Even if you don’t follow current affairs or politics, WikiLeaks is a name which I’m certain you have heard before. It’s the international non-profit organisation that leaks all sorts of secret information and classified documents which the powers that be don’t want you to know about. Its website was launched in 2006 from Iceland, amassing a database of over 10 million documents in the 10 years since it launched.
Julian Assange is an Australian Internet activist who decided it was about time people found out what the powerful are up to. He’s the man behind the WikiLeaks project in a triple role as its founder, editor-in-chief, and director.
Why has WikiLeaks been mentioned so often in the news? The organisation is doing an important work of investigation into the secret behaviours of multinational companies, government agencies, political parties, foreign governments and even the United States’ government.
By revealing secrets which these entities would rather not reveal to the public, WikiLeaks provides a very important public service that newspapers and other media companies are sometimes unable to. This is due to the fact they’re owned by the corporations whose very interests and/or wrongdoings are exposed in the leaks.
Let’s have a look at 15 shocking WikiLeaks revelations.
15. US diplomats turned into spies?
When she was Secretary of State in 2009, Hillary Rodham Clinton signalled to American diplomats overseas and at the United Nations, they should obtain personal information on foreign officials of interest including credit card details, biometric information and frequent flyer numbers.
This disturbing revelation raises some doubts about the role of United States diplomacy in the world. How will representatives of other nations behave towards the people who were revealed to have been essentially spying on their counterparts? Will they be more or less likely to cooperate in an emergency situation? Suggestion for an excuse: maybe Hillary Clinton was just trying to get them some flight discounts?
14. Did the United States secretly bomb Yemen?
If the Obama administration drops bombs on an unsuspecting country and no one is there to hear it, did they really bomb said country? We will never know the answer to that question because of WikiLeaks, who revealed a transcript of the conversation which took place in a January 2010 meeting between the Yemeni President and General Petraeus.
The Obama administration was bombing terrorist targets with the Yemeni government’s consent and agreement to take responsibility for those bombs. As expected, there was very little coverage across the main news outlets despite the fact several civilians were killed alongside the terrorists being targeted.
13. Did the United States consider attacking Iran?
A WikiLeaks revelation exposed former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates’ thoughts on bombing Iran after leaking of a diplomatic cable regarding a meeting which took place in February 2010 with Gates’ French counterpart.
Please bear in mind the following statement refers to Gates’ thoughts on bombing Iran and comes from the man who was in charge of the United States Department of Defense: “He believed a conventional strike by any nation would only delay Iranian plans by one to three years while unifying the Iranian people to be forever embittered against the attacker.”
12. Saudi Arabia wants the United States to attack Iran
It’s a well-known fact some countries don’t exactly get along. Saudi Arabia and Iran would be a prime example of that very fact. Both would like to see the other’s influence curtailed but the big difference here is that Saudi Arabia is backed by the United States. A cable was leaked by WikiLeaks showing how several Arab leaders have privately urged the United States to attack Iran.
What would be the purpose of this attack? To put it simply, the goal would be to bring Iran’s nuclear program to a halt. This desire has been expressed at the very top as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is claimed to have “told you to cut off the head of the snake,” according to the testimony of a Saudi diplomat.
11. Is Israel bluffing Iran?
On the same topic of countries who don’t get along, Israel and Iran are also not close to becoming BFFs anytime soon. In the past, Israel has repeatedly threatened Iran because of the latter’s persistence in pursuing a nuclear program but WikiLeaks exposed Israel’s bluff in 2009.
In a meeting with its Russian counterpart, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman admitted Israel was not considering launching the promised attack on Iran anytime soon. While one can argue there will always be an element of bluff present in foreign relations and diplomacy, the threat of war should not be discussed with such carelessness.
10. The United States government fears uranium could be stolen from a Pakistani nuclear reactor
Since 2007, the government of the United States has attempted to find a new home for the enriched uranium which was at one point being held in a Pakistani nuclear reactor. Why would the United States want to have that enriched uranium in a different location?
Given the instability in the region and the United States’ seemingly endless supply of enemies, there was a reasonable fear that the uranium could find its way into the wrong hands and be turned into a bomb. The last WikiLeaks report we’ve had of this situation has shown the effort to have been unsuccessful.
9. Was this Palestinian movement aware of the invasion of Gaza?
The Fatah is a Palestinian nationalist political party which rivals Hamas for control of the country’s Parliament. After the 2006 victory by Hamas, the two factions had a violent dispute and Fatah ended up retaining control of the West Bank.
A WikiLeaks report revealed Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak letting an American congressional delegation know that Israel had gotten in touch with Egypt and Fatah, the Palestinian movement which now governs the West Bank, “if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas” ahead of Israel’s crushing attack on Gaza in late 2008.
