Cables describe Pakistan’s lack of evidence for convicting Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders for involvement in the Mumbai 2008 attacks. ‘Invisible Children’ confirms a report from a leaked cable on the organization’s information exchange with the Ugandan government. The US State Department has drastically changed its system for protecting classified information since Cablegate. A Zimbabwe army brigadier faces charges for comments attributed to him in WikiLeaks cables.
China looks elsewhere for energy: China’s pursuit of alternative oil resources is evident – as Josh M. Cartin writes in one cable, “Ecuador is a potent manifestation of China’s national strategy of securing direct oil contracts around the world to reduce China’s reliance on oil shipped from and through hotspots such as the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Malacca.” Cables show that China wanted to be a “major player” in the Ecuadoran oil industry as far back as 2006, but that Chinese businessmen and workers are seen as “locusts” and competition in the labor market.
Lack of Evidence against Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders involvement in Mumbai attacks: In a cable titled, “Mumbai Prosecution Update: Pakistan Lacks Evidence to Convict Top Suspects,” Anne W. Patterson wrote, “the FIA does not/not have enough independent evidence to successfully prosecute the senior LeT leaders, Lakhvi, Shah, and al Qama. Unfortunately, due to political pressure, the FIA was put in the position of arresting and charging the three individuals before it had conducted a complete investigation or collected the proper evidence.”
Lawmakers grant Suriname president immunity for murders: A cable dating back to 2006 shows president Desi Bouterse was part of a major narcotics trafficking ring alongside rebel leader, Ronnie Brunswijk. Despite being on trial for murdering 15 prominent activists and continued involvement with drug trafficking, reportedly, “in recent years the country has received scant attention from U.S.policy makers.” President Desi Bouterse has now been granted immunity from murder.
Huawei: prevention is better than cyber anxiety: Recent findings from the Australian Security Intelligence Organization which lead the Australian government to exclude Huawei from the NBN is no surprise as security concerns about Huawei’s access to national broadband network dated back as far as 2008. With Australian politicians such as Victorian Premier John Brumby and former foreign affairs Minister on the Board of Directors, deep ties diverted the Australian government from confronting a security nightmare as reality.
Clinton sought Indian Assistance To Persuade Sri Lanka On internally displaced persons: Cables show Hilary Clinton dependent on the Indian government in negotiating with the government of Sri Lanka on relocation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). Virginia Bennett wrote, “The Secretary sought Indian assistance to persuade the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) to resettle the internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka. Krishna said India had had considerable interactions with the GSL. While describing the IDP situation as a humanitarian concern, he did not think the GSL could meet the 180-day timeline to relocate the IDPs because the monsoon would start soon. Moreover, demining the areas to give people the confidence to return to their homes would take time.”
Arroyo scandals affected Spratlys, Scarborough: Territory claims over the Spratly islands between China and Philippines were tainted by corruption under the Arroyo administration. Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney wrote,
President Arroyo’s husband Mike Arroyo had accepted multimillion-dollar kickbacks from the Chinese in return for facilitating a $349 million telecommunications deal between the Chinese ZTE Corporation and the Philippines’ National Broadband Network (NBN); the deal was soon scrapped (reftel B). This and other recent scandals involving the Chinese led to charges in Congress and media circles that the Arroyo administration had likewise assented to the Spratlys joint seismic exploration deal in exchange for bribe-tainted loans, and that the government’s attempts to get Congress to back off on inclusion of the Spratlys in Philippine baselines was similarly motivated by illicit Chinese influence.
India asked to honour 1989 accord on Siachen: The Siachen glacier marks a battlefield between India and Pakistan and the 1989 Siachen accord between the two countries. The Indian army’s resistance to resolution is well documented. Ted Osius wrote in a diplomatic cable, “The message Antony is sending is that India is in this for the long haul — that it requires less sacrifice than it used to, that the Army’s environmental impact is diminishing, and that Pakistan must meet India’s demands to gain forward movement on the issue.” Recently, an avalanche in Gayari that buried the army’s headquarters and trapped 135 troops and civilians caused Pakistan to remind India to hold to their 1989 agreement.
Cables on Guinea-Bissau: One of the worlds poorest nations is also one of the largest cocaine hubs for Europe. Cables document corruption in government as well as kingpins of the drug trafficking cartel. Even the “No Confidence vote” in Guinea-Bissau’s president was reportedly purchased with drug money. Janice L. Jacobs wrote, “Foreign Minister Antonio Isaac Monteiro told the Ambassador that the no confidence vote had been purchased with drug money. Others echoed this opinion and pointed to Defense Minister Helder Proenca as a possible replacement for the Prime Minister. In Bissau, Proenca is widely believed to be a drug kingpin.”
Omar Suleiman announces run for Presidency: Omar Suleiman, described as ‘the CIA’s point man in Egypt for renditions’ and in Wikileaks cables as Mubaraks ‘Consigliere’, is running for office. In one cable, Suleiman promised an “Israeli interlocutor that he would prevent the 2006 Palestinian Authority legislative election,” which he eventually failed to do.
