Friends and foes condemn WikiLeaks

By AFP
Published: November 30, 2010

World leaders say leaks will weaken diplomacy; Pentagon warns there is no guarantee against another leak. PHOTO: AFP

Friend and foes alike of the United States turned on WikiLeaks Monday over its release of secret US diplomatic cables, saying the revelations undermined diplomacy and made the world less secure.

“This will weaken diplomacy around the world. It will weaken diplomacy in general, but first and foremost American diplomacy,” Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said after the mass release.

“I see this rather as something that is making the world less safe,” he said.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, object of much of the diplomatic discussion revealed by the WikiLeaks website, dismissed the documents as “worthless mischief” which would not affect relations with its Arab neighbours, exposed as having pressed for a US military strike on its nuclear sites.

Afghanistan said its ties with Washington would not be shaken by portrayals of President Hamid Karzai as an “extremely weak” and paranoid leader and his brother as a corrupt drugs baron.

“We don’t see anything substantive in the document that will strain the relationship,” Karzai’s spokesman Waheed Omer told reporters.

Global concern about Iran

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday said the content of the massive US document leak by WikiLeaks underlines broad world concern over Iran’s nuclear program.

“Any of the comments that are being reported on allegedly from the cables confirm the fact that Iran poses a very serious threat in the eyes of many of her neighbors and a serious concern far beyond her region,” Clinton said.

The chief US diplomat told a press briefing that widespread global unease about Iran was reflected in Washington’s ability last June to garner international support for a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran.

People reading the cables will conclude “that the concern about Iran is well-founded (and) widely-shared,” said Clinton, who said Washington would continue to pursue policies “with like-minded nations to try to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

No guarantee against another leak

The Pentagon has taken steps to prevent more disclosures but there is no guarantee against more damaging leaks after Wikileaks published a huge trove of classified diplomatic cables, a spokesman said on Monday.

Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters that the Defense Department had tightened procedures for handling sensitive information but he did not expect changes to rules on who is permitted access to secret documents. The WikiLeaks website, which posted more than 250,000 classified documents on Sunday full of embarrassing details of diplomatic exchanges, has never revealed its source in a series of document dumps but suspicion has focused on a US Army private working in military intelligence, Bradley Manning, who is now under detention.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • ABDUL NASIR SAGGU
    Nov 30, 2010 - 3:25PM

    IT REVEALS THAT PERFECTION OF SYSTEMS IS NO WHERE IN THE WORLDRecommend

  • Unknown
    Dec 9, 2010 - 10:27PM

    This article is factually incorrect. Wikileaks did not post “more than 250,000 classified documents on Sunday.” It posted a fraction of that amount. This is poor quality “journalism.”Recommend

  • Unknown
    Dec 10, 2010 - 10:24PM

    Yeah, here are the facts: per Wikileaks, December 10, 2010: “Cablegate: 1,269 of 251,287 embassy cables released: 0.5% down, 99.5% to go.”Recommend

  • Andrew
    Dec 24, 2010 - 12:27AM

    Abdul, your right, I would go as far to say that the west is more corrupt than the east with all these corporates buying favours etc.

    As for “Unknown” below you, you are a poor journalist, Assange did indeed release 250000 documents on sunday to a publicly accessible peer based network. This means everyone, including me, has those documents sitting on his desktop. The press does not want this in the public eye else everyone would be clamouring for these files. The catch, its heavily encrypted, but Assange has vowed that if he goes to jail he will give the key to the general public and 2-8 GB (depending on just how much he compressed the files before encryption) of cables will be in public hands.

    I for one, cannot wait to see what the US do, as I believe it will be largely instrumental in shaping the future of the USA.Recommend

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