media, which published them on Sunday, exposing inner workings of US diplomacy, including candid and embarrassing assessments of world leaders.
Before Sunday, WikiLeaks had made public nearly 500,000 classified U.S. files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sarah Palin: hunt WikiLeaks founder like al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders.
Telegraph.co.uk By Martin Beckford 7:00PM GMT 30 Nov 2010
Julian Assange was branded “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands” by the prominent Republican, who asked why he has not yet been caught by the authorities.
She accused the Obama administration of “incompetence” and a “strange lack of urgency” in not stopping the release of 250,000 leaked diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, given that it had already published sensitive information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The former Governor of Alaska and vice-presidential nominee suggested that “cyber tools” should be used to shut down the whistle-blowing website permanently. It has twice been the subject of targeted attacks by hackers to bring it offline this week.
Mr Assange, a 39 year-old Australian former computer hacker who set up WikiLeaks in 2006, has kept out of public view since the release of the first leaked American diplomatic cables on Sunday. He has denied he has blood on his hands. Mr Assange is the subject of an international arrest warrant over allegations of rape in Sweden.
Writing on her Facebook page on Monday, Mrs Palin questioned why the US authorities were not looking for him in the same way that it had hunted suspected terrorists.
“The latest round of publications of leaked classified U.S. documents through the shady organization called Wikileaks raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.
“First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop Wikileaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months?
“He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”
She went on: “What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt Wikileaks’ technical infrastructure? Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle Wikileaks? Were individuals working for Wikileaks on these document leaks investigated? Shouldn’t they at least have had their financial assets frozen just as we do to individuals who provide material support for terrorist organizations?”
Mrs Palin, who is tipped to run for President in 2012, also said that “serious questions” had to be asked about how the “highly sensitive” memos from diplomats and intelligence officers could have been uploaded onto a computer memory stick and given to WikiLeaks from a supposedly secure US defence department network known as Siprnet. The prime suspect is Bradley Manning, a young private in the US Army who is now being held ahead of a court-martial.
Mrs Palin asked why the White House had not issued orders to tighten security back in July, when WikiLeaks released thousands of classified military documents on Afghanistan.
“What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?”
Mrs Palin concluded: “We are at war. American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms. They are serious about keeping America safe. It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task.”
Rick Santorum, another prominent conservative, agreed with her, saying: “We haven't gone after this guy, we haven't tried to prosecute him, we haven't gotten our allies to go out and lock this guy up and bring him up on terrorism charges.”
The Obama administration has said that it “deeply regrets” the leaking of the embarrassing cables that have disclosed exactly what American diplomats think of foreign leaders and promised to take “aggressive steps” against those who “stole” them.
WikiLeaks cables: Qatar okays use of airbase for U.S. attack on Iran.
Gulf state agreed partially to fund base's upkeep, as long as U.S. supports Qatar's continued resource mining.
Haaretz.com By Jack Khoury 20:20 30.11.10
Qatar agreed to allow the United States to use a base on Qatari soil to bomb Iran, according to a report in the newspaper Al-Arabiya based on secret diplomatic cables published by the website WikiLeaks.
Qatar also agreed to pay 60 percent of the upkeep costs for the Al-Udeid airbase, which has already been used by the U.S. military to launch air sorties over Iraq.
Although Qatar backed the elimination of the Iranian offensive capability by military means, Qatar reportedly agreed to support a strike only in return for U.S. guarantees that operations at the South Pars natural gas field, owned jointly by Qatar and Iran, would not be threatened.
Another WikiLeaks document quoted Mossad Chief Meir Dagan characterizing Qatar as "problematic" and its leader as "annoying everyone". According to Dagan, Qatar is trying to cozy up to everyone – Syria, Iran and Hamas – in an attempt to beef up its security.
"I think that you should remove your bases from [Qatar]," Dagan told American diplomats, according to the WikiLeaks document, "[The Qataris] owe their security to the presence of the Americans]."
