Americas & Beyond
|Latest WikiLeaks Developments|
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December 07, 2010
London - WikiLeaks published more details of sites around the globe that the United States considers vital to its interests, prompting strong criticism that the website is helping militants identify sensitive targets for attack.
A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said he and his client were in the process of arranging to meet British police. Assange, 39, is wanted in Sweden for questioning about allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, and an arrest warrant was received by London's Metropolitan Police, a police source told Reuters.
Here are some of the latest revelations in U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks and related stories:
• Top U.S. officials have grown frustrated over the resistance of allies in the Middle East to help shut the financial pipeline of terrorists.
• The hacking of Google Inc that led the Internet company to briefly pull out of China was orchestrated by two members of China's top ruling body.
• The WikiLeaks publication of secret cables was not the embarrassing blow to U.S. diplomacy many people assume, but a deliberate ploy by Washington to improve its image, a senior Iranian official said.
• Iran told Gulf Arab states it was not a threat and wanted cooperation, in an apparent attempt to lower tensions after WikiLeaks revelations that Gulf Arab leaders are deeply anxious about its nuclear program.
• Australian police are investigating whether WikiLeaks' Australian founder, Julian Assange, has broken any of the country's laws and is liable to prosecution there, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said.
• Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi caused a month-long nuclear scare in 2009 when he delayed the return to Russia of radioactive material in an apparent fit of diplomatic pique, leaked U.S. embassy cables showed.
• A top official in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives said he was shocked how sloppily the United States policed sensitive data and that it had failed to live up to its responsibilities as a global power.
• Leaked U.S. government cables critical of Afghanistan and Pakistan have helped bring the two nations together, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said, dismissing their content as lies.
• Afghanistan's finance minister offered to resign over a leaked U.S. cable which reported him as describing President Hamid Karzai as a "weak man" and said ties with the U.S. Embassy in Kabul were damaged.
• British troops were "not up" to the task of securing Afghanistan's Helmand province and the governor pleaded for U.S. reinforcements, American diplomats said.
• President Hosni Mubarak warned U.S. officials Egypt might develop nuclear weapons if Iran obtained them. A U.S. ambassador described Egypt, recipient of billions of dollars in U.S. aid since making peace with Israel in 1979, as a "stubborn and recalcitrant ally" in a February 2009 cable.
Egypt lobbied last year to delay southern Sudan's secession vote for 4-6 years because it feared the division could imperil its share of Nile waters.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi dismissed reports of U.S. worries over his ties with Moscow and repeated he had never profited personally from his contacts.
U.S. spy planes flew reconnaissance flights over Lebanon from a British air base in Cyprus in a counter-terrorist operation requested by Lebanese officials.
• A Mexican official said the government was in danger of losing control of parts of the country to powerful drug cartels.
• President Dmitry Medvedev said the leaks showed the "cynicism" of U.S. diplomacy but suggested they would not seriously upset improving ties with Washington.
• Turkmenistan's leader is described as "not very bright" and "a practiced liar" in a cable from the U.S. embassy in the gas-rich Central Asian state. It said President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov did not like the United States, Iran or Turkey, but was fond of China.
• The CIA prepared a list of the kinds of information on U.N. officials and diplomats that it wanted U.S. envoys in New York and around the world to gather.
• Cuban intelligence services directly advised Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in what a U.S. diplomat called the "Axis of Mischief," according to a State Department cable. Other cables revealed U.S. anxiety at Chavez's "coziness" with Iran, and concerns of Venezuelan Jews over what they saw as government prejudice against them.
• Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh secretly offered U.S. forces open access to his country to launch attacks against al Qaeda targets.