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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

WikiLeaks has turned into a torrent

Oslo newspaper Aftenposten continues to churn out stories related to the content of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables that the US had intended to keep secret. Among the topics: Sri Lankan dealings with Iran, alleged French espionage and German-US spy satellites, and Israel’s plans for war.

Here follows a summary of revelations emerging recently from the WikiLeaks documents to which Aftenposten has gained access:

  • French officials have been accused in American diplomatic cables of being behind more industrial espionage in Europe than both the Russians and the Chinese. In Norway, special police intelligence unit PST has warned that foreign firms are constantly on the lookout for valuable information about Norwegian products.Among the notes written by the US ambassador in Berlin, the French were referred to as “the evil empire” when it comes to trying to steal technology, “and Germany knows it,” according to the director of a large German firm.
  • German intelligence agents are developing new secret spy satellites in cooperation with the US, according to reports from the US Embassy in Berlin. The satellites were being disguised as part of an environmental measure to help reverse climate change, but WikiLeaks documents reveal that they are capable of surveillance all over the globe, also underground.German officials later denied the so-called HiROS (High Resolution Optical System) satellites were part of any military program and called reports they would be used for spying “humbug.”
  • Sri Lanka, during the final stages of its war against the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), was reportedly in negotiations to buy rocket launchers and other military equipment from both Iran and North Korea. US officials threatened Sri Lanka with costly sanctions if the weapons deals were carried out. Any purchases would have been in violation of UN resolutions against trade with either country.Sri Lankan officials denied they were in the process of illegal weapon purchases, but the US ambassador in Colombo wasn’t convinced. There was no comment on any deals with North Korea.
  • Top Israeli military officials told a US Congressional delegation in November 2009 that Iran has 300 Shihab missiles that can reach Israel, and that the missile threat was more serious than ever before. Israel would have approximately 12 minutes to respond to an attack, and war would be underway.The threat, revealed in WikiLeaks documents, explains why Israel puts such importance on missile defense. The documents also reveal that Israel is in the midst of full preparations for another war in the Middle East.

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