WikiLeaks Disclosures Not Earth Shattering

Experts say the cables confirmed conventional wisdom.


Fears remain over the security of Pakistan's nuclear materials.

Though the raw cable has not yet been published, the New York Times, which was given the cables in advance of their publication by WikiLeaks, reports that in 2007, the United States "mounted a highly secret effort, so far unsuccessful, to remove from a Pakistani research reactor highly enriched uranium that American officials fear could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device." Since 2001, the U.S. has been publicly pushing Pakistan to adopt more stringent controls over its nuclear weapons and the infrastructure used to produce them, lest the weapons or radioactive materials fall into the hands of terrorist groups.

The United States offered foreign nations incentives to accept detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Few thought that foreign nations accepted detainees from Gitmo out of sheer benevolence. The newly-released cables, however, show just how far the White House was willing to go to offload the prisoners. The tiny island nation of Kiribati, for instance, was offered a package of incentives worth millions to accept several Chinese Muslim detainees cleared for release. Belgium was told that accepting detainees would be a "low-cost" way towards attaining more prominence in Europe. Officials from Slovenia, the New York Times reports, were offered a chance to meet President Obama if they agreed to resettle detainees.

President Dmitry Medvedev "plays Robin to Putin's Batman"

The cables include richly detailed reporting from diplomats abroad, but the picture they provide of many world leaders is in agreement with public perception. Putin, Russia's former president, has earned the nickname "Alpha Dog" by U.S. diplomats, a moniker that will likely please a man prone to inviting photographers along on his hunting trips and judo matches. "While few will be surprised that the west considers President Dmitry Medvedev the junior partner," writes the Moscow News about the WikiLeaks release, "his identification as Robin to Putin's Batman will raise eyebrows."

  • See a slide show of 6 vulnerable terrorist targets.
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