Analysis: Wikileaks vindicate, don’t damage, Israel
The US is clearly listening to what Middle Eastern leaders have to say about Iran - now what are they going to do about it?
For years now, top Israeli political and defense leaders have warned the world that a nuclear Iran is not just a threat to the Jewish state but is a threat to the entire region.
“If only we could say publicly what we hear behind closed doors,” Israeli officials would comment, following off-record talks they held with Arab leaders throughout the Middle East.
Well, now they can. According to one cable published by WikiLeaks on Sunday, Saudi King Abdullah “frequently exhorted the US to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program” and to cut off the head of the snake.
According to another cable, King Hamad of Bahrain, a country with a majority Shi’ite population, urged in a meeting with former CENTCOM commander Gen.
David Petraeus that action be taken to terminate Iran’s nuclear program.
“That program must be stopped,” Hamad said, according to the cable. “The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.”
Jordan, another country that voiced concern, is uncomfortable with the possibility that a nuclear Iran would provide an umbrella for opposition groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is also challenged by Iran’s continued nuclear development, as shown by the conviction in April of 26 men who were spying for Hizbullah and plotting attacks in Egypt.
From an Israeli perspective, therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that WikiLeaks may have done the country a service on Sunday. By presenting the Arab leaders as more extreme in their remarks than Israeli leaders, the cables show the dissonance in the region and the danger involved in allowing Iran to continue with its nuclear program.
While there were some comments made by Mossad director Meir Dagan regarding leaders in the Middle East – the emir of Qatar is “annoying,” and the king of Morocco is not interested in governing – that are slightly embarrassing, Israeli politicians were spared the more embarrassing analyses of their personalities that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi received.
The information revealed in the cables is vast and informative, providing an unprecedented insight into the way some of Israel’s top intelligence officials and politicians view the region and its challenges.
Dagan, for example, comes out looking much more than just the head of a spy agency, and according to the cables, is sought after by almost every senior US official visiting Israel. In one cable he met with a Homeland Security official, in another with the undersecretary of state. In another he met with officials from the Treasury Department and in another, Mossad officials met with US military officers.
In general and contrary to earlier predictions, the cables did not appear to contain information that could significantly harm Israeli national security.
Most Israeli officials, such as Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Dagan and Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen.
Amos Yadlin, appear to be careful in what they say in the meetings, which are clearly being documented by American aides in the room. In one cable, while Yadlin said that covert means needed to be used to stop Iran, he was quoted as refusing to elaborate.
At the end of the day, though, none of this has changed the state of affairs regarding global efforts to stop Iran. While the UN has ratcheted up sanctions and the US is threatening more and tougher ones, the Teheran regime is continuing to defy the international community and to enrich uranium, making it today just a jump away from creating a nuclear weapon whenever it wants.
Is Wikileaks a front for the CIA or Mossad?
November 29th, 2010
Wikileaks, according to every news agency, newspaper and television station across the world, is a huge embarrassment, a disaster for the United States.
You will therefore be surprised to learn that Wikileaks is in fact a US-front organisation, or at the very least a Mossad operation. It is intent on undermining peace in the Middle East, and discrediting the region’s leaders and Iran in particular.
That, at least, was the view of an Iranian analyst interviewed just now on al-Jazeera. The Wikileaks disclosures should be seen, he said, in light of the battle for power between the Republican and Democratic “factions” in the US regime.
All bizarre and nonsensical conspiracy theory of course.
Well, I don’t buy the conspiracy theory. But one thing’s for sure – the leaks reflect far worse on Middle Eastern regimes, including but not only Iran, than on the United States.
Leaving aside the “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” stuff, what for example will President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen say to his people now he has been clearly revealed to have got the US to lie on his behalf (not that it wasn’t common knowledge)?
As I have just said in an online commentary, the disclosures, based as they are on diplomatic cables, set out extremely clearly the thinking underlying US government policy – including rationales that cannot usually be given publicly for fear of offending allies or revealing secrets. Their partiality might be questioned – but their coherence can’t.
Ultimately, they put the onus on Middle Eastern countries to explain themselves. The cables are America’s own explanations. Neither Iran nor many of its Arab friends and enemies like being held to account overmuch.
Now they have been. No wonder Iran thinks it’s a plot; I wonder if other countries agree. I wouldn’t be surprised.
pentagon adds wikileaks to list of enemies
1 December 2010
Wikileaks US cables: Pakistan rejects nuclear arms fear
Pakistan has dismissed fears expressed in US diplomatic cables, released by whistle-blower website Wikileaks, that its nuclear material could fall into the hands of terrorists.
High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan said the material had a "foolproof control and command system".
The cables warn Pakistan is rapidly building its nuclear stockpile despite the country's growing instability.
There is also scepticism about whether Pakistan could cut links to militants.
Separately, Interpol has issued a notice asking for information on the whereabouts of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Hasan said the fears expressed in the cables came "off and on" but added: "We have always been telling them straight forward that [the nuclear weapons] are in secure hands, they don't have to worry about it and we will protect them.
