December 8th, 2010
02:29 PM ET

Fraction of 1 percent of WikiLeaks cables released

Although it may seem as though WikiLeaks has flooded the Web with a mind-boggling number of classified diplomatic cables, the site says it has actually published only a fraction of 1 percent of the trove of secret State Department information it has.

WikiLeaks claims to have an archive of 251,287 cables. It has published fewer than 1,000.

Julian Assange, the face and founder of the Web site, was arrested Tuesday in Britain on a sex crime case in Sweden - a case separate from WikiLeaks.

One of his attorneys, Jennifer Robinson, said that the remaining contents of the State Department trove will continue to be published "unabated as scheduled, in a very orderly fashion" in the coming months. The documents could even be released in parts throughout 2011 in conjunction with media that had advance access to WikiLeaks' documents about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as the cables, said Robinson.

At least three media organizations have obtained advance copies of WikiLeaks' documents: The Guardian, The New York Times and Germany's Der Spiegel.

Though Assange has been jailed in Great Britain, where he'll remain until a court appearance December 14, WikiLeaks doesn't appear to be deterred.

On Tuesday, more than 70 cables were released online while Assange spent the night behind bars, and more are supposedly coming soon. Several hundred Web sites have popped up that appear to have copied WikiLeaks' data in order to act as "mirror sites."

Hackers have hit back at financial companies that have cut off support to WikiLeaks, and they have attacked the Swedish prosecutors' site. There's talk of a "Poison Pill," a massive mystery file that Assange has said would be released if he or WikiLeaks is hurt.

The story of WikiLeaks can feel overwhelming. Consider that the site has been making headlines since July, when it published more than 90,000 documents that showed, for the first time, a ground-level view of the war in Afghanistan.

The documents are suspected to have come from a U.S. soldier Bradley Manning.

The math just gets more intense. Add 400,000 documents WikiLeaks released in October about the Iraq war. And now this: more than a quarter-million memos U.S. diplomats have written to Washington, correspondence that they presumably thought would never see the light of day.

Some of it falls into the category of amusing; other cables are more serious.

For example, a cable made public Wednesday was sent from the consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, where alcohol is banned and carnal relations strictly regulated. The cable discussed a wild party at a Saudi prince's home involving alcohol and "working girls." The cable says, "cocaine and hashish use is common in these social circles and has been seen on other occasions."

Other cables have provided insight into North Korea, revealed important information about Iran's nuclear capabilities and suggested that the State Department asked its diplomats to spy on their counterparts.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Iraq • Julian Assange • Saudi Arabia • U.S. • United Kingdom • WikiLeaks
soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. Borysd

    Release ALL the Cables NOW!

    December 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. sammy zoso

    You know when people in government get worried about information going public something rotten is going on in government or something rotten has been stopped in its tracks, otherwise why worry? If this guy doesn't get this information out there how will we find out anything. The regular press – TV and print – suck big time. It's not like he's giving away war plans. Wall Street insiders get juicier, illegal information every day that has more impact on the economy and business than this guy ever will.

    December 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      Why worry? Because some of the information can be used by our enemies to hurt us, hurt our economy, hurt you, me, our families and loved ones, hurt people around the world, hurt world wide communication, resources, you name it. That's what they've threatened, they are a terrorist organization.

      December 9, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Fig1024

    At least people start talking about the wars again. Most Americans are forgetting that they are actually at war, a real war. People can't elect the right politicians if they don't know what's going on with national policies.

    December 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Enufzenuf

    Now, did they save the best for last, or have they released the best stuff already? So far, their stuff wasn't really worth the excitement.

    December 8, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ray Joseph Cormier Ottawa-Hull CanaDa

    Jesus overturned the Bankers and the Merchants. Remember the story?

    Since then, the Bankers and Merchants have gained control of Christmas, as we are psyched up every year to give each other presents for his birthday but not remembering him.

    Know the Truth, and the Truth will set you Free.

