WikiLeaks posted 220 cables, some redacted to protect diplomatic sources, in the first installment of the archive on its Web site on Sunday. Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration's exchanges over crises and conflicts.
The 251,287 cables, first acquired by WikiLeaks, were provided to The Times by an intermediary on the condition of anonymity. Many are unclassified, and none are marked "top secret," the government's most secure communications status.
Among their revelations, to be detailed in The Times in coming days:
- Thinking about an eventual collapse of North Korea: American and South Korean officials have discussed the prospects for a unified Korea, should the North's economic troubles and political transition lead the state to implode[...]
- Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government: When Afghanistan's vice president visited the UAE last year, local authorities working with Drug Enforcement Administration discovered that he was carrying $52 million in cash[...]
- A global computer hacking effort: China Politburo directed the intrusion into Google's computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They've broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.
- Mixed records against terrorism: Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to American military for years, was the "worst in the region" in counterterrorism efforts[...]
A dangerous standoff with Pakistan over nuclear fuel: Since 2007, the US has mounted a highly secret effort, so far unsuccessful, to remove from a Pakistani research reactor highly enriched uranium that American officials fear could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device[...]