News / USA

WikiLeaks Makes Leaked US Documents Searchable

WikiLeaks Makes Leaked US Documents Searchablei
X
April 09, 2013 10:38 AM
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is back in the news with the publication of nearly two million unclassified U.S. diplomatic and intelligence documents from the 1970s. Three years ago, WikiLeaks published more than a quarter of a million classified diplomatic cables, creating a controversy over their release. Assange, who is seeking refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crime charges, held a news conference via skype to make the announcement. More from VOA's Carolyn Presutti.

WikiLeaks Makes Leaked US Documents Searchable

Meredith Buel
The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has launched a new database containing 1.7 million documents from the U.S. State Department that were declassified, but were difficult for the public to access. 
 
WikiLeaks is calling the searchable collection the “Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy," bringing together diplomatic and intelligence documents that previously could only be accessed through the National Archives.
 
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told reporters via video link from the Ecuadorian embassy in London that the documents were hidden in what he called the borderline between secrecy and complexity.
 
“This material that we have published today is the single most significant geopolitical publication that has ever existed," he said.

The database gives the public access to diplomatic cables from the beginning of 1973 to the end of 1976, including communications sent by then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

At a media briefing in Washington, WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson called the new database a public service.

“In my mind when you look at this material, 1.7 million public documents, they are not easily available.  It is extremely hard to approach them even though they have been declassified.  So making them available to people is basically taking the secrecy away and uncovering the stories," she said.

Although the documents have long been in the public domain, their release in a searchable archive has generated some headlines internationally because their publication was coordinated with a number of media outlets.

For example, India’s Hindu newspaper cited the cables in a report about Rajiv Gandhi, whose family still dominates the country’s ruling party, as a middleman for an arms deal in the 1970s.

Gandhi was assassinated in 1991and his wife Sonia is now head of the ruling Congress party.  

U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell declined comment on the archive. “Our understanding is that there are some very old documents here.  We are still looking to see what all of this may be…I cannot comment on neither their authenticity nor their status of classification," he said.

The new WikiLeaks database contains 250,000 classified cables leaked by the website in 2010.

Those documents infuriated the international community as they provided blunt and unflattering U.S. views of world leaders.

Assange has been seeking refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London in an effort to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault, accusations Assange has denied.

U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning admitted to giving WikiLeaks the first set of cables.  His court martial is set to begin in June. 

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid