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WikiLeaks Publishes The Saudi Cables

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 20th June 2015 12:01
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarkatuhu

WikiLeaks Publishes The Saudi Cables


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Today, Friday 19th June at 1pm GMT, WikiLeaks began publishing The Saudi Cables: more than half a million cables and other documents from the Saudi Foreign Ministry that contain secret communications from various Saudi Embassies around the world. The publication includes "Top Secret" reports from other Saudi State institutions, including the Ministry of Interior and the Kingdom's General Intelligence Services. The massive cache of data also contains a large number of email communications between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign entities. The Saudi Cables are being published in tranches of tens of thousands of documents at a time over the coming weeks. Today WikiLeaks is releasing around 70,000 documents from the trove as the first tranche.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks publisher, said: "The Saudi Cables lift the lid on a increasingly erratic and secretive dictatorship that has not only celebrated its 100th beheading this year, but which has also become a menace to its neighbours and itself."

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a hereditary dictatorship bordering the Persian Gulf. Despite the Kingdom's infamous human rights record, Saudi Arabia remains a top-tier ally of the United States and the United Kingdom in the Middle East, largely owing to its globally unrivalled oil reserves. The Kingdom frequently tops the list of oil-producing countries, which has given the Kingdom disproportionate influence in international affairs. Each year it pushes billions of petro-dollars into the pockets of UK banks and US arms companies. Last year it became the largest arms importer in the world, eclipsing China, India and the combined countries of Western Europe. The Kingdom has since the 1960s played a major role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and dominates the global Islamic charity market.

For 40 years the Kingdom's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was headed by one man: Saud al Faisal bin Abdulaziz, a member of the Saudi royal family, and the world's longest-serving foreign minister. The end of Saud al Faisal's tenure, which began in 1975, coincided with the royal succession upon the death of King Abdullah in January 2015. Saud al Faisal's tenure over the Ministry covered its handling of key events and issues in the foreign relations of Saudi Arabia, from the fall of the Shah and the second Oil Crisis to the September 11 attacks and its ongoing proxy war against Iran. The Saudi Cables provide key insights into the Kingdom's operations and how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting key individuals and institutions. The cables also illustrate the highly centralised bureaucratic structure of the Kingdom, where even the most minute issues are addressed by the most senior officials.

Since late March 2015 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been involved in a war in neighbouring Yemen. The Saudi Foreign Ministry in May 2015 admitted to a breach of its computer networks. Responsibility for the breach was attributed to a group calling itself the Yemeni Cyber Army. The group subsequently released a number of valuable "sample" document sets from the breach on file-sharing sites, which then fell under censorship attacks. The full WikiLeaks trove comprises thousands of times the number of documents and includes hundreds of thousands of pages of scanned images of Arabic text. In a major journalistic research effort, WikiLeaks has extracted the text from these images and placed them into our searchable database. The trove also includes tens of thousands of text files and spreadsheets as well as email messages, which have been made searchable through the WikiLeaks search engine.

By coincidence, the Saudi Cables release also marks two other events. Today marks three years since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London seeking asylum from US persecution, having been held for almost five years without charge in the United Kingdom. Also today Google revealed that it had been been forced to hand over more data to the US government in order to assist the prosecution of WikiLeaks staff under US espionage charges arising from our publication of US diplomatic cables.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 21st June 2015 14:42
Saudi Arabia warns against sharing 'faked' cables




21 Jun 2015

Saudi Arabia has urged its citizens not to distribute "documents that might be faked" in an apparent response to WikiLeaks' publication on Friday of more than 60,000 documents it says are secret Saudi diplomatic communications.

The statement, made by the foreign ministry on its Twitter account on Friday, did not directly deny the documents' authenticity, Reuters news agency reported.

But on Sunday, foreign ministry spokesperson Osama Naqli warned the country not to "allow enemies of the state to achieve their intentions in regards to exchanging or publishing any documents" and said "many of them had been fabricated in a very obvious manner".

Naqli said investigations were under way and that the ministry would prosecute those involved, a statement on the Saudi news agency said.

Al Jazeera was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the released documents.

The released documents, which WikiLeaks said were embassy communications, emails between diplomats and reports from other state bodies, include discussions of Saudi Arabia's position regarding regional issues and efforts to influence media.

The world's top oil exporter, an absolute monarchy, is highly sensitive to public criticism and has imprisoned activists for publishing attacks on the ruling al-Saud dynasty and senior clerics. It maintains tight control over media.

Since the 2011 Arab uprisings, Saudi authorities have grown increasingly intolerant of dissent, apparently fearful that the instability sweeping neighbouring countries will in turn hit the conservative Islamic kingdom.

WikiLeaks said the released documents were a batch of more than half a million Saudi documents it has obtained and plans to publish.

WikiLeaks did not say where it obtained the documents, but it referred in a press release to Riyadh's statement in May that it had suffered a breach of its computer networks, an attack later claimed by a group calling itself the Yemeni Cyber Army. (Al Jazeera)
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