Wikileaks: What's inside the #Cablegate dump, day 23

(Image contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr pool by BB reader Tom Blanton)

A reminder that various news organizations are still doing the hard work of digging through the Wikileaks-leaked US diplomatic cables, and parsing out the newsworthy contents. The Guardian's archive of daily recaps is here. We're now 23 days into Cablegate, and today's edition is here: it includes a nod to related coverage in the New York Times and Der Spiegel.

In today's batch, cables concerning nuclear reactors in Bulgaria; Richard Branson's disdain for the quality of the UK's education system, Libya vs. Marks & Spencer in Tripoli; and Syria's belief that Israel was behind the sniper killing of General Muhammad Suleiman, President Bashar al-Assad's top security aide.

Also, revelations of Afghan heroin growers holding back reserves of the drug like bank savings; surveillance of "individuals moving radioactive substances" around London waved off by British security services before the poisoning of Litvinenko.

And finally, the US threatening Italy to ensure no international arrest warrants were issued for CIA agents accused of being involved in cleric Abu Omar's abduction.

A lot of leaks for one day. If my count is correct, less than 2,000 of the 250,000 cables have been released or reported on to date—just a fraction.



  1. “A reminder that various news organizations are still doing the hard work of digging through the Wikileaks-leaked US diplomatic cables…”

    Yes. It’s Wikileaks who leaked the cables by way of their classified access to government systems. And it’s the legitimate media who are hoeing the hard row by looking at this stuff. Bully on them.

    1. It’s Wikileaks who leaked the cables by way of their classified access to government systems.

      No. It’s Wikileaks who published the leaks… A huge difference that often gets lost as it just did here.

      1. Cow,

        I think that you might be overdue for a drinking binge. You’re attacking everyone, including people who agree with you.

  2. Don’t get me wrong, proper redaction and verification is vital, but does it bother anyone else that the last cables won’t be made public until sometime in 2015, at this rate?
    Incidentally, with 85% of wikileak’s resources already committed to fighting off various attacks, can this rate of release be maintained?

    1. Well, it doesn’t bother me, not if that’s what is necessary to make sure the release is handled responsibly. Some secrets really do need to remain hidden, and some secrecy does serve a legitimate purpose, at least temporarily. Isn’t that why they got the mainstream media involved in redacting and whatnot?

      1. How do you know which ‘secrets really do need to remain hidden’? Neither the government nor the military should be making these decisions simply because they decide based on their own interests and survival. Don’t we ‘the people’ have a responsibility to hold them accountable for what they do in our name? Some of us want to know and are not afraid to look. How many lives have been lost? and what is the reason? Is it because too many secrets have been kept.

  3. Seems to me that the app with its “fhalfof the proceeds gp to wikileaks” was quite in violation of

    17. Charities and contributions

    17.1 Apps that include the ability to make donations to recognized charitable organizations must be free
    17.2 The collection of donations must be done via a web site in a web browser

  4. From the Guardian coverage I’ve been reading, my guess is that some large percentage of the cables really won’t that interesting. I mean – I think that the really newsworthy stuff will start to run out. They are clearly mining the best stuff to go first and even asking for appropriate topics to extract the rest.

    At some point, perhaps they will just release big chunks at a time, or just leave many of the cables alone, not worth the effort to redact names to reveal diplomatic trivia.

    Poor Cow :)

  5. I probably shouldn’t need to point out to readers here that the cables HAVE been leaked; the ‘legitimate media’ are just interpreting them for us. This is something you can do for yourself, if you go read the original cables. There was even a cable-tagging game boinged a couple days ago; if you have some free time between chugs, you might be better off spending it tagging cables not yet published by the old media than complaining about how slow they are being with the whole chewing-up-and-regurgitating-information thing.

  6. We’ve gotten several warnings here at work (lots of government contracts) to not read wikileaks while at home. Needless to say it’s blocked here at work.

  7. Isn’t the whole point that we don’t *have* to wait for the media to tell us what to think about the cables?

  8. Read Thomas Blanton’s Statement to the “Hearing on the Espionage Act and the Legal and Constitutional Implications of Wikileaks”

    Thomas Blanton is the Director, National Security Archive, George Washington University.

    Here’s a gem from his statemet:
    The first example AP cited was a [“SECRET”] cable [released by Wikileaks] from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa briefing President Obama in early 2009 for an upcoming trip to Canada, a cable which included this sensitive bit of information, marked confidential: “No matter which political party forms the Canadian government during your Administration, Canada will remain one of our staunchest and most like-minded of allies, our largest trading and energy partner, and our most reliable neighbor and friend.’ The document could not be made public until 2019, for national security reasons,” the AP [article] reported.

    Of course, Julian Assange deserves the Death Penalty for releasing such top-secret cables of National Importance, eh?

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