Some underreported WikiLeaks revelations
November 30, 2010 3 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
There is little point in recapping here the bulk of disclosures contained in the ongoing WikiLeaks revelations. The news sphere is jam-packed with them —and perhaps this is the real story in the WikiLeaks revelations, namely the fact that espionage and intelligence issues have near-monopolized the global news cycle for the first time since the post-Watergate Congressional investigations of the 1970s. But it is worth pointing out a handful of news stories on the WikiLeaks revelations that have arguably not received the media coverage that they deserve. Undoubtedly the most underreported disclosure concerns a 2007 meeting between US officials and Meir Dagan, the then Director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. During the meeting, Dagan apparently “presented US with five-step program to perform a coup in Iran“. But there are other underreported disclosures. Take for instance the revelation that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally authorized US diplomats to engage in all-out and indiscriminate spying on senior United Nations officials. Although there is nothing here that will surprise seasoned intelligence observers, the breadth of intelligence collection that US diplomats are instructed to engage in (which includes collecting credit card numbers and biometric data of UN officials) is astonishing and certainly unprecedented. Moreover, it should be noted that many senior UN officials are in fact American, which leads to the intriguing question of whether US diplomats are routinely required to engage in intelligence collection against American UN officials. The UN has reacted angrily to the revelations and has vowed to address them “with our US counterparts on various levels”, unlike the Europeans, who appear to be mostly amused by the diplomatic cables. Another interesting revelation regards the “sharp warning” which the US ambassador to Berlin delivered to the German government in 2007, demanding that German prosecutors drop plans to issue warrants for a team of CIA officers who in 2003 kidnapped German citizen Khaled el-Masri. He was brutally tortured in Syria and Afghanistan before being released without even an apology, after the CIA realized they had the wrong man. German media point to another revelation, relating to Bolivia, where it appears Washington employed Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) officials to spy on the Latin American country —something that will hardly shock regular readers of this blog. Finally, the US reaction to the WikiLeaks revelations is perplexing, though again hardly shocking: Washington appears to be considering charging WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with violating criminal laws, while at the same time claiming that conducting espionage operations against allied countries is “not wrong”. Nice.