WikiLeaks publishes tens of thousands more cables

WASHINGTON Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:54pm EDT

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves after appearing at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London February 24, 2011. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves after appearing at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London February 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The WikiLeaks organization said on Thursday it was releasing tens of thousands of previously unpublished U.S. diplomatic cables, some of which are still classified.

"We will have released over 100,000 US embassy cables from around the world by the end of today," said a message on WikiLeaks' Twitter feed. The Twitter page is believed to be controlled by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' controversial Australian-born founder and chief.

The cables which the website said it is dumping onto the public record appear to be from a cache of more than 250,000 State Department reports leaked to the group. WikiLeaks began releasing the cables in smaller batches late last year, but until now had made them public in piecemeal fashion.

Several news organizations around the world, including Reuters, have had complete sets of the cables for months. But for the most part, media outlets have only cited or published cables when publishing specific news or investigative stories based on them.

By late afternoon on Thursday, the WikiLeaks website said it had published 97,115 of the 251,287 cables it possesses. It did not specify its motives for releasing such a large amount of material at once.

A person in contact with Assange's inner circle told Reuters the rationale behind the mass release of documents was dismay among WikiLeaks activists that media organizations had lost interest in publishing stories based on the material.

The source described Assange and his associates as "frustrated" at the lack of media interest.

INFORMATION ON ASSANGE

The document release began hours after WikiLeaks revealed on Twitter that Dynadot, a California Internet registrar which had hosted WikiLeaks, had received an order, generated by federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, requiring it to produce "information on Julian Assange."

WikiLeaks said Dynadot had complied with the order.

According to a copy of the document published by WikiLeaks, U.S. investigators want any "customer or subscriber account information" held by Dynadot since November 1 that relates to Assange, WikiLeaks or the domain name wikileaks.org.

Dynadot and the State Department did not respond to requests for comment.

It is unclear when or how WikiLeaks acquired a copy of the government order to Dynadot, which was dated January 4, 2011. A U.S. official indicated that the document, which was sealed by court order, had not been officially unsealed.

U.S. officials have indicated that prosecutors and a grand jury in Alexandria, have a long-running investigation into WikiLeaks, Assange and others associated with the website.

A few weeks earlier, the same prosecutors sent a similar request to Twitter seeking records of accounts held by Assange, WikiLeaks, and others. They include Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army private being detained for alleged unauthorized disclosures of classified information which was believed to have gone to WikiLeaks.

Last year WikiLeaks and Assange were celebrated after their release of State Department cables, tens of thousands of other secret U.S. files, and a classified video of a contested American military operation in Iraq.

Since then public interest in WikiLeaks has waned. It may have suffered from publicity related to Assange's flight to Britain after sexual misconduct charges were filed against him in Sweden and a subsequent protracted extradition fight. Assange has also publicly fueded with former collaborators.

A person close to Assange said a British appeals court is due to rule early next month on his appeal against Sweden's extradition request. The source was unaware of any link between the latest document dump and the anticipated court decision.

(Additional reporting by Jim Finkle; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (6)
x7o wrote:
Please correct:

“The cables which the website said it is dumping onto the public record appear to be from a cache of more than 250,000 State Department reports leaked to the group. ”

Wikileaks does not just “say” it is publishing the cables. It *is* in fact doing so. The cables do not merely “appear” to be from the cache. They *are* in fact from that cache. Both of these things are easily verifiable. The effect of inserting these words is to insinuate that all is not as it appears. It is.

“By late afternoon on Thursday, the WikiLeaks website said it had published 97,115 of the 251,287 cables it possesses.”

It *actually has* released that amount of cables. This fact is easily verifiable. Download the torrent and perform a count of the files in it. This is a fact, which you have reported as a claim, to what purpose we dare not speculate.

“It did not specify its motives for releasing such a large amount of material at once.”

Could it possibly be the motive which is the explicit raison d’etre of Wikileaks? Do you think? That it doesn’t need to justify having published the cables, because it always intended to publish the cables, and in fact, that was the whole reason they had them in the first place?

“A person in contact with Assange’s inner circle told Reuters the rationale behind the mass release of documents was dismay among WikiLeaks activists that media organizations had lost interest in publishing stories based on the material.

The source described Assange and his associates as “frustrated” at the lack of media interest.”

WL is no doubt disappointed with the assiduous lack of attention paid to its leaks, but this need not serve as a reason for stepping up publication of cablegate. The best reason they might have is that they are getting on with the job they have in front of them.

” It may have suffered from publicity related to Assange’s flight to Britain after sexual misconduct charges were filed against him in Sweden and a subsequent protracted extradition fight. Assange has also publicly fueded with former collaborators.”

To say that the charges were filed against him eclipses the fact that he has not been charged. He is wanted for questioning. The extradition case is over extradition for questioning. He has not been formally charged with a crime.

“A person close to Assange said a British appeals court is due to rule early next month on his appeal against Sweden’s extradition request”

This is not news, although the ruling may be as late as October.

“The source was unaware of any link between the latest document dump and the anticipated court decision.”

This is a sly imputation that there is a link, but the “source” didn’t know about it. There is no reason to believe there was any such link.

Aug 25, 2011 7:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Nasty_Celt wrote:
Keep up the good work Julian. America talks the talk about truth and justice but as these cables show, they sure don’t walk the walk.

Aug 25, 2011 8:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
doc5467 wrote:
“a classified video of a contested American military operation in Iraq.”

Nice reporting, Reuters! “contested military opertion?” It is a video of Americans murdering in cold blood innocent Iraqi civilians by mowing them down from a helicopter gunship. “contested” by whom??

Aug 25, 2011 8:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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