    December 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. captn_obvious

    WL has now release thousands of docs, and so far there have been no big" bombshells". Where are all the big lies and evidence of corruption all the anarchists keep citing as reasons we need to publish secrets?

    There are drugs in Saudi Arabia??? They dislike Iran??? Who knew? (Anyone with a brain that's who)

    December 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. dwighthuth

    This comment should concern all those against WIki Leaks.

    Hackers have hit back at financial companies that have cut off support to WikiLeaks, and they have attacked the Swedish prosecutors' site. There's talk of a "Poison Pill," a massive mystery file that Assange has said would be released if he or WikiLeaks is hurt.

    If Assange was not involved in attempts to commit fraud of one type or another then why would his hacker groups be engaged in such activities? What is wrong with Assange anyway. He must not be able to hold down a regualr full time job but rather enjoys selling America and other countries out for his own profit.

    His supporters are rather easy to find. They are the ones who talk in tongues and who cannot form a complete thought but constantly switch their talk to one subject to another after each completed sentence they speak. You will know of who I speak if you have received the emails that make no sense what-so-ever yet contain many words of single objects such as the following:

    train rain through the brook mud railyard ocean tile glamorous sunshining loathing trapped and blindfolded.

    The emails that you receive that are in this form are part of Assange's information network gathering process where he hopes that you click the sender to send them some nasty email where the sender who is the receiver will be supplied further access into your computer. The "pill" that assange is refering to is most likely a metaphorical method to scare people into giving his supporter's money which they then funnel to him so he can then continue his life of trying to rule the world.
    Since Assange is making threats in such a manner he can be tried as a virtual terrorist as well as hijacker who is responsible for who knows how many deaths related to his actions.
    Assange could be considered the Adolf Hitler of the Interent.
    Julian Assange should be placed on the FBI's terrorist watch list right underneath Osama Bin Laden.

    December 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Akbari

    World belong to 2 percent wealthy (the masters) and 98 percent oppressed (the servents and working bees). Its time to expose the dirty history of the rich masters.

    December 8, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ray Joseph Cormier Ottawa-Hull CanaDa

      Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
      Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten.
      Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.
      Behold, the HIRE OF THE LABOURERS who have reaped down your fields, which is of you KEPT BACK BY FRAUD, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
      You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
      You have condemned and killed the just; and he does not resist you.
      Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
      Be patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws nigh.
      Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest you be condemned: behold, the judge stands before the door.
      Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
      Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
      But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest you fall into condemnation. James 5

      December 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ray Joseph Cormier Ottawa-Hull CanaDa

    @ dwighthuth

    What are you talking about? There are many Truth loving, Freedom loving experienced hackers throughout the world who are now inspired by Assange but not directly connected to Wikileaks. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle.

    There is nothing secret that will not be revealed.
    There is nothing hidden that will not be made known.

    Wikileaks is those words from the Bible coming alive. Wikileaks is sign and evidence we are in the Time of The Revelation.

    December 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      Ah religion, the sign of an ignorant human being. Religion is fake, there is no god, there is no afterlife, the bible was put together by people more ignorant than you, thousands of years ago. It's all BS, none of it is real, you have no proof, there never will be, because the idea of a "higher power" and 'god' is all man made, and it's fake, just like santa clause and the tooth fairy. It's for weak minded people, such as yourself, who need a crutch to get through life.

      December 9, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Ray Joseph Cormier Ottawa-Hull CanaDa

      Ah, atheists, the sign of an arrogant human being thinking they embody the sum total of all human experience and knowlwdge. They get really upset when Biblical words and ideas fit the temporal secular experience as if my comment in no way fits like a shoe relative to The Revelations now being made public.

      Earth bound materialistic people cannot perceive the things of Spirit.

      December 9, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Question

    My question to all of you crying about the hidden agenda of the governments and how you want to know. Did you vote for the most honest person you could or did you vote for the one that piled the most BS. If you voted for the one with the most BS because it sounded good, its your government you helped build. Live with it.

