Wikileaks: All 250,000 cables reported leaked in Norway


According to a report today in Norway's top business publication, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has managed to get a hold of the entire "Cablegate" database of some 250,000 diplomatic cables—Wikileaks has not granted any news organization this access, and has instead been providing access to relatively small batches, one at a time (what the Herald Sun calls "drip-feeding"). How did Aftenposten get access? They won't say, and Wikileaks won't either, but one guess could involve the database being stored on a server within Norway. Snip:

Aftenposten news editor Ole Erik Almlid told Dagens Naerings: "We're free to do what we want with these documents ... We're free to publish the documents or not publish the documents, we can publish on the internet or on paper. We are handling these documents just like all other journalistic material to which we have gained access."

Around 20 Aftenposten journalists are sifting through the file dump. The news articles are written in Norwegian, which may restrict their immediate impact in the English-speaking media world .. for a time at least.

Reports around the web: NTB via Google Translate, Herald Sun,, News and Views from Norway, Gawker.



  1. this is strange, it is reported in the financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv – but the newspaper Aftenposten(one of the major ones) who claims to have the documents have no mention of this on their site – and they have not been the most eager to report on wikileaks.

  2. The news articles are written in Norwegian, which may restrict their immediate impact in the English-speaking media world .. for a time at least.

    Yeah, because Google doesn’t automatically offer to translate other-language pages for you, and as a Germanic language Norwegian is practically untranslatable into English anyhow, I’m sure.

      1. of course you can translate norwegian into english we ar part of the same language group

        Clearly sarcasm is untranslatable.

  3. well, I look forward to them being rapidly prosecuted for espionage and having all major financial institutions refuse to honor transactions involving them, to say nothing of calls for the editors’ assassination.

  4. I don’t understand how this access — besides the possible lack of Wikileaks’ blessing — differs from that of the Guardian, Times, Spiegel, Monde, and País. Don’t they all have access to the entire database as well?

    1. No, Guardian, Spiegel et al are beeing “drip fed” special selections, same as all the other media. Wikileaks have annointed special middle-men who do the actual rationing.

      The guy handing out rations in Scandinavia has turned out to have strong extremist and anti-semitic connections. Everybody pretty much agrees that Wikileaks were stupid to appoint him, of all available people.

      It´s a fair guess that this is what prompted someone in this region to bypass the middle-men and go for the unfiltered loot.

        1. My bad. Appearently Spiegel, Guardian et al have the full data, but have all signed a legal agreement not to use it without consent from the Wikileak head honchos.

          How weird is that, by the way?

          So the news here is that Aftenposten hasn’t signed any agreement.
          And it gives us a fair idea of where Aftenposten might have obtained the data in the first place…

          1. no. Spiegel hasn´t signed any contract (according to the interview).

            The Newspapers made among themeselves a (verbal) agreement about the publishing date and a publishing order of certain storys (a 4-Days period).

            Spiegel didn´t agreed to any further Contract, Agreement, etc and has not given rights to wikileaks to intervene in any kind.

            The 4 Newspapers have given feedback to wikileaks about cables they dont publish or publish only in parts (becouse of life-treatening of sources) so wikileaks can deside if they want to black-out that source-names too. Thats it.
            (acording to the interview – link above)

            sorry, for my english, will try harder ;-)

          2. Hm, strange. All the Norwegian wires mention a “konfidensialitetsavtale” i e confidentiality agreement between Wikyleaks and the big papers. For instance:

            Maybe Aftenposten is playing up the deadline agreement among the big five, to make their own findings more interesting?

            Regardless, the entire “coordinated deadlines” thing seems a tad bizarre all in itself, don’t you agree?
            It’s not like we’re talking about a movie release or a new pop album here. If there is anything in those leaks that the puplic actually needs to know, then the public should be told, like, immediately.

      1. the journalist you mention johannes walströhm has been under horrendous attacks from swedish media. however, him being the scandinavian main wikileaks-contact, he has had close relationship with the competing norwegian newspaper VG, not Aftenposten who have recieved the complete batch of documents.

        looking at the aftenposten website now, there still no mention of this mega-leak or even any other wikileaks-associated cases there (!)

      2. Another problem is that Johannes Wahlström was paid by another Norwegian newspaper to write articles about Wikileaks, while gave him a quite awkward double role as he also was the one deciding who got the Scandinavian Wikileaks.


    1. We apologize. Those responsible for sacking those responsible for the fault in the database have also been sacked. Please instead enjoy this rousing rendition of “Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty” by 2,000 South American llamas.

