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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid