WikiLeaks Accidentally Helps U.S.

Julian Assange clearly intended the State Dept. cable leaks to smear the U.S. as evil and selfish. Leslie H. Gelb on how he inadvertently proved the opposite. by Leslie H. Gelb The Wikileakers dumped a vast pile of secrets to prove that the United States was selfish, stupid and wicked–but their revelations proved just the … Continue reading

Larry Summers, Blowhard

Jacob Heilbrunn   … Fortunately, Summers’ government service has presumably reached its terminus. Summers is symptomatic of the problems that have plagued Obama, which is to say that he exemplifies the Ivy League syndrome. He is a high IQ moron. Of course Obama put all his faith in the wunderkinder from the Ivy Leagues who … Continue reading

In defense of secrecy

By Paul Miller In 1998 the United States fired cruise missiles at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan to try to decapitate the group after it bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa. The United States knew about bin Laden and the whereabouts of his camps because, according to Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars, "the National Security Agency … Continue reading

Federal Grand Jury Considering Charges Against WikiLeaks’ Assange

By Kim Zetter A U.S. federal grand jury is reportedly meeting to consider possible criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to a lawyer for Assange. The grand jury has met secretly in Alexandria, Virginia, according to Mark Stephens, an attorney for Assange. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder indicated last week that he had … Continue reading

Old and Wise: Why Do Smarter People Live Longer?

Bees help to explain the link between intelligence and long life By Kirsten Traynor  Intelligent people live longer—the correlation is as strong as that between smoking and premature death. But the reason is not fully understood. Beyond simply making wiser choices in life, these people also may have biology working in their favor. Now research … Continue reading

German Foundation on Funding WikiLeaks

‘Donations Were Never as Strong as Now’ REUTERS A pro-WikiLeaks demonstration in Madrid on Saturday: "Donations were never as strong as now." Even though key payment channels have been blocked, donations for WikiLeaks keep flowing in. Hendrick Fulda is a board member of Germany’s Wau Holland Foundation, one of the whistleblowing platform’s main funding channels. … Continue reading

Why the reset with Russia?

By Daniel W. Drezner The sheer bleakness of America’s view of Russia — and this despite all the happy talk of improved relations and a "reset." It is also interesting that the Americans seem to semi-endorse the popular theory that Putin is personally very wealthy, and even name the oil-trading company that could be being … Continue reading

Berkeley Considers Declaring Bradley Manning a Hero

By Kim Zetter The city of Berkeley, also known as “Berzerkeley,” is considering a resolution to declare alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning a hero. Or, as a FoxNews site puts it, “Berkeley Gives America the Middle Finger.” According to a resolution being considered for vote, the imprisoned Army private suspected of providing WikiLeaks with its … Continue reading

Khodorkovsky lawyers: WikiLeaks show administration privately understands ‘real’ Russia

By Joshua Keating Last week, I had the chance to speak with three of the lawyers representing the imprisoned Russian oil tycoon-turned-dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who were visiting Washington for meetings with the administration officials and NGOs. The verdict in Khodorkovsky’s latest embezzlement trial — the proceedings of which have bordered on farcical at times — … Continue reading

Why WikiLeaks will be bad for scholarship

By Daniel W. Drezner I have an essay in the latest issue of Chronicle of Higher Education entitled "Why WikiLeaks is Bad for Scholars." My thesis is a bit more sophisticated than that — I argue that WikiLeaks will be a short-term boom and a long-term drag for international relations scholars and diplomatic historians. You’ll … Continue reading

Watching Iran

How the WikiLeaks disclosures could put a sweeping U.S. effort to monitor the Islamic Republic in jeopardy. BY BARBARA SLAVIN Searching for up-to-the-date country-specific information among the WikiLeaks cables is for the most part a pretty easy task. Interested in eavesdropping on contemporary France? Click on the collected messages from the U.S. Embassy in Paris. … Continue reading

Replace the Espionage Act

By Paul Miller Australian citizen and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is clearly an "enemy of the United States," as the Wall Street Journal argues, and the Obama administration is rightly considering prosecuting him for espionage. I agree with my colleague Peter Feaver that the disclosure of State Department cables hurts our diplomats’ abilities to do … Continue reading

Next post Columbia University Reverses Anti-WikiLeaks Guidance

Sam Gustin Days after Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) caused an uproar by warning its students against linking to WikiLeaks or discussing the secret-spilling website’s latest cache of diplomatic cables online, the prestigious training ground for future diplomats has changed tack and embraced free speech. … … “Freedom of information and … Continue reading