  5. Still, it should prove rather interesting for the fact if there is anything further damaging in the full reports(almost a certainty) the US will either have an easier time fabricating a reason to go after Assange or this will make it harder, showing Assange only released a relatively scarce number of less sensitive subjects. The Serpent Lord help them if Anonymous or 4chan gets ahold of the whole kaboodle…

  6. Is it so wrong my internal narrator read the quote as:

    “Ve’re free to do vhat ve vant vith these documents”

  7. those papers have the full files and are drip feeding it themselves, wikileaks unfortunately playing into the old media scoop fear, and the new york times got the files from the guardian not wikileaks.

  8. The link in the article is wrong – it refers to an article about suspension of funds to Wikileaks through Visa, and mentions nothing about the leak of 250k cables.

    The following is a link to an article referring to the leak of leaks:

    Google translate works nicely, with a gross exception of the title. Replace “wondering” with “tricked”, and you’ll get most of it

  9. and by the way: #7 you are wrong – you are thinking about ze Germans (or the vampires in Ãœberwalt). In Norway, we sound more like the Swedish chef in the muppets

  10. Also as a sidenote: Aftonbladet is a swedish newspaper, Aftenposten is a Norwegian one. Two different papers.

    Also as an add on most Swedish (and I guess Norwegian) papers have people digging for information on their own and Wikileaks is seen as fair game in this case since that is what their all about.

    1. Atenposten and Aftonbladet are two different newspapers, but they are both owned by the same company, Schibsted

  11. How pathetic. Journalists still too lazy to ferret out news for themselves, but they’ll filch it from people who were, you know, already publishing it.

    1. Actually, the article says that Aftenposten cooperated with the Svenska Dagbladet on the previous “drip-fed” leeks. By all accounts they are keeping this motherload to themselves.

  12. Has been said before could do with further clarification; Aftenposten is an Oslo based broadsheet. Aftonbladet is a shitty Stockholm based tabloid and has nothing to do with this. Aftenposten has however been cooperating with Stockholm based broadsheet Svenska Dagbladet on the sifting of documents from the initial agreed leak that has also been available to The Guardian etc.

    Let’s hope the brotherly sharing with Svenska Dagbladet continues also after this new 250 000 document leak.

  13. This is all deeply ironic.

    Paraphrasing Assange: “We believe in complete transparency, except when it doesn’t suit our organisation’s purposes or my feelings about unrelated matters.”

    1. He has never said he believes in complete transparency. Wikileaks is based on the idea that anyone should be able to free information that is suppressed to highlight abuses by institutions; they seek justice through transparency. That is not the same as complete transparency. Numerous times Assange has stated that data like medical records, in the majority of cases, should remain private.

      Regarding their disdain for a leak of the database which you make out to be ironic, it is not anything of the kind. If information gets released and someone dies, it is Wikileaks that will receive the blame. It is not surprising then they want to control what cables get released.

      If they release the cables unredacted, which is what the incumbent “journalists” like to falsely promote, then they are deemed reckless. If they take care over the releases, they are now deemed hypocrites.

  14. Nice use of the Asterix comic image – although I have to admit, “Asterix and the Vikings” is one of the few I don’t have…

  15. all papers have access to the eitire database,,,,,
    the time releasetime is based on the rate it can be PRIVITIZED!!!!!
    if more papers have the db the more can be realesed…
    relesing names , if done by the paper will not damage wikileaks it will be the responsibility of the paper….

  16. this story makes no sense. perhaps it’s all google translate’s fault, or the norwegian paper is itself making false claims, but the Guardian etc have had the full set of cables for months, with the only condition being coordinating the timing of releases by region. now that the story has broken for cables from pretty much every region of the world, a norwegian paper having access with “no conditions” is a non-story, unless they have something shocking to report about US diplomats conspiring with santa or trolls.

    see the guardian editors’ note from november 28:

    “The Guardian is one of five publications around the world which has had prior access to the material – around 250,000 cables in all – on condition that we observed common deadlines over the timings of release. The others are the New York Times, Le Monde, El País and Der Spiegel. … Co-operation with WikiLeaks has been restricted to agreeing the dates on which we could cover specific regions.”

