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Unredacted WikiLeaks Cables Leaked to Internet

Several WikiLeaks cables giving details of high-level collaboration by Central Asian governments with organized crime and implying the identity of American assets have been leaked to the Internet by a left-wing website.

 

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A controversial associate of WikiLeaks
has begun posting unredacted versions of U.S. State Department cables on a left-wing magazine’s website. These cables contain the names of specific
corporations accused of corruption and of individuals implied to be
involved in bribery on behalf of western companies in Kazakhstan and
Uzbekstan. In one case, they also give highly suggestive clues to the identity of an American informant on organized crime activities.

The cables were posted to CounterPunch
by Israel
Shamir
, a WikiLeaks associate who has served as the
organization’s informal Russian liaison. Shamir has also posted
reprinted material from Holocaust denial websites on his personal
webpage and come
under public fire for a series of anti-Jewish statements
.

Shamir
describes himself as “a freelance writer accredited with
WikiLeaks”; the organization came
under fire
for his past anti-Semitic writings in December 2010.
In one infamous statement, Shamir accused
Jews
“of being a virus in human form.”

Fast Company
has opted not to reprint excerpts from the unexpunged cables
published to CounterPunch.

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Shamir’s
article on CounterPunch accuses British newspaper The
Guardian
of censoring WikiLeaks
cables and states that he is merely reprinting WikiLeaks cables in
full that were originally censored by them:

Although
we are treated to daily accounts of how the net tightens around
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the contents of the US embassy
cables have been doled out to us in spoonfuls. To add insult to
injury, it is now clear that The Guardian edits and distorts the
cables in order to protect their readers from unflattering remarks
about how their corporations behave overseas. The Guardian has
deliberately excised portions of published cables to hide evidence of
corruption.

However, Shamir was not being completely accurate. These cables were also censored by the primary WikiLeaks website and all of its mirrors.

One of the uncensored WikiLeaks cables he
posted to CounterPunch, ASTANA
72
, also appears in censored form on the WikiLeaks website
itself. Two other cables posted by Shamir, TASHKENT 465 and TASHKENT
902, do not appear
on the WikiLeaks website
as of January 12, 2011. 902 was
published as an extremely limited
excerpt on The Guardian‘s
website and 465 is not even labeled by its number. In all three
cases, it appears Shamir violated an internal WikiLeaks decision to
censor a cable in one case and embarked on a rogue cable release in
two others.

TASHKENT
465 implies links between high-level Uzbekstan officials and
organized crime, while TASHKENT 902 discusses the role of organized
crime in helping businessmen secure government tenders and jobs on
the government payroll inside Uzbekstan. The second cable also gives
highly suggestive clues to the identity of an American informant who
gave highly sensitive information on organized crime.

The
fact that Shamir was doing an end-run around WikiLeaks was noted in a
post on the British blog Hurry Up Harry by author “Joseph W”:

WikiLeaks’
Israel Shamir, who has in his possession all of WikiLeaks’
unredacted cables, has written a polemic in CounterPunch against The
Guardian
’s editorial policy. He claims that The Guardian is
redacting WikiLeaks cables for political reasons. Yet The Guardian’s
redacted cables match the cables you can already read on
Wikileaks.ch.”

As in
all things WikiLeaks, the details of the story remain murky. Shamir
has close
ties to the Belarus government
and recently
visited Belarus
, which has an infamously repressive
government
. Given that detail,
it is seems extremely interesting that all the unredacted cables he leaked
had to do with former Soviet states.

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Follow the author of this story,
Neal Ungerleider, on
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