The Wikileaks Files

Book by Julian Assange & Multiple Others

Article and Review by GlobalMacroForex

This is one of my favorite foreign policy books!  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  One needs to keep in mind that Wikileaks normally just distributes leaked information in bulk via an organized database, leaving the interpretation of this leaked data to separate journalists.  While occasionally Assange or others will step forth with comments or news, for the most part, the burden is on the reader to get what the leaks mean without a filter. 

While the advantage of this is that the information is available without bias or propaganda, the disadvantage is that it puts a huge time burden on the reader to discern what this information means and how it differs from the official version of events.  Since the vast majority of people who fall prey to the propaganda to begin with are unwilling to take the time to even learn the official version of events, its unlikely these same individuals are now going to learn how they’ve been lied to.

That’s why this book is a huge leap forward for Wikileaks in providing us summaries and interpretations of the data in a useable format.  While we should appreciate their original data dumps (2,325,961 diplomatic cables), having some analysis helps even the most studious independent journalists and avoids major media outlets from distorting the data’s meaning.

America sponsors death squad dictators

The first chapter after the Assange introduction begins by calling out the United States for being a gigantic hypocrite, calling countries such as Iran and Syria “rogue regimes” for not respecting democracy or engaging in human rights, when the United States is the biggest sponsor of death worldwide.  From supporting Sukarno in Indonesia, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, to Mobutu in Congo, the US is quick to give money, training, and support to anyone who is aligned with US commercial interests in the region regardless of the horrible methods these dictators use.

List of SOME of the mass murdering dictators America directly supported,

DictatorCountry
SukarnoIndonesia
Ho Chi MinhVietnam
Mobutu Sese SekoCongo
House of SaudSaudi Arabia
ShahIran
Saddam HusseinIraq
Hosni MubarakEgypt
Zine El Abidine Ben AliTunisia
Jean-Claude DuvalierHaiti
General PinochetChile

Saudi Arabia & Bahrain

The Wikileaks files demonstrate the role of the US in propping up the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia with known human rights abuses.  Leaked cables document the US support for the Saudi invasion of Bahrain to suppress democratic dissidents.

Iran-Iraq War in 1980

This type of shadow support has a long history, going back to 1953 with the overthrow of Iran’s Mossadegh and installation of the Shah.  The Shah murdered tens of thousands of peaceful protestors.  In addition, the CIA supported the Ba’athist coup in Iraq that put Saddam Hussein in power.  Once Saddam was in power, the US took him off the US State Department’s list of “sponsors of terrorism,” so he could buy weapons to invade Iran.  Here is a picture of Donald Rumsfeld agreeing to cooperation with Saddam because of Iran.

The book also documents the US giving Saddam chemical weapon technology to slaughter thousands of Kurds in the Iran-Iraq War.

Egypt

Wikileaks helped to facilitate the Arab Spring revolution, which shed light on the US support for a majority of puppet dictators in the region.  For example, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt received $2 billion per year from America despite human rights abuses.  After he was overthrown, the US supported a coup against Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, resulting in several bloody massacres. 

Tunisia

Wikileaks cables shed light on US support for the dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, despite the fact that the US knew he was “stupid and corrupt.”  Ben Ali was using US aid money for the military and weapons, despite having promised to use it for food.  America knew of the use of these funds and continued to provide support anyway.  The revelation of these events from the leaked cables helped to spark the Arab Spring revolution through grassroots organization.

Haiti

Leaked 2011 cables show US-backed Haiti dictators in league with sweatshop elites that aligned with US corporate interests.  US money was used to prevent democracy and left thousands of bodies in the wake of death squads.  In 1990 when Jean-Bertrand Aristide won office via democratic elections, US sent CIA-trained death squads to murder enough people until Aristide accepted the World Bank/IMF agenda.  In a previous article, I discussed how the World Bank is corrupt regressive slavery.

Honduras

In June of 2009, a military coup was launched against Manuel Zelaya.  This would make US aid to Honduras illegal, since it’s a regime that comes to power via a military coup.  Yet US State Department financial aid continued to flow and went directly to death squads for elites, despite a request from Congress to stop doing so.  Hilary Clinton openly admits her direct role and support for this in her book. 

Kissinger Cables

April 2013 diplomatic cables (dubbed the “Kissinger Cables”) document the role of Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State who greatly expanded the sphere of America’s empire.  In the leaked cables, Kissinger is quoted as saying “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.”  Wikileaks combined this with evidence that Kissinger worked to instigate and enable Turkey’s invasion.

Chile

In 1973 a CIA-coup overthrew elected Salvador Allende and installed the military dictator General Pinochet.  Wikileaks details communications between America and the military junta that engaged in mass murder.

“Wikileaks cables display the State Department’s cavalier attitude toward the junta’s program of mass torture and executions”

It’s totally ridiculous and absurd for American authorities to insist other places should rely more on democracy when the US itself seeks to undermine any candidate elected who doesn’t fit in with the US’s imperial interests.

Syria

The supposed reason for continued occupation of Iraq according to Dick Cheney’s biography was to prevent Sunni v Shiite fighting.  In Iraq, the Sunnis were uprising against US occupation forces, and the Shiites were cooperating (barely) because we were arming them.  However, as Wikileaks demonstrates that at the same time we were occupying Iraq, we were purposefully and covertly provoking fighting between Sunnis and Shiites.

A December 13, 2006, cable “Influencing the SARG [Syrian government] in the End of 2006” by William Roebuck, who at the time was in charge’d’affaires at US embassy in Damascus, suggests this idea.  The Wikileaks book added the emphasis (they used italics, I used bold/underline), but the exact quote is unaltered, as follows:

Possible action:

Play on Sunni Fears of Iranian Influence: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis.  Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business.

