December 1st, 2010
06:41 PM ET

Wednesday’s WikiLeaks developments


Here are Wednesday's developments relating to WikiLeaks' release this week of U.S. diplomatic cables:

The status of the site and its founder

- WikiLeaks says it has been "ousted" from server space rented from the U.S.-based internet retailer Amazon.com. U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman said Amazon cut off WikiLeaks after inquiries from his aides, and his office called on any other company hosting WikiLeaks to follow suit. WikiLeaks.org wasn't accessible early Wednesday, but it appeared to be reactivated by Wednesday afternoon.

- While some U.S. politicians have called for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face charges related to the leaks, U.S. authorities may be looking for just the right moment to try to detain him, and prosecutors may already have obtained a sealed arrest warrant for him, said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst. Assange is also wanted in Sweden on suspicion of rape and sexual molestation.

Meanwhile, Ecuador's president says that his country has not invited Assange for a visit. He said an earlier declaration from the country's deputy foreign minister, who appeared to invite Assange to discuss the leaked documents, was "spontaneous" and personal in nature.

New revelations from leaked documents

- One released cable shows a German national security adviser's reservations in 2009 about his foreign minister's proposal to remove all tactical nuclear weapons from Germany. The document also reveals the presence of tactical nuclear weapons in several European countries and Turkey, information not normally released by NATO.

- The Pakistani government quietly approved the United States' use of unmanned drones to attack militant hideouts in its mountainous border region and secretly allowed small groups of U.S. Special Operations units to operate on its soil, according to leaked diplomatic cables. In public, Pakistan has persistently criticized the drone attacks.

- One leaked U.S. cable suggests that the State Department could use Belgium's "self-concept as a small, meek country" to persuade it to re-settle more Guantanamo Bay detainees.  "Helping solve the [United States government's] - and Europe's - problem with Guantanamo is a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe," the cable says.

- Afghanistan's early and pre-trial releases of prisoners has frustrated U.S. officials, according to some of the leaked documents. One 2009 cable describes a case in which Afghan President Hamid Karzai used his authority to pardon five border police officers who were caught with 124 kilograms of heroin in their police vehicle.

-  Ousted Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov presided over a "pyramid" of corruption in the Russian capital that the Kremlin tolerated for political advantage, according to a February U.S. Embassy document released by WikiLeaks.

Nations react to leaks

- Turkey's prime minister is threatening to file a lawsuit over comments that a U.S. ambassador to his country made about him in one of the leaked documents.  According to the 2004 document, then-Ambassador Eric Edelman suggested that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concealed his wealth in Swiss bank accounts.

- The U.S. State Department says it has offered to provide protection to human rights activists who may be in jeopardy after their identities were revealed in the leaked diplomatic cables. That protection may include the temporary relocation of some people, the department said.

- Top Pakistani officials on Wednesday dismissed fears over the safety of the nation's nuclear weapons revealed in U.S. diplomatic cables. The cables, according to the New York Times earlier this week, showed the U.S. has been concerned about Pakistan's uranium stockpile, its role in the struggle against Islamic militants and its economic crisis.

- The White House appointed Russell Travers, a career counterterrorism official, to oversee government-wide efforts to fix security gaps in light of the WikiLeaks releases. Travers has been deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center since 2003 and spent the rest of his 30-plus-year career working for such intelligence agencies as the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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Filed under: Julian Assange • WikiLeaks
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. The Red Shuttle ... http://x.co/Ka0w

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    when wikileaks will revel us the X-Files about aliens contacts? ... http://x.co/Ko3b
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    December 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel

    I expect to see a lot of ignoramuses blog in here with their right-wing lynch-mob mentality calling for Julien Assange's blood. I wonder just how many of these same people ever got past the 5th grade. Ignorance may be bliss for some,but for me it's pure disgust! No wonder the Tea Party is such a success!

    December 1, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. capitalism

    Go asange.wow our country is turning communist if he is arrest,our gov should be exposed,too much secretcy causes corruption and abused of power.

    December 1, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. capitalism

    Gov 9 trillion secret money given to banks because wileaki was going to expose it.where is the tea party now?the banks never paid us back and we taxpayer have to pay it bback.gov cant be trusted it called abuse of power.we own the banks corporate welfare 14 trilion defict cause of it

    December 1, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. capitalism

    Banks Where our money?republics hate handing food stamps and money to the poor but they gave 9 trillion free money to banks it is called corporate welfare.never paid it back.wiekis was going to expose it.

    December 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mark fawaz

    Way to go julian, knowledge is the thing that will free us from tyrants. We have people in office doing things in our name and hiding behing threats of safety. wonder whats next, 9 trillion lent to banks, working with tyrants and killing people nice. Democracy has become a joke.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Well said,mark. Thank you.

      December 2, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. mark fawaz

    People need to stop using Amazon and any company that is willing to give free access to the government. I read a book
    that reminds me of the time we live in (george orwels) 1984. We need our freedom back...

    December 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. capitalism

    Go assange keeping exposing the truth.our gov should investigate the fed reserve for giving 9 trillion taxpayers dollars to private banks without congress approval.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fear

    Scary america gov wants to silence freedom of speech of assange,americans wake up our gov is corrupt and are worried of the people knowing truth they made Amazon censor him.our gov is turning towards communism and americans are accepting it

    December 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. fear

    Communism in usa run by big greedy companies.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      Amazing that the government takes zero "personal" responsibility for poor security. They have only themselves to blame for these leaks.

      And I do think that the exposure of duplicity by the government is a good thing.

      "Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe."
      Abraham Lincoln

      December 2, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    ...............The Red Shuttle.......

    December 1, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ang

    Truth had to come out sooner or later!! Still it's not a surprise to everyone. Way to go Julian Assange. Who knows whatelse the goverment is hidding.

    December 2, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. N

    Hoping for an espionage charge ending in a hanging. Anything short of that will be unacceptable.

    December 2, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. shay

    Like i said like this is new we have been in this type of spot before and everyone just forgets about it and business as usual you think for one min that anyone our goverment said crap about really cares then you really don't pay attention as long as we keep feeding them money and giving them help everything will be fine big hype for nothing but chuck norris being and honarary texas ranger now that is big news NOT.....

    December 2, 2010 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |