Wikileaks Targets U.S. Government With 1970s Diplomacy Memo Database
April 8, 2013 4:24 PM
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Cables quote Kissinger as joking about breaking the law, violating Constitution
It was a dark era in U.S. history. The homeland was rife with protests. The communist Soviet Union was threatening nuclear action. Israel was at war with Egypt and Syria. And in Asia scores of young Americans were dying in the bloody stained jungles of Vietnam.
I. Wikileaks Parses, Publishes Late Vietnam-era Cables Collection
controversial editor-in-chief Julian Assange
have scoured recently published diplomatic cables from the
U.S. State Department
from this period --1973-1976. After meticulous script-driven extraction of the raw data, the leaks site is advertising some of its controversial findings in a release called the "
In one cable titular U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger quips, "The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer."
Of course that quote may be a bit out of context; but it's certainly a bad joke at best.
U.S. SoS Henry Kissinger is quoted joking about illegal actions. [Image Source: Foreign Policy]
To build its searchable database
combed through 1.7 million declassified PDF files, which totaled over 380 gigabytes of data and 700 million words. The records were released via a declassification/publication process, that's supposed to occur within 25 years of their publication, according to U.S. State Department policy.
The cables join previous leaks in the central WikiLeaks
Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD)
The publication process of State Department cables is initiated by the State Department declassifications and releases. The cables are then passed off to the
National Archives and Records Administration
(NARA) for final review.
II. Documents for 1976-1988 are Behind Schedule
The leaks site points out that the cables for 1976 through 1988 should be out, but that the release is 12 years "behind schedule." But
cites a 2006 review by
US National Security Archives
, an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at
George Washington University
, which suggests the delay was not entirely accidental. The review found that the Bush administration had reclassified 55,000 releasable pages. And reportedly, that process has been ongoing under President Obama's regime in the years since the review.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange jabs, "The [Kissinger Cables] collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on Earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world. Fortunately, an organisation with an unbroken record in resisting censorship attempts now has a copy."
Julian Assange has accused the U.S. government and global media of a grand conspiracy.
Unlike a past release of
State Department classified cables
, which drew a
from U.S. politicians and
U.S. Private Bradley Manning, the current release was more of an exercise in targeted data mining. While it's likely to ruffle feathers, it did not involve gaining any sort of unauthorized access.
To date over
95 percent of the leaks on
have targeted the U.S.
individually or in collective activities with its allies. While these leaks have exposed some interesting and
potentially incriminating details
, they also have been at times indiscriminate, releasing sensitive, but not-incriminating documents along with more sensitive releases.
An important on-going question is whether
-- which claims it needs
tens of millions of dollars yearly to stay online
-- is acting as a true whistleblowing site (which typically
publishes incriminating evidence, not sensitive, but immaterial operational details) or as a foreign espionage organization. That question is unlikely to be resolved any time soon, though, as site founder Julian Assange explicitly
refused multiple requests
from reporters to identify whether any nation states fund his site or funding levels by nation.
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RE: Whistle Blower?
4/9/2013 8:43:50 AM
I funny that you feel you can compare "political prisoners" (domestic citizens) with known terrorists (who are not domestic citizens--and if they were, would be held accountable to the US judicial system).
In fact, the only reason that detainees are still at Gitmo is because the world has failed to address the legal gap between Legal-combatants (Geneva Convention) and Criminality (Domestic Laws). Terrorists only have themselves to blame; if they chose to abide by ROE laid out in the Geneva Convention (which is STILL possible in asymmetric warfare), they wouldn't be stuck in legal limbo.
But by all means, continue to be an apologist for gross violations of human rights abuses elsewhere in the world. I'm sure live-organ-harvesting from political prisoners is nothing compared to the shit Berkeley-ites accuse the US of.
RE: Whistle Blower?
4/9/2013 11:15:56 AM
lol you call them terrorist without actually even giving them a trial... the world addressed this problem long ago it's called giving them a fair trial and sentence them according to their crimes, I don't see any difference between a criminal that kills dozens of civilians and a terrorist that does the same, sure the terrorist may be part of an organization but so does the criminal, besides terrorism is not a new trend it has been around since the dawn of times.
Funny you speak of the Geneva Convention cause the US nitpicked what he want and never agreed with the complete extent of it...
Cause holding people with no trial is not a violation of the human rights?
Like it or not here will be another 800 pound gorilla soon enough.
RE: Whistle Blower?
4/9/2013 4:03:17 PM
Criminals, and I assume you mean the domestic kind, in the US have certain rights as they are US citizens. Foreign combatants do not have those same rights. As POW's they fall under the Geneva Conventions. The general argument is that since they are not a uniformed combatant, and they do not represent any nation, who do we hold accountable that was a signatory of those conventions? In the reality of those conventions, it is a gentleman's agreement between the various nations when they go to war. The objective is that your troops would be returned once the war was over.
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