WikiLeaked Cable Says 2009 Brazilian Blackout Wasn’t Hackers, Either

Marcelo Soares SAO PAULO — Despite widespread speculation at the time, a massive power outage that left 18 out of the 26 Brazilian states in the dark for up to six hours last year was not the result of a cyberattack, according to a classified diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks last week. The Nov. 10, … Continue reading

WikiLeaks Releases Secret List of Critical Infrastructure Sites

Kim Zetter WikiLeaks published a secret memo listing critical infrastructure facilities around the world on Sunday, prompting criticism that the document could serve as a target list for terrorists. The cable, written in February 2009 and classified Secret, lists more than a hundred facilities that the United States considers critical infrastructures or key resources. They … Continue reading

WikiLeaks mirrors multiply as main funding source gets cut off

Jacqui Cheng The Internet may be working to take WikiLeaks offline, but the site’s contents aren’t going to disappear, thanks to hundreds of mirrors that popped up over the weekend. But even though more than 200 sites around the world now host the controversial leaked documents, WikiLeaks may face an all-too-familiar funding problem if it … Continue reading

Ahmadinejad’s ninja army

By Charles Homans The U.S. embassy in Azerbaijan sure knows how to write a headline. Here’s a cable from the Baku mission released by WikiLeaks over the weekend, beginning with the subject line "IRAN: NINJA BLACK BELT MASTER DETAILS USE OF MARTIAL ARTS CLUBS FOR REPRESSION:" xxxxxxxxxxxx a licensed martial arts coach and trainer xxxxxxxxxxxx, … Continue reading

Australia says Assange entitled to consular help

The Associated Press Sunday, December 5, 2010; 10:32 PM SYDNEY — Australia would give consular help to WikiLeaks’ founder if he is arrested abroad, the government said Monday. … … Attorney General Robert McClelland said WikiLeaks was grossly irresponsible for publishing the documents because they could identify informants. "Free speech is one thing, we all … Continue reading

Meet the people who want Julian Assange "whacked"

Nate Anderson Where in the world in Julian Assange? The US State Department publicly professes ignorance: "That’s a question to ask Julian Assange, if you can find him," said a spokesperson at a press briefing yesterday. There’s a good reason Assange keeps his head down these days, and it’s not just to avoid an Interpol … Continue reading

WikiLeak: Pakistanis ‘Sabotage’ U.S. Mercs, Gear, Diplos

Spencer Ackerman Whatever the Pakistani government’s secret collusion with the U.S. on drone strikes, it doesn’t mind screwing with American officials and contractors stationed there. A WikiLeaked diplomatic cable from February 2010 cites repeated instances of Pakistani security personnel seizing U.S. diplomats’ cars, shutting down counterterrorism programs and “sabotaging” deals with their security contractors. Despite … Continue reading

Lieberman Introduces Anti-WikiLeaks Legislation

Kevin Poulsen Senator Joseph Lieberman and other lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would make it a federal crime for anyone to publish the name of a U.S. intelligence source, in a direct swipe at the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks. “The recent dissemination by Wikileaks of thousands of State Department cables and other documents is just … Continue reading

North Korea has underwater nuclear facilities? Kim Jong Il a drug addict?

Blake Hounshell The cable, signed by the consulate’s Christopher Beede and titled "SHANGHAI SCHOLARS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER DELAY IN SIX-PARTY TALKS," looks to be a fairly ho-hum summary of a meeting with a group of Chinese North Korea-watchers. But there’s one bizarre throwaway line (my emphasis): According xxxxx, the nuclear declaration North Korea submitted in … Continue reading

Why diplomats secretly love WikiLeaks

Steve LeVine Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other U.S. officials have condemned the WikiLeaks document dump — but judging by my email traffic, not all American officials are all that upset. Some, in fact, are delighted with the whole affair, for reasons ranging from professional pride in their handiwork to the opportunity to air … Continue reading

Are the WikiLeaks Actually An American Plot?

