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Saturday, November 27, 2010

WikiLeaks revelations will 'expose corruption between allies,U.S. warns world leaders

3 million documents set to go online
U.S. diplomats face being kicked out of countries in backlash
Corrupt politicians expected to be named and shamed
Bombshell leak thought to include U.S. assessments of Gordon Brown
Secret talks on return of Lockerbie bomber to Libya may also be leaked
Allegations 'include U.S. backing of Kurdish terrorists'

Blowing the whistle: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks (pictured earlier this month), is said to be preparing to release more sensitive documents

World leaders were warned last night by America that damaging secrets about their nations were about to be laid bare.

The documents include highly damaging and embarrassing communiques from U.S. embassies around the world, especially from London - revealing the truth behind the so-called 'special relationship' between the U.K. and the U.S.

The U.S. ambassador to London made an unprecedented personal visit to Downing Street to warn that whistleblower website WikiLeaks was about to publish secret assessments of what Washington really thinks of Britain.

The website is on the verge of revealing almost three million documents, including thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables sent to Washington from the American embassy in London.

The bombshell leak is thought to include U.S. assessments of former British prime minister Gordon Brown’s personality and his prospects of winning the General Election, and secret discussions on the return of the Lockerbie bomber to Libya.

Assessments of current Prime Minister David Cameron’s election chances and his private assurances to U.S. officials may also be included, Government sources believe.

They fear they will emerge on Sunday in co-ordinated releases in newspapers in Britain, Germany and America.

The British government is so worried that last night it issued a D-Notice, warning that publishing the secrets could compromise national security.

The website has previously released secret details of allied military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Revelations of American brutality in Iraq and Afghanistan created shockwaves, made WikiLeaks notorious and led to its founder Julian Assange - an Australian-born computer hacker - being vilified by governments around the world. He is now wanted for alleged rape in Sweden.

In total, around 2.7million confidential messages between the U.S. government and its embassies around the world are to be released.The U.S. State Department warned that the leaks would damage relationships around the world.

Spokesman P J Crowley said: ‘These revelations are harmful to the U.S. and our interests. They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world.’

The U.S. ambassador to Britain, Louis Susman, was seen going into Downing Street and the Foreign Office yesterday to brief officials for what was described as ‘contingency planning’.

‘He came in to explain what they thought we could expect,’ said one Whitehall source.

Defence sources said British national security could be ‘put at risk’ by the release, as they are expected to contain details of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and pull-outs and revelations about secret service practices and intelligence sources.

‘These revelations are harmful to the U.S. and our interests. They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world’

Downing Street is braced for potentially hugely embarrassing disclosures about private U.S. assessments of Britain and its leaders.

There are fears of even the most apparently trivial secrets being hugely damaging.

One British official said they feared that mutual American and British contempt for the French would emerge.

‘Moaning about the French was practically a sport,’ he said.

Mr Cameron’s spokesman declined to discuss the nature of any confidential communications that could be released.

He said: ‘Obviously, the Government has been briefed by U.S. officials, by the ambassador. I don’t want to speculate about precisely what is going to be leaked before it is leaked.’

As well as Britain, the U.S. has warned the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Israel in advance of the release.


Concern: Bombshell leaks are thought to include a U.S. assessment of Gordon Brown and David Cameron's election chances - and secret talks on the return of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi (right) to Libya

It has been claimed that a backlash by countries upset over the leaks may lead to U.S. diplomats being expelled.

The next release is expected to include thousands of diplomatic cables reporting allegations of corruption against politicians in Russia, Afghanistan and other Central Asian nations.

But there were no specific details as to the nature of the corruption allegations or which governments are involved.

However, according to the UK-based Arabic daily newspaper al-Hayat, the WikiLeaks release includes documents that show Turkey has helped Al Qaeda in Iraq - an extraordinary revelation which could kill off the country’s hopes of joining the EU.
The Washington Post reported that the files will contain allegations that the U.S. has supported the PKK, a Kurdish rebel organization that has been waging a separatist war against Turkey since 1984.

The U.S. says it has known for some time that WikiLeaks held the cables.

No one has been charged with passing them to the website, but suspicion focuses on Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst arrested in Iraq in June and charged over an earlier leak.

A Downing Street spokesman today declined to discuss the nature of any confidential communications which may have been obtained by WikiLeaks.

But he said: 'Obviously, the Government has been briefed by U.S. officials, by the U.S. ambassador, as to the likely content of these leaks.

'I don't want to speculate about precisely what is going to be leaked before it is leaked.'

The U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv warned the country's foreign ministry that some of the cables could concern U.S.-Israel relations, the daily newspaper Haaretz claimed.

WikiLeaks said on its Twitter feed earlier this week that its new release would be seven times larger than the nearly 400,000 Pentagon documents related to the Iraq war which it made public in October.

The U.S. State Department confirmed it has begun notifying foreign governments and it fears serious diplomatic fallout over the expose.

'These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests,' said a spokesman.

'They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world.'

Senior military staff on both sides of the Atlantic are still furious over that release of 400,000 classified documents, the biggest military leak of all time.

They detailed what WikiLeaks founder Assange called 'compelling evidence of war crimes' by the U.S.-led coalition and the Iraq government and sparked calls for a full inquiry.

Should WikiLeaks go ahead with its promise, it will be the third time it has published such information in the face of opposition from military top brass around the world.The first batch was about the war in Afghanistan and gave a grim picture of the day-to-day struggle against the Taliban and the frustrations of trying to train the Afghan police.

The second covered the period in the occupation of Iraq between 2004 and 2009 and contained revelations that America failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, rape, torture and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers.

The information also revealed that more than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents - U.S. and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

In addition, the logs claim that in one incident a British rifleman shot dead an eight-year-old Iraqi girl as she played in the streets.

The information will almost certainly have come from the Bradley Manning, the dissident U.S. army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked the first tranche, some 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in Afghanistan.

Adding to the controversy is the international arrest warrant which has been issued for Mr Assange by Swedish prosecutors over allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

The allegations, which the 39-year-old Australian has repeatedly denied, relate to two women he met while on a visit to Sweden in August.

Assange’s London lawyer Mark Stephens, has said the claims were 'false and without basis’.


(source:dailymail.co.uk)

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