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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid