The New York Times Again Censoring WikiLeaks - by Stephen Lendman
On November 28, WikiLeaks began releasing over 250,000 leaked State Department and US Embassy cables (many designated "secret"), dating from 1966 through end of February 2010. Their content ranges from embarrassing to important revelations about US spying on allies and the UN, ignoring corruption and human rights abuses in "client states," corporate lobbying, backroom dealmaking, disparagements of foreign leaders, and overall revealing a much different America than its public persona. Most of all, it offers more proof of a sham democracy, a lawless imperial state rampaging globally though little, if anything, of a smoking gun nature was disclosed.
Unsurprisingly, the London Guardian said the documents "reveal how the US uses its embassies as part of a global espionage network, with diplomats tasked to obtain not just information from the people they meet, but personal details, such as frequent flyer numbers, credit card details and even DNA material. Classified 'human intelligence directives' issued in the name of Hillary Clinton or her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, instruct officials to gather information on military installations, weapons markings, vehicle details of political leaders as well as iris scans, fingerprints and DNA."
Washington's "most controversial target was the leadership of the United Nations." One document requested "the specification of telecoms and IT systems used by top UN officials and their staff and details of 'private VIP networks used for official communication, to include upgrades, security measures, passwords, (and) personal encryption keys."
Candid comments also revealed disparaging assessments of world leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was called weak, describing her as "risk averse and rarely creative." Her Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, got even harsher treatment, described as incompetent, a man with an "exuberant personality" but little foreign policy experience.
Christopher Dell, US ambassador to Zimbabwe, called President Robert Mugabe "ruthless," "clever," and "to give the devil his due, he is a brilliant tactician." He "will not go down without a fight....he will cling to power at all costs."
Elizabeth Dibble, US charge d'affaires in Rome, called Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader." Another document described him as a "physically and politically weak (leader whose) frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest," the implication being to do his job properly. Still another document said he appears "increasingly the mouthpiece of (Russian Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin" in Europe.
Der Spiegel reported more, including:
-- America's disdain for Keynan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga;
-- Turkey's Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan was called an unreliable "fundamentalist," governing with "a cabal of incompetent advisors in a country....on a path to an Islamist future;"
-- America must "endure the endless tirades of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek, who claims to have known that the Iraq war was the 'biggest mistake ever committed' and who advised the Americans to 'forget about democracy in Iraq,' " recommending a military coup once US forces leave; and
-- Middle east cables "expose the superpower's weaknesses....the world power is often quickly reduced to becoming a plaything of diverse interests," including Arab leaders using their Washington ties to their own advantage.
Other documents expressed high level concerns about Pakistan's growing instability, a clandestine effort to combat Al Qaeda in Yemen, and shifting China/North Korean relations.
Grave fears were revealed about Pakistan's nuclear capability, officials warning of a potential economic collapse and risk of smuggling nuclear material to suspected terrorists.
Another cable discussed Afghan corruption, one alleging that vice president Zai Massoud was carrying $52 million in cash with him when he was stopped during a United Arab Emirates visit.
In still another, Secretary of State Clinton questioned the mental health of Argentina's president.