November 2010, Week 5


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 29 Nov 2010 03:26:51 -0500
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Secret US Embassy Cables
November 29, 2010

[moderator: other coverage of this issue -

Wikileaks began on Sunday November 28th publishing
251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest
set of confidential documents ever to be released into
the public domain. The documents will give people around
the world an unprecedented insight into US Government
foreign activities.

The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of
February this year, contain confidential communications
between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world
and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the
cables are classified Secret.

The embassy cables will be released in stages over the
next few months. The subject matter of these cables is
of such importance, and the geographical spread so
broad, that to do otherwise would not do this material

The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies
and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human
rights abuse in "client states"; backroom deals with
supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US
corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to
advance those who have access to them.

This document release reveals the contradictions between
the US's public persona and what it says behind closed
doors - and shows that if citizens in a democracy want
their governments to reflect their wishes, they should
ask to see what's going on behind the scenes.

Every American schoolchild is taught that George
Washington - the country's first President - could not
tell a lie. If the administrations of his successors
lived up to the same principle, today's document flood
would be a mere embarrassment. Instead, the US
Government has been warning governments -- even the most
corrupt -- around the world about the coming leaks and
is bracing itself for the exposures.

The full set consists of 251,287 documents, comprising
261,276,536 words (seven times the size of "The Iraq War
Logs", the world's previously largest classified
information release).

The cables cover from 28th December 1966 to 28th
February 2010 and originate from 274 embassies,
consulates and diplomatic missions. How to explore the

Search for events that you remember that happened for
example in your country. You can browse by date or
search for an origin near you.

Pick out interesting events and tell others about them.
Use twitter, reddit, mail whatever suits your audience

For twitter or other social networking services please
use the #cablegate or unique reference ID (e.g.
#66BUENOSAIRES2481) as hash tags.
Key figures:

    * 15, 652 secret
    * 101,748 confidential
    * 133,887 unclassified

    * Iraq most discussed country - 15,365 (Cables coming from Iraq - 6,677)
    * Ankara, Turkey had most cables coming from it - 7,918
    * From Secretary of State office - 8,017

According to the US State Departments labeling system, the most frequent subjects discussed are:

    * External political relations - 145,451
    * Internal government affairs - 122,896
    * Human rights - 55,211
    * Economic Conditions - 49,044
    * Terrorists and terrorism - 28,801
    * UN security council - 6,532

Graphics of the cablegate dataset
# Cables by origin and classification
# Cables by Subject
# Cables by Country
# Cables by Organization
# Cables by Program
# Cables by Topic 


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