Jacob Heilbrunn  The Obama administration is busily denouncing the WikiLeaks. Spilling secrets is a bad thing, we’re told, for American national security. Relations with friendly leaders will be jeopardized. And so on. But is it true? Or are the leaks, in fact, part of a carefully orchestrated plot by the American government? Think about it … Continue reading

Wikileaks kicked out of Amazon’s cloud

Ryan Paul The Wikileaks website migrated to Amazon’s cloud hosting service yesterday after being hit by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Amazon decided to discontinue serving the controversial website this morning in response to pressure from critics, including prominent members of Congress. Wikileaks has received significant attention over the past week after publishing … Continue reading

Wikileaks moves to Amazon’s cloud to evade massive DDoS

Ryan Paul Controversial information disclosure site Wikileaks reportedly faced an intense distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack this morning. The site was temporarily disrupted by the onslaught, but is functioning again after migrating its services to Amazon’s cloud. Wikileaks recently published thousands of confidential diplomatic cables that were sent between the US State Department and … Continue reading

Interpol issues arrest notice for WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

Kevin Poulsen, wired.com | Last updated about 2 hours ago The international police organization Interpol has issued a Red Notice for the arrest of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, in connection with a sex crime investigation in Sweden. A Red Notice is a kind of international wanted poster seeking the provisional arrest of a fugitive, with … Continue reading

WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton, and the Smoking Gun

The leaked cables make it impossible for Hillary Clinton to continue as secretary of state. By Jack Shafer Hillary Clinton How embarrassing are the WikiLeaks leaks? A secret cable from April 2009 that went out under Clinton’s name instructed State Department officials to collect the "biometric data," including "fingerprints, facial images, DNA, and iris scans," … Continue reading

The long twilight of the U.S.-Turkey alliance

David Kenner The recent WikiLeaks document dump, however, proves that the U.S. diplomatic corps’ concern about Turkey’s drift away from the Western alliance runs deeper than it let on publicly. One cable reportedly describes Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister (and No. 7 on Foreign Policy’s 2010 Global Thinkers list), as exerting an "exceptionally dangerous" Islamist … Continue reading

WikiLeaks: How the world is really run

David Rothkopf The dark shadowy world of diplomacy and international intrigue is working just about precisely as you suspect it is. Behind the scenes, diplomats are sending private assessments of foreign leaders back to their bosses. Those assessments are often not entirely flattering. But what would you expect? Further, of all the assessments revealed among … Continue reading

What should scholars and foreign policy wonks do with Wikileaks?

Daniel W. Drezner … there’s going to be a natural inclination to think that any Wikileaks document will endow it with the totemic value of Absolute Truth.  "If it was secret, then it must be true," goes this logic.  That’s a more serious problem.   For Exhibit A, let’s go to Simon Tisdall of The Guardian‘s … Continue reading

Beijing’s Pyongyang fatigue

Charles Homans Is China through with North Korea? That’s the Guardian‘s takeaway from the exchanges between American diplomats and their Chinese and South Korean counterparts in the first batches of State Department cables released by Wikileaks on Sunday and Monday. "China has signalled its readiness to accept Korean reunification and is privately distancing itself from … Continue reading

WikiLeaks and the Arab public sphere

Marc Lynch I expect to delve into the substance of the WikiLeaks cables over the next few days — I’ve been flagging noteworthy ones on Twitter all afternoon, and will keep doing so as I go along, and I will blog at greater length about specific issues as they arise. But I wanted to just … Continue reading

Holy WikiLeaks, Batman!

In Russia, Julian Assange can’t tell them anything they don’t know. BY JULIA IOFFE MOSCOW—Journalists here spent the weekend tensely awaiting the WikiLeaks data dump, having been tipped off that there would be a Russian bombshell in the mix. Would the documents finally reveal just how much of Gazprom Vladimir Putin owned, or how much … Continue reading

Congressman calls for anti-Wikileaks offensive

John Timmer As the fallout from this weekend’s document drop continues, at least one US Congressman wants the US government to go on the offensive. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who will be chairing the House’s Homeland Security Committee come January, sent letters to Obama administration officials on Sunday, asking that Wikileaks and its public face, … Continue reading

‘Chipped’ Detainees, Iran Mega-Missiles And More in Latest WikiLeaks

Spencer Ackerman King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told a senior White House official to consider surgically implanting homing devices under Guantanamo Bay detainees’ skin. That’s one of the many potentially embarrassing comments from diplomatic back rooms now being made public by WikiLeaks. During a March 2009 meeting with John Brennan, President Obama’s closest counterterrorism adviser, … Continue reading

Newspapers Reveal Diplomatic Cables, While WikiLeaks Buckles Under Cyber Attack

Kevin Poulsen The first news reports from WikiLeaks’ long-expected disclosure of a quarter-million State Department diplomatic cables appeared on major newspaper websites on Sunday, though WikiLeaks’ own website was unavailable, purportedly due to a traffic-flooding cyberattack. WikiLeaks’ media partners report that the secret-spilling organization gave them 251,287 diplomatic cables from America’s 270 embassies and consulates … Continue reading

Karzai aide blames British for bringing Taliban impostor to talks

Joshua Partlow  KABUL – President Hamid Karzai’s chief of staff on Thursday said that British authorities were responsible for bringing a Taliban impostor into the presidential palace and that foreigners should stay out of delicate negotiations with the Afghan insurgent group. In an interview, Mohammad Umer Daudzai said that the British brought a man purporting … Continue reading

Does This Mexican Compound House Tons of U.S. Spies?

