Upcoming WikiLeaks release to cause diplomatic firestorm; Hurt U.S. ties with 'allies'

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November 26, 2010 20:59

A screen grab of the WikiLeaks.org website.

Who: WikiLeaks.

What: A Twitter message posted by the whistle-blowing website announced plans to release classified U.S. diplomatic cables reporting corruption allegations against foreign governments and leaders. WikiLeaks said the latest release will be seven times larger than the previous leak of classified Pentagon documents of roughly 400,000. U.S. State Department officials say the upcoming dump features corruption allegations and is set to cause serious embarrassment for American and foreign governments and politicians named in them.

Where: It is not yet known where the classified documents would be released, however, the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, gave America’s New York Times, Britain’s Guardian newspaper and the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel – access to the documents some time ago.

When: WikiLeaks has not specified when the tranche of documents would be released but Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said U.S. officials were expecting a possible release of documents ‘late this week or early next week’.

Why: WikiLeaks says it is a not-for-profit media organisation whose goal is to bring important news and information to the public. The whistle-blower website insists it is one of their most important activities to publish original source material alongside news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth. U.S. government officials condemn WikiLeaks as an ‘absolutely awful impediment to their business’ and are worried about the additional documents coming out due to the embarrassing details of conversations between the American diplomats, foreign leaders, politicians and businessmen.

How: Sensing the impending massive diplomatic embarrassment, U.S. diplomats headed to foreign ministries around the globe in hopes of staving off anger if the whistleblower website puts out the leaked cables, which are internal messages that lack the niceties that diplomats generally voice in public. Reports suggest the revelations could affect U.S. relations with countries such as Afghanistan, Italy, Israel, Russia and Turkey.

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