WikiLeaks Part III: Whistle-blower Site Releases Diplomatic Cables

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After releasing hundreds of thousands of secret war documents from Iraq and Afghanistan, so-called whistle-blower website WikiLeaks released a trove of secret diplomatic cables Sunday, amid claims its site was under cyber attack.

CNN International called the release an “information blitz” and said the documents “offered a glimpse into the worldwide communications of the State Department and its 297 embassies, consulates and missions through what are commonly referred to as “cables.”

The website’s founder, Julian Assange who has drawn the ire of the U.S. government and is the subject of a criminal rape investigation in Sweden, said the releases presented a complete “diplomatic history of the United States.”

The releases, which mostly come from the past three years, span everything from the U.S. government’s fears of a corrupt Afghanistan regime to plans for a unified Korean peninsula if the communist North were to collapse.

The White House slammed the releases. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said “such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government.”

Defense News reports that since WikiLeaks announced a document deluge was coming, the United States had sought to “contain the fall-out” by alerting key allies and embassies about the imminent disclosures.

Last week, Assange sent a missive to the U.S. State Department, defending his organization’s planned release of secret documents.

“As far as we are aware,” Assange said in similar remarks Nov. 28, “and as far as anyone has ever alleged in any credible manner, whatsoever, no single individual has ever come to harm as a result of anything that we have ever published.”

However, the State Dept. contends the information “place[s] at risk the lives of countless individuals,” according to a report on CNN International.

The drama continued on Sunday as WikiLeaks said its site was under cyber attack. WikiLeaks said on its Twitter page the site was under a denial of service attack, known as DoS, which overwhelms a site with data requests.

Last month, WikiLeaks released nearly 400,000 military documents relating to the war in Iraq. In July, the site released more than 70,000 logs from the war in Afghanistan.

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