WikiLeaks released 250,000 confidential State Department documents on its website Sunday. This time WikiLeaks’ bombshell is State Department cables that provide candid insight on international diplomacy and how the U.S. applies pressure to its allies overseas. World leaders immediately condemned the latest WikiLeaks release and a hacker attack briefly shut down the whistle-blower site.
The WikiLeaks State Department cables
The WikiLeaks release of State Department cables is giving the world an uncensored look into how the U.S. plays the game of international diplomacy. Key issues covered in the leaked State Department documents include the viewpoint of western and Middle Eastern governments on how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program and how the U.S. arranged economic sanctions against Iran. Other insights include how North Korea has been aiding Iran’s nuclear program and an apparent order from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for diplomats to spy on foreign governments.
Cables reveal diplomatic gossip
More highlights from the latest WikiLeaks release include King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urging the U.S. to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and a description of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as an “alpha-dog” with links to organized crime. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is likened to Adolf Hitler and Afghan President Hamid Karzai is said to be “driven by paranoia.” Details about Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi include that a “voluptuous blonde” Ukranian nurse never leaves his side. Governments around the world condemned the latest WikiLeaks release with predictable responses about how the documents endanger diplomats, intelligence operatives and informants.
Hacker doesn’t stop WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks claims to hold 251,288 cables issued by the State Department between 1966 and early 2010. A few hours ahead of the document release WikiLeaks tweeted that it was being hacked with a “mass distributed denial of service attack.” A WikiLeaks spokesperson said the documents deal with “strained relations and embarrassment” and do not endanger U.S. national security. The organization said it will release additional tranches over the next several weeks or months.