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Cablegate shows the extent of US spying: WikiLeaks

November 29, 2010 15:05 IST

As WikiLeaks began rolling out classified diplomatic cables running into more than 2.5 lakh documents that brought to the fore for the first time some of the top secrets of the United States, the whistleblower website christened this as 'Cablegate'.

"Please use cablegate to discuss the pending US embassy cables release," WikiLeaks said in its twitter post. Even the website, where it posted all the documents, had cablegate in its browser address

"For twitter or other social networking services please use 'cablegate', it said on its home page. The cables, which date from 1966 till the end of February this year, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington," it said. WikiLeaks said the embassy cables will be released in stages over the next few months.

"The subject matter of these cables is of such importance, and the geographical spread so broad, that to do otherwise would not do this material justice," it said.

On Monday, WikiLeaks said it would seek applications from media outlets as to how to access its embargoed stuff. So far it has provided access to a few media outlets including 'The New York Times'.

"The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the United Nations; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in client states; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them," WikiLeaks said.

"This document release reveals the contradictions between the US's public persona and what it says behind closed doors and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what's going on behind the scenes," it said.

"Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington, the country's first President, could not tell a lie. If the administrations of his successors lived up to the same principle, today's document flood would be a mere embarrassment. Instead, the US government has been warning governments -- even the most corrupt -- around the world about the coming leaks and is bracing itself for the exposures," said the whistleblower website.

"The full set consists of 251,287 documents, comprising 261,276,536 words (seven times the size of 'The Iraq War Logs', the world's previously largest classified information release). The cables cover from 28th December 1966 to 28th February 2010 and originate from 274 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions," it said.

According to the US State Department's labeling system, the most frequent subjects discussed are External Political Relations (145,451), Internal government Affairs (122,896), Human rights (55,211), Economic Conditions (49,044), Terrorists and Terrorism (28,801) and UN Security Council (6,532), it said. Of the cables obtained by it, WikiLeaks said 15, 652 are secret, 101,748 confidential, 133,887 unclassified; Iraq most discussed country 15,365 (Cables coming from Iraq 6,677), Ankara, Turkey had most cables coming from it 7,918 while those from the Secretary of State office are 8,017.

Lalit K Jha In Washington
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