Both the local Egyptian and Saudi mission here (as well as prominent Syrian Sunni religious leaders) are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention to the issue.

So the goal of the lead American diplomat in Syria was to fan sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shite by promoting “exaggerated” fears of Shiite influence in the region.  Even though Roebuck knew these claims to be either false or inflated, he still pushed to try to get a Sunni uprising.  In essence, the United States is purposefully causing Sunni rebellion in Syria, while simultaneously occupying Iraq to suppress Sunni rebellion.

This is all to overthrow Bashar Assad (president of Syria) because he isn’t cooperating with US oil and banking interests in the region.  Wikileaks demonstrates the US sought to undercut Bashar Assad’s legitimacy, even if he was making progress on returning investment to Syria with economic reforms by demonstrating those reforms were not legitimate.

Iran & Israel

After the end of the Cold War, CIA and US military operations no longer had a legitimate reason to exist to the extent that they did.  So to justify their existence, according to Wikileaks, the US created and inflated the Iran nuclear threat.

America rushed to create extensive networks for the deployment of missile defense systems, even though Robert M. Gates (who succeeded Rumsfeld as defense secretary in 2006) admitted there was no real evidence that Iran was working on an ICBM.  He suggested in October 2007, the United States should “complete the negotiations, we would develop the sites, build the sites, but perhaps would delay activating them until there was concrete proof of the threat from Iran)”

The Wikileaks Files book calls out the New York Times for lying about a Wikileaks cable.  In the cable [10State17263], US officials found Russian claims of Iran’s missile threat to be highly questionable.  Instead, the Times sought to paint a pro-intervention article by only mentioning the initial exaggerated Russian source.

In addition, Wikileaks cables demonstrate Israel pushed the US to take action against the threat of Iranian weapons, despite US officials questioning if this intelligence was reliable.  The cables demonstrate the US acted on the information despite knowing it likely was false.

Iraq & Guantanamo Bay

In the Guantanamo files, Wikileaks demonstrates that prisoners were held despite the knowledge that they posed no risk.  In addition, the US tradition of horrible torture was continued in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.  Here random people with no ties to terror and who have nothing to do with the rebellion of the invasion of their homeland were gathered up and tortured with no trial or purpose.

 Journalist Seymour Hersh discovered the Pentagon had a tape of boys being sodomized in Abu Ghraib.  Dick Cheney said in response, “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective.”

In addition, the high ranking US military officer Michael D. Steele said, “Kill all military-age men,” which is in stark contrast to the “official” US policy.  Four soldiers under his command came forth and testified that Steele did give these orders and disciplinary action was taken against the four soldiers (but not against Steele).   Wikileaks came to the 4 soldiers’ defense with multiple documents that validate the soldiers claims.

Afghanistan

Wikileaks first notes the absurdity of the Afghanistan war, which was launched in the name of finding Al-Qaeda (the terrorist organization responsible for 9/11), but instead turned into an endless massacre against the Taliban, a separate group of local uneducated thugs with a low amount of resources.  Wikileaks points out how ridiculous this policy was, considering Al-Qaeda fled to Pakistan before America even arrived in Afghanistan.  The author presumes Afghanistan wasn’t even a priority of the Bush administration, and that the real goal was a justification for the Iraq War.

This map from The New York Times depicts the hold the Taliban has over the country.  Note no reference to Al-Qaeda on this map because the US was not even fighting them there.

After the invasion of Afghanistan, the US tried to set up a centralized government similar to Western nations, despite Afghanistan being a mountainous region of poorly developed local tribes.  Power is not centralized but instead dispersed among local tribal elders who govern their specific ethnic groups.  This top-down Western approach did not create the results anyone wanted.

In fact, there was rampant chaos.  As Wikileaks notes the US had to give food aid to starving Afghans they just bombed because the region is so underdeveloped.  However, as the leaked cables note, officials were aware the parachutes of food were in the same yellow color as the bombs, which confused local Afghans who did not know if they were getting bombed or fed.

In addition, America supported and backed a massacre.

General Ahmad Rashid Dostum is an ethnic Uzbek warlord who originally fought for the pro-Soviet Afghan government in the 1980s against the US-backed Mujahideen.  He then later joined the American backed Mujahedeen until beaten by the Taliban.   He now joined the US invasion in 2001; with US backing, Dostum reclaimed his leadership as chief of staff of Afghan military installed by the US. 

Dostum massacred 2,000 to 3,000 Taliban prisoners by suffocating them in containers and then having his soldiers shoot at the containers.  This is in violation of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits this type of killing of unarmed and surrendered prisoners.  A February 2008 Wikileaks cable [08KABUL491_a] shows CIA, military and diplomatic intelligence all knew the extent of Dostum’s involvement in the massacre.

Ashraf Ghani, who is an American and World Bank puppet, as well as president of Afghanistan, picked Ahmad Dostum as his running mate.  In other words, Dostum became vice-president of Afghanistan after America took control, despite his illegal massacres of thousands of prisoners of war.  Dostum has US support to help lead Afghanistan despite being banned in America for war crimes.

Conclusion

This book has so much information and is definitely one of my top recommendations for understanding the US empire.  The book documents the vast amount of mass murder the State Department has officially sponsored is mind blowing. Wikileaks makes great strides by providing us with a telling account of what many of these cables mean.  While my summary only touches the surface, there are many more cables and chapters on Asia, Europe, Russia, International Courts, and more.