by Amy Goodman
from TruthDig Website
The whistle-blower website will gradually be releasing more than 250,000 of these documents in the coming months so that they can be analyzed and gain the attention they deserve. The cables are internal, written communications among U.S. embassies around the world and also to the U.S. State Department.
WikiLeaks described the leak as,
Critics argue, as they did with earlier leaks of secret documents regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, that lives will be lost as a result.
Rather, lives might actually be saved, since the way that the U.S. conducts diplomacy is now getting more exposure than ever - as is the apparent ease with which the U.S. government lives up (or down) to the adage used by pioneering journalist I.F. Stone:
Take the case of Khaled El-Masri.
El-Masri was snatched in Macedonia as part of the CIA’s secret extraordinary rendition program, in which people are taken by the U.S. government and sent to other countries, where they can be subjected to torture. He was held and tortured in a secret prison in Afghanistan for months before being dropped by the CIA on an isolated road in Albania, even though the CIA had long established that it had grabbed the wrong man.
El-Masri, a German citizen, sought justice through German courts, and it looked like 13 CIA agents might be charged.
Then the U.S. Embassy in Berlin stepped in, threatening, according to one cable, that,
No charges were ever filed in Germany, suggesting the diplomatic threat worked.
The 13 agents are, however, still facing charges in Spain, where prosecutors enjoy some freedom from political pressures. Or so we thought...
In fact, Spain figures prominently in the leaked documents as well. Among the cables is one from May 14, 2007, authored by Eduardo Aguirre, a conservative Cuban-American banker appointed U.S. ambassador to Spain by George W. Bush.
Couso was a young cameraman with the Spanish TV network Telecinco.
He was filming from the balcony of the Palestine
Hotel in Baghdad on April 8, 2003, when a U.S. Army tank fired on the hotel
packed with journalists, killing Couso and a Reuters cameraman. Ambassador
Aguirre was trying to quash the lawsuit brought by the Couso family in
In that same memo, Aguirre writes,
These revelations are rocking the Spanish
government, as the cables clearly show U.S. attempts to disrupt the Spanish
In another series of cables, the U.S. State Department instructs its staff around the world and at the U.N. to spy on people, and, remarkably, to collect biometric information on diplomats.
The cable reads,
WikiLeaks is continuing its partnership with a global group of media outlets:
David Leigh, investigations editor of The Guardian, told me,
A renowned political analyst and linguist, MIT professor Noam Chomsky helped Daniel Ellsberg, America’s premier whistle-blower, release the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago.
I asked Chomsky about the latest cables released by WikiLeaks.