"They are the dearest assets that we have and we'll not allow anything to fall into any adventurer's hands."
In domestic political terms, some of the most damaging material may be about the Pakistan government's stance on the controversial CIA drone programme, targeting militants in the tribal belt.
In public, officials oppose the drone strikes which have killed hundreds - including an unknown number of innocent civilians.
In private, it's a different story, according to a cable from US ambassador Anne Patterson. It says Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had no objections to a planned drone attack.
"I don't care if they do it, as long as they get the right people," he said. "We'll protest in the National Assembly (parliament) and then ignore it."
In one of the latest cables to be released by Wikileaks, senior UK Foreign Office official Mariot Leslie told US diplomats in September 2009 that Britain had "deep concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons".
In another cable seven months earlier, then-US ambassador Anne Patterson told Washington: "Our major concern is not having an Islamic militant steal an entire weapon but rather the chance someone working in the government of Pakistan facilities could gradually smuggle enough material out to eventually make a weapon."
Another cable concerning a US intelligence briefing in 2008 said: "Despite pending economic catastrophe, Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than any other country in the world."
Mr Hasan said that since the government of President Asif Ali Zardari had come to power 27 months ago "we have had a very successful, foolproof control and command system looking after the nuclear arsenal".
Mr Hasan admitted the leaks were harmful.
"You are dealing with the relationship with states. You have built them over the years and all of a sudden something gets out - it's top secret, it's classified, it harms the relationship," he said.
Mr Hasan also said Pakistan would not accept any US help on nuclear security "because we are a sovereign nation".
In the leaked material Ms Patterson also said there was "no chance" of Pakistan "abandoning support for [militant] groups".
The Pakistan government, she added, saw militant groups "as an important part of its national security apparatus against India".
The US also expressed concern about tensions between the powerful Pakistani army and Mr Zardari.
In material from March 2009, US cables noted that army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani might "however reluctantly" put pressure on President Zardari to step down, although he "distrusted [opposition leader] Nawaz [Sharif] even more".
The BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad says military officials here believe the Wikileaks disclosures are being used as a stick with which to bully Pakistan into giving up its nuclear programme.
But he says there are many observers who will see the concerns raised as valid, particularly considering the tens of thousands of people in Pakistan whose work is connected to the nuclear programme.
US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told BBC World News on Wednesday that Pakistan should take further action against militant groups.
"We have seen aggressive action by the Pakistani government and we have also made clear to Pakistan that it has to make sure that whatever relationship has existed in the past, they need to sever these kinds of relationships and continue to take aggressive action," he said.
The US has condemned the Wikileaks disclosures, published by the UK Guardian newspaper, as an attack on the world community.
The Main Leaks So Far
- Several Arab leaders urged attack on Iran over nuclear issue
- US instructs spying on key UN officials
- China's changing relationship with North Korea
- Yemen approved US strikes on militants
- Personal and embarrassing comments on world leaders
- Fears over Pakistan's nuclear programme
- Afghan leader Hamid Karzai freed dangerous detainees
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is in Kazakhstan for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) summit, said she had raised the issue with the leaders she had met and none had expressed any concerns about continuing diplomatic work with the US.
The communications between the US State Department and its embassies and consulates around the world were sent between 1966 and 2010.
Wikileaks has so far posted only 486 of the 251,287 messages it says it has obtained. However, all of the messages have been made available to five publications, including the New York Times and the Guardian.
No-one has been charged with passing them to Wikileaks, but suspicion has fallen on US Army Private Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst arrested in Iraq in June and charged over an earlier leak of a classified video.
The cables release is the third mass Wikileaks publication of classified documents; it published 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July, and 400,000 documents about the Iraq war in October.
Meanwhile, Interpol has issued a "Red Notice" asking people to contact the police if they have any information about Mr Assange's whereabouts.
It said the Australian was wanted for questioning in Sweden over an alleged sex offence, which he has denied.
Former Pakistani General: CIA, Mossad behind WikiLeaks Reports
TEHRAN (FNA)- A former Pakistani army commander said that the disclosure of classified documents by the whistleblower site of Wikileaks is a US plot to create rift among friendly and neighboring states.
He stated that the US could prevent the leak of information if it wanted to do so, and warned that the real plot and conspiracy pursued by these reports will be unraveled in future.
Aslam Beg further reiterated that the CIA and Israel's spy agency Mossad have launched efforts to weaken and destabilize Pakistan, and WikiLeaks reports are part of these efforts.
The remarks by the Pakistani figure came after US embassy cables posted by WikiLeaks website sparked hot reactions in the region.
In one cable, the WikiLeaks claimed, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, a close ally of Pakistan, reportedly called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari the main cause of his country's woes.
Pakistani President's office responded on Monday that the leaks were "no more than an attempt to create misperceptions between two important and brotherly Muslim countries".