A Russian woman working for a member of the British Parliament has been detained on suspicion of espionage, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday. She is currently facing deportation.
25-year old Katia Zatuliveter, a researcher for Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock, was arrested at the request of MI5. The politician has denied knowing anything about Ms. Zatuliveter’s possible involvement in espionage.
“No-one has ever said to me under any circumstances whatsoever that she has been involved in anything like that,” the paper quotes Mr. Hancock as saying. “It is now in the hands of her lawyers. I am sure that in the end she will be proved to be right.”
Meanwhile, MI5 insists Ms. Zatuliveter deliberately sought a position with Mr. Hancock with intent to gain access to secret information. Mr. Hancock sits on parliament's defense select committee, which reviews defense policy.
“Her presence here is not considered to be conducive to national security. There was unhappiness about what she could have access to,” a source quoted by the paper states.
WikiLeaks Reveals List of US Global Key Facilities.
Novinite.com World | December 6, 2010, Monday
The notorious WikiLeaks site released Monday a long list of key facilities around the world, deemed by the US State Department vital to national security, BBC reports.
In February 2009, the State Department asked all US missions abroad to list all installations, such as pipelines, communication and transport hubs, whose loss could critically affect US national security. But the list includes some more unusual sites such as a cobalt mine in Congo, an anti-snake venom factory in Australia and an insulin plant in Denmark
According to BBC, this is probably the most controversial document yet from Wikileaks because the definition of US national security revealed by the cable is broad and all embracing.
The geographical range of the document is very extensive, however, some locations are given unique billing. The Nadym gas pipeline junction in western Siberia, a crucial transit point for Russian gas heading for western Europe, for example, is described as "the most critical gas facility in the world".
The cable contains a simple listing. In many cases towns are noted as the location but not actual street addresses and there are no details of security measures at any of the listed sites, making the document not a major security breach. Despite that there are fears it might be of use to a terrorist and prompt potential attackers to look at a broader range of targets, especially given that the US authorities classify them as being so important.
Wikileaks: US-Nato plan to defend Baltics from Russia.
Bbc.co.uk 7 December 2010 Last updated at 09:19 GMT
The US and Nato have drawn up plans to defend Nato's Baltic members against Russia, latest US diplomatic cables disclosed by Wikileaks show.
The cables, published in the Guardian, reveal plans to expand an existing strategy to defend Poland to include Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Wikileaks is releasing hundreds of diplomatic cables, angering the US.
Meanwhile, a warrant for the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has reached UK authorities.
Mr Assange, who is believed to be in hiding somewhere in England, is preparing to talk to British police, his lawyer said.
Mr Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden in connection with rape allegations which he denies.
Call for secrecy
The latest leaked documents show that in January this year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apparently signed a confidential cable saying allies in Nato had agreed to expand the contingency plan to defend Poland, to include the Baltic states.
The nine Nato divisions involved would be American, British, German and Polish, the Guardian says, citing information leaked to Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.
The cables say the military plans should not be discussed publicly as it might lead to an unnecessary increase in Nato-Russia tensions.
Russian news agency Interfax quoted a source in the Russian foreign ministry as saying Moscow was "perplexed" by the leaked plans.
BBC World Affairs correspondent Peter Biles says the documents should be seen against the background of Washington's efforts to "reset" its relations with Russia and improve co-operation.
One secret cable from the US mission to Nato in Brussels revealed that US Admiral James Stavridis, the alliance's top commander in Europe, had proposed in January expanding Nato's contingency plans for defending Poland - known as Eagle Guardian - to include Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
The cable adds: "The expansion was formally submitted to Allies for decision under a silence procedure."
Another cable, signed by Mrs Clinton, instructs US embassies how to deal with the new Nato plan for the Baltic states, and stresses that the project must be kept secret.
"We see the expansion of Eagle Guardian as a step toward the possible expansion of Nato's other existing country-specific contingency plans into regional plans," it says.