8. American government aware of Afghan corruption
The United States government has regular dealings with President Hamid Karzai’s brother who is believed to be a highly corrupt official in addition to also being a known drug trafficker. A WikiLeaks revelation in October 2009 has shown Ahmed Wali Karzai’s extracurricular activities to be known by the United States.
Ahmed Wali Karzai has also been associated with the CIA, as it’s a well-known fact he’s on their payroll. While the revelation that the CIA and the United States government deal with unsavoury characters might appear normal to some, it is perhaps a sign of the times we live in that it has been officially recognised that America partners with corrupt drug dealers to further its interests.
7. Name-calling in the highest diplomatic level
Perhaps you think your country’s representatives mind their language when speaking about other country’s elected leaders and officials, at least when speaking in a diplomatic context. If you are of that view, then you are dead-wrong. Although it may not seem as important as some of the other revelations brought to light by WikiLeaks, there are some considerations made by United States diplomats that can be considered as offensive to presidents of other nations.
Most notably, WikiLeaks disclosed American diplomats drawing a comparison between former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Adolf Hitler as well as referring to Russia’s Vladimir Putin “alpha-dog” and calling former French President Nicolas Sarkozy “the emperor with no clothes.”
6. Iran may very well have long-range missiles
WikiLeaks has disclosed a lot of information relevant to Iran’s situation as the majority of the Middle East has urged the U.S. to act against Iran, as mentioned in a previous entry. WikiLeaks has also revealed Iran has acquired 12 long-range missiles from North Korea which can reach cities in Western Europe.
Iran has also used shell companies to purchase other weapons from China, Germany and Russia. Hillary Clinton has elaborated on this concern during her tenure as Secretary of State: “The concern about Iran is well founded, widely shared, and will continue to be the source of the policy that we pursue with like-minded nations to try to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
5. Chinese hackers have been infiltrating the US since 2002
We’ve grown so used to the discussion of the extent of the Russian interference in the domestic affairs of the United States, it’s become difficult to imagine other countries might have also given their hackers the task of infiltrating American networks. A WikiLeaks’ revelation has shown the Chinese Politburo have hacked into Google, not for the first time.
This disclosure also shows that, in addition to overcoming Google’s complex security protocols, Chinese hackers have also been infiltrating other security networks, mostly of other Western nations but also of the Dalai Lama. The purpose of these attacks is still a cause for speculation.
4. Guantanamo Bay’s prisoners were used as bargaining chips
One of the main promises of former President Obama’s campaign was the closure of the American prison in Guantanamo Bay. In a highly misguided effort to resettle some of the prisoners being kept at Guantanamo, the United States government has been using them as mere bargaining chips in its dealings with governments of other countries.
WikiLeaks has revealed that at one point, the Obama administration was offering cash to countries in order to unload prisoners. The prison is still standing but WikiLeaks has shown that, in what could be referred to as the most disgraceful example of this practice, Slovenia was forced to take one prisoner so that its president could be granted a meeting with President Obama.
3. Extradition of CIA Officer Sabrina De Sousa
Aided by Bradley/Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks disclosed documents exposing how the United States tried to threaten the Italian government in order to prevent them from extraditing CIA officer Sabrina De Sousa who was accused of the ‘extraordinary rendition’ of an Egyptian cleric.
This is a euphemism for kidnapping and sending a suspect over borders to countries where there are fewer regulations requiring prisoners to be treated like actual human beings. While this procedure was originally devised to protect United States citizens from foreign threats, it’s just been used to torture people who in some cases turn out to be innocent.
2. WikiLeak’s Clinton files
WikiLeaks was involved in releasing plenty of information pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, mostly in relation to the leak of her campaign manager John Podesta’s emails. On the topic of the Iran deal which was negotiated by Hilary Clinton, John Podesta confirms it “condemns the next generation to cleaning up a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf” with a simple “yep”.
These documents show the former Democratic candidate cosying up to Wall Street, minimizing their responsibilities in the 2008-09 financial meltdown at the same time as she accepted handsomely-rewarded paying gigs at Goldman Sachs.
1. Two journalists killed by the United States military
A shocking bit of footage brought to light by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most disgraceful information revealed by Julian Assange’s organisation. This footage shows two journalists being killed alongside several other citizens by an Apache helicopter’s aerial guns as the crew hurl insults and profanities around while they cheer.
The members of the crew have defended themselves saying they had no way of knowing if it was a camera or a gun. Even if it was a gun, if it was small enough to be mistaken for a camera then it wouldn’t be able to bring down a helicopter. In any case, this frat-boy reaction to the taking of several human lives is absolutely disgusting.
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!