    Those that are hitting these companies intentionally; is it illegal to purposely target a business to interfere with its day to day operations? If so, don't drop the soap when you are caught... :P

    December 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • wbaldwin

      What happens when they drop the soap? The butler at the white collar hacker prison picks it up for them?

      December 9, 2010 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. Shinea

    It's quite amusing that there are so many of you who feel that the people that are voted into office BY OTHER PEOPLE are incorrigible lairs and idiots. YOU, of course, only vote in the saints and political geniuses. Now all these things are important? The people making these decisions are making them on YOUR behalf! YOU sent them up there to make these decisions! The decisions they made are the ones YOU told them to make. It's kind of late to start saying now you want to know all this stuff. What were you thinking when you had the chance to vote for or against them based on their existing record? Very little of the stuff coming out now was really all that secret if you really wanted to know, but it was always a lot easier to just let them do it in your name and not have to worry about it. Now one person has decided for you and he wasn't even voted in.

    December 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Who really cares?

    Who cares

    December 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ray Joseph Cormier Ottawa-Hull CanaDa

    For some reason this site will not post my comment after several attempts so I posted it in The Washington Post under the same name.

    [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/06/AR2010120603074_Comments.html]

    December 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Fact of the Matter

    I could see if this was actually exposing information that would make the world a better place. Say like triable acts of individuals, or maybe even influencing a change of power towards a positive end. But indiscriminately leaking sensitive information that puts nations security in jeopardy, individual lives at risk, publishing resources for enemies to target, and just useless diplomatic drama? The former is wrong to say the least, the latter reads like a tabloid. One juvenile traitor spills a bunch of random stuff and now they speak of this stolen US property in infinite terms as though they have an irrevocable VIP pass to the database. None of this serves us commoners anyway so what is the infatuation about? (the lemmings have an underdog to support? who, alas, is no better than the over dog) Nothing worthy of support from an independent thinker. Sorry wiki creeps. You have been measured and found wanting.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ray Joseph Cormier Ottawa-Hull CanaDa

      While everyone blames Assange, without the mainline news media using the information he provided them, most people would not know anything. They are making a killing off him yet are free from any blame or responsibility. That's not very equal, is it?

      December 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fact of the Matter

      I agree that the media has a certain amount of culpability as well. Especially NY Times, Der Spiegel, The Australian, et al. But as far as I know they do not have the whole hog posted for the world to peruse. And who was it again that delivered to them with the stolen goods?

      December 8, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • My American Reply

      To be honest, if the media hadn't made a fuss about it, I never would have heard about it in the first place.

      I'm not really a big fan of corruption, you see, and I find it emotionally exhausting to hear about more and more politicians acting reprehensibly in a myriad of ways, and I have felt this way since the early Seventies when I got a real good look at what happens when we have government corruption.

      Some of you might remember how it all came out in the media back then. Corruption is criminal behavior. Those folks got off pretty easy. Some of them kept their hands in for a long time.

      I DO like to hear about corruption actually being fought for once, even if it has to come from an unexpected quarter like International Relations and the sudden exposure of same..

      Fighting for honest dealings between people is something that I, as an American Citizen, would like very much to see more of, and I expect my free speech rights and free press and all my other AMERICAN RIGHTS to actually MEAN SOMETHING!

      And while I'm being put up against a wall and shot for speaking my mind, I will have simply had those rights stolen from me by vicious people who couldn't keep a handle on themselves and decided they were above the laws of this country by simple expedient of paying to have those laws demolished or weakened.

      Money again.
      It's everywhere.
      Some people worship it.
      They can't get enough of it.
      It enslaves them like nothing else on Earth.

      And it will make sure there are enough bullets to kill us all.

      December 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fact of the Matter

      /\/\ I also learned from the media, dislike corruption, etc. But I fail to understand how leaks that expose friendly agents and strategic targets at worst, or diplomatic drama at best is "fighting" this unspecified corruption.

      December 9, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tanya

    "Pigs is pigs and freedom of speech is freedom of speech, but there are limits to both."

    December 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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