Spencer Ackerman Located just down the street from the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, this unassuming compound might house a smorgasbord of U.S. government agencies, devoted to spying on drug cartels, crime syndicates the Mexican security services and anyone else its inhabitants feel like. But Pentagon says the truth is much more boring. In a … Continue reading

JFK’s Secret Service agents reflect on loss of a president

From Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd JFK and the Secret Service After mostly avoiding the spotlight for decades, many of the former U.S. Secret Service agents who were assigned to protect President John F. Kennedy are now offering their accounts of the day he was assassinated, 47 years ago Monday. After the first shot hit … Continue reading

Was James Giffen telling the truth?

Steve LeVine James Giffen, the oil dealmaker at the center of what was once the largest foreign bribery case in U.S. history, is officially a free man. The 69-year-old former oil adviser to Kazakhstan’s president, accused of diverting $78 million from oil companies to the Kazakh government, waited out more than a dozen federal prosecutors … Continue reading

Does an ice pick in the back await the man who betrayed Anna Chapman?

Joshua Keating An unnamed Russian official has told Russia’s generally reputable Kommersant newspaper that an assassin has been dispatched to dispense some Soviet-style justice against a former SVR colonel identified only as Shcherbakov, who allegedly controlled the ring of sleeper agents arrested in the United States last June and fled Russia just days before they … Continue reading

Havana’s Man in Havana

Rogue CIA operative Philip Agee’s personal papers were just released by New York University. But take it from this CIA veteran — Agee wasn’t an honest critic, but a traitor bought and paid for by America’s enemies. BY ROBERT BAER I first heard the name Philip Agee, the legendary, rogue Central Intelligence Agency operative one … Continue reading

Why U.S. can’t find Osama bin Laden

Peter Bergen American taxpayers have forked over around half a trillion dollars to U.S. intelligence services since the 9/11 attacks, yet nearly a decade after al Qaeda assaults on New York and Washington, the American intelligence community still cannot answer the most basic of questions: Where is Osama bin Laden? Where is his top deputy, … Continue reading

Egypt’s intelligence chief visits Israel

Mohammad Sagha The Egyptian Intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, travelled to Israel on Thursday to officially discuss the Middle East peace process. Haaretz reports that Israeli President Shimon Peres met with Suleiman and "discussed different methods to jump start the flailing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians." The visit reflects the importance of Suleiman and … Continue reading

Intelligence spending at record $80.1 billion overall

By Walter Pincus  The government announced Thursday that it had spent $80.1 billion on intelligence activities over the past 12 months, disclosing for the first time not only the amount spent by civilian intelligence agencies but also by the military. The National Intelligence Program, run by the CIA and other agencies that report to the … Continue reading

U.S. spying: The 61st largest country

By Thomas E. Ricks Total intelligence budget is $80.1 billion. The U.S. intelligence community as a whole has a larger economy than any of these countries, going by the IMF’s estimates for nominal GDP, 2009: Angola Croatia Iraq Libya Ecuador Sudan Syria Luxembourg Belarus Slovenia Bulgaria Dominican Republic Oman Tunisia Serbia Sri Lanka Guatemala Lithuania … Continue reading

Take the ultimate intelligence test

Adrian M Owen Click here to go straight to the ultimate intelligence test Like many researchers before us, we began by looking for the smallest number of tests that could cover the broadest range of cognitive skills that are believed to contribute to intelligence, from memory to planning. But we went one step further. Thanks … Continue reading

New Crop of Elderly Outsmart Their Predecessors

A Swedish study finds that 70-year-olds in 2000 did better on intelligence tests than 70-year-olds had done in 1971. Steve Mirsky If 50 is the new 40 and 60 is the new 50, what’s the new 70? Well, it seems safe to at least say that 70 isn’t what it used to be. And that’s … Continue reading

Chemical Weapons, Iranian Agents and Massive Death Tolls Exposed in WikiLeaks’ Iraq Docs

By Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman As the insurgency raged in Iraq, U.S. troops struggling to fight a shadowy enemy killed civilians, witnessed their Iraqi partners abuse detainees and labored to reduce Iran’s influence over the fighting. None of these phenomena are unfamiliar to observers of the Iraq war. But this afternoon, the anti-secrecy organization … Continue reading