Former Myanmar junta associate Tay Za repositioning himself as a philanthropist: Tay Za, now a retired multimillionaire, made his millions becoming “the region’s top crony.” A leaked cable says, “Tay Za has been the regime’s top crony since 2005, after the fall of former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt. Tay Za used his connections to the regime to secure his favored position (Ref A), and he relies on key personnel within the Htoo Group of Companies to ensure that his businesses remain viable while providing support to the senior generals when necessary.”
Lawyer for victims of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan again denied entry to US: The US government blocked lawyer Shahzad Akbar from appearing at a conference in Washington on drone strikes on two occasions, leading to a lawsuit against United States. Akbar has also initiated legal notices on behalf of victims against CIA and US for their deaths. Documents published by Wikileaks reveal that in 2008 despite Pakistan governments public outrage, drone strikes were privately supported: “Marvi rounded out the conversation with Lieberman noting that, while the PML supported the PPP-led GOP on alleged drone attacks and on relations with India, her party would still be an active opposition. She informed the Senator that her party was tracking the government’s progress on and adherence to parliament’s 14-point joint resolution on how to combat extremism.”
The Summit of the Americas, WikiLeaks and the failed war on drugs: As far back as 2006, the US was concerned about Bolivia’s cocaine production. A cable from Peru reveals a clash in views on the topic: “questioned USG motives in the FTA and our counter- narcotics program…The Ambassador directly dispelled as unfounded the rumors circulated by USG opponents that we are spraying Peruvian coca and thereby sickening innocent peasants, or that we have military bases in Peru’s jungle region.” The lack of funding to provide security to police the war on drugs led to credible threats, “Press articles reported the continuing cocalero divisions while warning that the real threat of radicalization is from the increasingly violent plans by cocaleros, allied with narcotraffickers and Sendero Luminoso (SL), to defend coca fields.”
UK ‘exporting surveillance technology to repressive nations’: UK is under the spotlight for exporting surveillance technology to supressive regimes, raising concerns it could be used to trace political dissidents and human rights activists. Privacy International discovered 30 UK companies exporting survellance technologies to Syria, Iran, Yemen and Bahrain. The US, Germany and Israel were also exporters in a £3 billion a year industry. Wikileaks Spyfiles contain marketing material aimed at governments and corporations on such surveillance products.
For Last Two Kuwaiti Prisoners In Guantánamo, US Relies On Unreliable Witnesses And Experts Find Evidence Unconvincing: It has been two years since an internal agency recommended the release of 89 Guantanamo detainees. For well over a year, no prisoner has been released alive. Classified military files on Guantanamo prisoners reveal how evidence used to justify their detainment is constructed out of bribery, coercive control and torture.
Iran will not tolerate fall of Assad, establishes joint ‘war room’ with Syria, Hezbollah: Iran is increasing its forces in Syria supplying assistance to President Bashar al-Assad. Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned, “The Islamic Republic will defend Syria, because of its support for the resistance front against the Zionist regime, and is vehemently opposed to any intervention by foreign forces in Syrian internal affairs.” A stratfor email suggests a different take on the situation, “The Iranians feel they need to act on Syria soon because the Turks have their own plans for Syria and are not coordinating with the Iranians. He says the Turks are moving slowly but systematically. Iran does not want to allow Turkey to take over Syria.”
Impact & Followup^
State Department CIO: What’s Changed Since WikiLeaks: Nearly two years post WikiLeaks release of Diplomatic cables, the State Department has transformed its system vigilantly to ensure its unlikely to happen again. Auditing and monitoring tools to address ‘abnormal behavior’ and policies regarding storage devices have been updated. A greater emphasis on cybersecurity information sharing is now a major component of staff training. State Department CIO Susan Swart said in an interview, “The State Department has continued to enhance the security of our classified data and systems post-WikiLeaks.”
Kony 2012 group confirms WikiLeaks spy allegation: The non profit group, ‘Invisible Children’ has confirmed the cable that documented a member providing intelligence to the Ugandan government. Kathleen FitzGibbon stated in the cable, “The latest plot was exposed when the Government received a tip from the U.S. non-governmental organization (NGO) Invisible Children regarding the location of Patrick Komekech. He was wanted by the security services for impersonating LRA [Lord’s Resistance Army] leaders to extort money from government officials, NGOs, and Acholi leaders. Komekech is purportedly a former child soldier abducted by the LRA .”
Zimbabwe Army punishes general over Chiwenga remarks: Army Brigadier Herbert Chingono faces charges for critical remarks made about the defence forces chief General Constantine Chiwena in a Wikileaks cable. Chief General Constantine Chenga is described in the cable as
…a political general who works hard, but who has very little practical military experience or expertise. A political commissar before 1980, he has only attended one mid-level training course, which he did not complete. If given a choice between a military and a political issue, he routinely defaults to the political. His goal is to be in politics when his tenure ends as defense chief, and he will be very disappointed if he fails to achieve that goal. He has been given to making political statements. This has caused some ZANU-PF politicians to be suspicious of him, and he was chastised by Mugabe for being too political.