Julian Assange

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ten Results from Wikileaks

So what have we learned from the documents? Here's an incomplete list – incomplete because there are tens of thousands of cables still out there.

1. Silvio Berlusconi 'profited from secret deals' with Vladimir Putin
Yes, we may have known that these two men were close – but this is the first time allegations of financial ties have surfaced, with Putin allegedly giving Berlusconi a cut of energy contracts.

2. The US pressured Spain over CIA rendition and Guantánamo
The extraordinary tale of how the Bush administration threatened Spain to leave off its prosecutions over the US's use of torture – and how senior Spanish legal officials connived with the US to help them.

3. US diplomats spied in the UN's leadership
The shocking news that the US state department, acting on a wishlist drawn up by the CIA, asked its diplomats to obtain credit card accounts, email addresses, mobile phone numbers and even the DNA of UN officials, a possible breach of international law.

4. The scale of Afghan corruption is overwhelming
Even knowing that there was widespread corruption is no preparation for the magnitude of it, suggesting the US has a hopeless task in Afghanistan.

5. Hillary Clinton queried Cristina Kirchner's mental health
A hugely damaging revelation in Argentina, straining relations with the US after the cables revealed an official request to find out if the country's president was on "medication" and how she dealt with stress.

6. The Bank of England governor played backroom politics
Mervyn King faced calls for his resignation and a very uncomfortable position after he was revealed to be advising the Conservatives on fiscal policy while denigrating them in secret to US diplomats.

7. The British government remains in thrall to the US
Over Diego Garcia, over an international cluster munitions ban, over using British bases for rendition and spying flights, the British authorities were either ignored, manipulated or co-opted.

8. the Australian Government would rather support the big bully in the playground that one of its own citizens.
The Prime minister prefers the US Government and its secret crimes to the protection of its own citizens.

9. The Australian Government is not immune to stupidity.
Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, That fellow who has the rock band, Midnight oil.

and 10. the Australian government would rather sopend millions defending the interests iof the US in afganistan despire considering the 'hopelessness' of the effort and regardless of the Australian Lives lost and while millions are needed in Australia to cover the devastation from floods, fires and cyclones. Evidently US interests are more important.

And that's not even a particularly complete list of what we know, because there has been so much it's very difficult to decide what has had the most impact. But this is all far from over. For all we know there is a ticking time bomb sitting among the unpublished cables – unnoticed by the teams of journalists working through them and waiting to go off.

Some information sourced from the Huffington Post.

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