Analysts say other cables show a degree of frustration between Warsaw and Washington over plans to deploy Patriot air defence missiles to Poland.
This had been the key price for a Polish decision to back the Bush administration's wider missile defence plans.
But rather than getting operational systems with their full crews, the Poles received only launchers minus their missiles and a token number of US troops.
One senior Polish official is quoted in a cable from February 2009 as telling the Americans that his country expected to get operational missiles and not what he called "potted plants".
Sources have told the BBC that the European Arrest Warrant for Mr Assange arrived on Monday afternoon.
Mr Assange's UK lawyer, Mark Stephens, told the BBC: "We are in the process of making arrangements to meet with the police by consent in order to facilitate the taking of the question and answer that is needed."
Sweden first issued an arrest warrant for Mr Assange on 18 November but it was invalidated by a procedural error. A new warrant was issued on 2 December.
The Swiss post office's bank, PostFinance, has frozen Mr Assange's accounts.
PostFinance, in a statement on its website, said Mr Assange had "provided false information regarding his place of residence" during the account opening process.
"Assange entered Geneva as his domicile. Upon inspection, this information was found to be incorrect.
"Assange cannot provide proof of residence in Switzerland and thus does not meet the criteria for a customer relationship with PostFinance. For this reason, PostFinance is entitled to close his account."
Wikileaks says it and Mr Assange have lost 100,000 euros in assets in a week.
In one of its most controversial leaks so far, Wikileaks released on Monday a US State Department cable from February 2009 asking its officials around the world to update a list of key sites, the loss of which "could critically impact" the US.
The list includes undersea cables, key communications, ports, mineral resources and firms of strategic importance in countries all over the world.
Former UK Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind described Wikileaks' actions as "verging on the criminal".
TsarSamuil: Medicines aren't allowed to be sold on the market without a 15 year trial period, to determine short n long term effects. Sputnik just turned 1 year, others not even that, just months, how can we determine long term effects without the data from long term
Aug 24, 2021 11:22:20 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: exposure? Does anyone have a time machine to go 14 years or so into the future n come back n say whether we have good vaccines? Fear makes world abandon its own standards..Besides, vaccines for other illnesses that have been developed for YEARS actually
Aug 24, 2021 11:23:40 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: help. These covid vaccines are literally SHIT, why else do they demand you take 1, 2 n now 3 shots? The problem is also a disease becomes resilient if u administer a weak vaccine that doesn't do the job proper. Allow illness to survive just makes it strong
Aug 24, 2021 11:25:04 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: instead if we go by the book, we should all wait for a really good vaccine to take out the illness for good. Now...we may never get rid of it..but understandably the world economy has a hard time dealing with lock downs, but that is just needless panic
Aug 24, 2021 11:27:06 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: why Swe had fared well with country not being locked down? Because they are cold people, keeping distance was the thing before covid-19 was ever heard of, I hope world doesn't become like that, but some could use a little common sense n change in behavior.
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:12 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: It's no wonder covid hits so many Arabs in the country, stupid bastards..
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:38 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: If I go to H&M a new shirt, if an Arab wants to buy a pair of pants, not only is his whole family along, his friends, even his freaking grandmother is along n all chattering along in a big dumb group of ignorance..
Aug 24, 2021 11:33:05 GMT -5
Boro: Thx for the response. I'm not sure... It seems the vaccines work, at least people aren't dying of Covid. Those who get ill have a problem, it's not "just a flu". Maybe it's from a chinese laboratory, who knows...
Aug 24, 2021 13:46:55 GMT -5
Boro: I agree regarding Arabs..
Aug 24, 2021 13:50:39 GMT -5
Boro: Be glad, Sweden isn't overpopulated.
Aug 24, 2021 14:11:49 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: true, vaccines do help somewhat, maybe better than nothing..I hope in 2022 we can come out of this nightmare..
Aug 24, 2021 15:38:24 GMT -5
Boro: Horrible times, indeed.
Aug 24, 2021 15:47:41 GMT -5