11.28.10 -- Wikileaks US Embassy Cables: 251, 287 documents
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Wikileaks - Cablegate / Statelogs
This article is being updated. WASHINGTON -- WikiLeaks published the first set of more than 250,000 secret State Department documents Sunday, in one of the largest leaks of classified information in history. Earlier in the day, The New York Times and The Guardian published a selection of the documents. The WikiLeaks website was inaccessible for part of the day, and WikiLeaks said in its Twitter feed that it was experiencing a denial of service attack . WikiLeaks also provided the documents to Spain's El Pais , France's Le Monde , and Germany's Der Spiegel . The website says it will publish the full set of 250,000 documents in stages over the next few months.
The United States diplomatic cables leak , widely known as Cablegate , began in February 2010 when WikiLeaks —a non-profit organization that publishes submissions from anonymous whistleblowers —began releasing classified cables that had been sent to the U.S. State Department by 274 of its consulates, embassies, and diplomatic missions around the world. Dated between December 1966 and February 2010, the cables contain diplomatic analysis from world leaders, and the diplomats' assessment of host countries and their officials. [ 1 ] According to WikiLeaks, the 251,287 cables consist of 261,276,536 words, making Cablegate the world's largest release of classified material. [ 2 ]
Is it justified? Should a newspaper disclose virtually all a nation's secret diplomatic communication, illegally downloaded by one of its citizens? The reporting in the Guardian of the first of a selection of 250,000 US state department cables marks a recasting of modern diplomacy. Clearly, there is no longer such a thing as a safe electronic archive, whatever computing's snake-oil salesmen claim.
What does the United States really think of German Chancellor Angela Merkel? Is she a reliable ally? Did she really make an effort to patch up relations with Washington that had been so damaged by her predecessor? At most, it was a half-hearted one. The tone of trans-Atlantic relations may have improved, former US Ambassador to Germany William Timken wrote in a cable to the State Department at the end of 2006, but the chancellor "has not taken bold steps yet to improve the substantive content of the relationship." That is not exactly high praise.
Rachel Slajda The Library of Congress has blocked access to the Wikileaks site on its staff computers and on the wireless network that visitors use, two sources tell TPM. The error message reportedly reads:
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