  17. The first links is wrong, should be:

    First of all, if you can read English and have an above average IQ, you can already read Norwegian to some extent. The spelling is different but simpler (and it has three different standards for spelling), most of the words are the same (but be aware of false friends), it has more prepositions and those prepositions that still is used in English has shifted in meaning (if you are fluent in Old English, you will understand everything lovely). Norwegian also have a more advanced (and useful) grammar, but it is very regular (especially compared to English) and resembles Old English a lot. Norwegian is one of the easiest natural languages to learn and once you learned Norwegian, you can use it to communicate with Swedes and Danes too (interestingly, despite having almost everything in common with Norwegian, Swedish is one of the most difficult natural languages to learn, it is not only the high reliance on tonality (that you have to learn as a child to fully master and written Swedish gives very little clues about), it is also because it is an unholy and very irregular concoction of Old Norse, Low German, Old and Modern French, Latin, Romani, Langua Franca, bits and pieces from every language in every area Sweden ever concured and some stuff Swedes made up all by themselves in words, grammar, spelling and pronunciation, with a very wide variety of dialects, it is my mother tongue and I love it).

    As for using Google Translate to translate from Norwegian to English. It could be worse, e.g. it could be Swedish to English, but basically Google Translate only works for French or Portuguese to English, any other language combination I’ve tried to use it on is a disaster. Google translate use some kind of post-translation trick on the English translation to make it look good (and it does appear to be correct), it is just that the translations is almost always factually wrong. Never, ever use Google Translate as anything more then a quick dictionary when you read a language that you have some understanding of. I always let Google Translate show the original text, then if I’m uncertain what something means I point at it and get a google translation (and I always use Translate to English, as translations to other target languages is lacking even more). Google Translate usually get things like positions, and positive and negative reinforcement wrong (very simplified: no becomes yes, newer becomes always, below become on top, behind becomes in front et.c.) in any text that isn’t written to be easy to translate to and from English, e.g. Google Translate translate the Swenglish (Swedish) and Nonglish (Norwegian) used in UN documents reasonably correct. On the bright side, Google translate is better then most dictionaries at common expressions and idioms.

    1. I speak four languages (two with full fluency), and this makes no fucking sense to me:

      Noen har lekket dokumentene til avisen og samtidig spolert WikiLeaks egen regi, skriver Dagens Næringsliv.

      1. “None are leaked documents until advised of the simultaneous publication date decided by Wikileaks own staff, write Dagens Naeringsliv” would be what I guessed out of it (with the bit of Dutch I have ;) ) … a bit different to the actual translation of “Someone has leaked the documents to the newspaper and also spoiled WikiLeaks own account, Dagens Næringsliv” :D


      2. Someone has leaked the documents to the newspaper and at the same time spoiled WikiLeaks own direction (unsure about this one, is french one of your spoken languages? The word is derived from French régie), writes Dagens Næringsliv (a newspaper)

        This is the best I can do, I think.

        1. English, Spanish, Italian and Latin.

          The Google translation is actually good enough to be usable. At the very least it saves us all the trouble of trying to wade through the Norwegian so anon doesn’t think we’re inadequate linguists.

          “Someone has leaked the documents to the newspaper and also spoiled WikiLeaks its own, writes the newspaper.”

          So: Someone has leaked the documents to the newspaper and spoiled (out-done) Wikileaks’ leak, writes Dagens Næringsliv.

  18. Ja det e så rett, men jeg tror dette er bra for verden at ikke dem som styrer, selv sosialiste i Norge får holde hemmeligheter og holde folket for narr. Takk til dem som har lekket!!!! Nå kan vi lese og selv trekke slutninger på våre ledere som er valgt av folket. Hva de sa da de ble valgt og hva de gjør NÅR de er valgt. Blir så forbanna når Norges statsminister står frem og lyver folket rett i fleisen når det er valg, men gjør og sier andre ting i lukket rom.

  19. I was actually wondering why the CIA/NSA hadn’t leaked the cables themselves yet. That would prevent them being released on Wikileaks’ schedule when it suits them best, it could be leaked to more “friendly” newspapers to get controversial stories out first with some positive spin and they could even change the content of some as yet unreleased cables to spread FUD about which is the true version.

  20. Glad they are out in the open, if thats really all of them.

    The only reason I can see for wikileaks micromanagement of the release is if they have a vested interest in sorting through the leaks, perhaps for some payee’s benefit. Leaks should be the entire leak, and not filtered by some NGO with multi-million-dollar budgets. Cryptome never did that, nor did leaking to torrents or newsgroups. Even if there was no impropriety there was at least the appearance of it.

  21. I speak fluent Norwegian and I can confirm that google has a very high amount of wrongs in translating from Norewgian to Englissh

  22. I read the article and i think its great !!





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