Latest WikiLeaks: Hussein's death scene, lists global weak points
In one of the most potentially explosive leaks yet, WikiLeaks has divulged a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) list of key global infrastructure sites that the United States fears could come under terrorist attack. Another cable describes the death scene of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who was told to “go to hell” by his executors.
In other revelations, the lawyer of fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stated Sunday that the muckracker has secret material in reserve, which he likened to a "thermo-nuclear device".
From an unknown location, Assange told Spanish daily El Pais on Sunday that US President Barak Obama should resign if it is proved that he ordered spying on United Nations officials. According to one of the leaked documents, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked for UN personnel's telephones, emails, credit card details and frequent flier numbers.
The CIA list of strategically vital sites includes undersea cables, key communication centres, crucial ports, important firms in countries ranging from Austria to New Zealand and many others.
The CIA compiled the list "to prevent, deter, neutralize or mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts by terrorists to destroy, incapacitate or exploit them."
As this information is now public and could assist terroists, detractors of WikiLeaks have called such publication “irresponsible, bordering on criminal”.
One cable details the execution scene of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who was told to "go to hell" by guards as he walked to his death. While Hussein was reciting his final prayer one witness shouted, "Moqtada, Moqtada, Moqtada", in reference to the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has became an influential figure in post-Hussein Iraq.
Since the 9/11 attacks US officials have maintained that progress has been made in their efforts to disrupt terrorism financing, but internal State Department memos are far more pessimistic. A litany of alleged methods used by terrorist financiers are catalogued in the cables, including bank robberies, drug loot from Afghanistan and pilgrimages to Mecca, where vast sums of currencies change hands.
- Saudi Arabia
One document reveals that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pinpoints Saudi Arabia as the major source of funds for Islamic fundamentalist groups such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hamas.
Clinton also criticized other Gulf States such as Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE for failing to staunch the flow of local donations to the groups.
Despite the broadcaster’s claim that it is editorially independent, Qatar uses the TV news channel Al-Jazeera as a bargaining chip in negotiations with other countries, according to the US ambassador to Qatar.
The ambassador opined that that the channel could be used “as a bargaining tool to repair relationships with other countries, particularly those soured by al-Jazeera's broadcasts, including the United States".
Australia said Monday that they will not contact China over a WikiLeaks cable which revealed former prime minister Kevin Rudd advising the US to use force against China “if everything goes wrong".
Rudd has refused to verify the March 2009 cable in which he said Australia’s largest trading partner was “paranoid” about Taiwan and Tibet.
Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking former diplomat who was once posted to Beijing, and is now Australia's foreign minister, stated that the role of diplomacy is to prosecute firmly one’s national interests.
- Julian Assange
Lawmakers in the US, the country most often implicated in the data dump, have continued to call for his arrest, with possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee going so far as to call for his execution.
Despite the Swedish prosecutor’s claims that her investigations of Assange regarding contentions of rape and sexual assault were “without any political pressure”, Assange's British lawyer, Mark Stephens, expressed concern on Sunday that the legal pursuit had "political motivations".