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WikiLeaks diplomatic cables offer inside look at US policies

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  November 28, 2010 02:57 PM

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A cache of confidential diplomatic cables obtained by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks offers "brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats," according to a New York Times report on the documents.

The documents detail the correspondence of US diplomats with foreign governments on a wide range of issues, including a conflict between the US and Pakistan over nuclear fuel, the possibility of a unified Korea, sources of financing for terrorist groups, and US bargaining as a means to move detainees from the prison in Guantanamo Bay.

The full cache of documents is expected to be published on the WikiLeaks website later today.

The White House, which had pressured WikiLeaks to not release the cables, issued a statement saying "such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government."

The Obama administration has been bracing for the release for the past week. Top officials have notified allies that the contents of the diplomatic cables could prove embarrassing because they contain candid assessments of foreign leaders and their governments, as well as details of American policy.

The WikiLeaks website appeared to be inaccessible today, and WikiLeaks said in its Twitter feed that it was experiencing a denial of service attack. Nevertheless, WikiLeaks said that publications in the US and Europe -- including the Times -- would print the leaked diplomatic cables even if WikiLeaks itself could not.

For more information, read the coverage on the websites of the Times and the Guardian.

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