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9 Month Anniversary of Cablegate: Release of 133,887 Cables

Global - Wikileaks Statement on the 9 Month Anniversary of Cablegate: Release of 133,887 Cables

29th August 2011

Over the past week, WikiLeaks has released 133,887 US diplomatic cables from around the world - more than half of the entire Cablegate material (251,287 cables). The new release was met with a sustained Denial of Service (DOS) attack during the first 36 hours. WikiLeaks had to rely on back-up servers for some hours. With supporters’ help, WikiLeaks was able to bring in additional servers to stave off the attack.

For the first time, the diplomatic cables are available from every country that has US diplomatic representation. Until now, many countries had been excluded from the news stories, partly due to WikiLeaks media partners’ geographical bias, and partly due to Wikileaks’ resource constraints in establishing new media partnerships (there are now over 90).


Nine months ago today, WikiLeaks launched Cablegate together with four media partners (Der Spiegel, El Pais, Le Monde, the Guardian) and the New York Times (who obtained the cables from the Guardian). The US administration and allied media groups responded with threats and intimidation. WikiLeaks and an alleged source, US intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, bore the brunt of these attacks. During the first weeks, calls to kidnap and assassinate WikiLeaks staff, and particularly its founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, were frequent. Shortly thereafter, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Bank of America and Western Union unilaterally prevented WikiLeaks from receiving donations from its supporters. The unlawful financial blockade of our publication continues, although WikiLeaks is suing VISA Europe and MasterCard, and has filed a complaint with the European Commission for serious breach. (For ways to donate, see ). A secret grand jury in Virginia is deciding whether Julian Assange, a journalist and Australian national, can be charged with espionage for the publication of this material.

Rationale: release of 133,887 cables

Cablegate launched nine months ago today. Despite the amount of material yet to be reported on, mainstream media organisations in Europe and the United States have slowed their rate of publishing Cablegate derived stories. This has led to the misperception in Europe and the US that WikiLeaks has been less active in recent months. In fact, WikiLeaks has stepped up its activity, establishing new partnerships on each continent with local media organisations that can contextualise the cables and carry out in-depth analysis. WikiLeaks has gone from its four original partners in November 2010 to over ninety as of this month (August 2011).

The decision to publish 133,877 cables was taken in accordance with WikiLeaks’ commitment to maximising impact, and making information available to all. At the beginning of the month, the number of cables published had only reached the 20,000 mark – under 10% of the total. The cables that had been reported on also demonstrated a less than satisfactory representation on the world map.

Through crowdsourcing, WikiLeaks hopes to maximise the impact of the information in the diplomatic cables by allowing universities, investigative journalists, human rights advocates, lawyers, and prosecutors to access the source material all over the world. Crowdsourcing has proved to be a success: regional issues overlooked by our initial Western partners have been picked up around the world even journalists who did not have access to our materials at institutions like the Guardian are revealing important stories. Mainstream newspapers, chiefly outside of Europe and the United States, are picking up on the #wlfind hashtag on twitter. People across the globe are looking at the cables that report on their own countries: they are finding stories of corruption, risky local construction projects, stories of environmental degradation and candid analysis of their political landscape.

New stories include nuclear safety in China, a letter from the UN rapporteur to the US mission in Geneva inquiring on the reason why a US army soldier was not prosecuted for the killing of a Reuters journalist, a cable suggesting that the peaceful resolution of the conflict with North Korea may pose a risk to US interests in China because it may lead to China asking the US to leave its army base (some of the #wlfind stories are listed below).

Crowdsourcing and journalism

Stories of the recently released material is being shared on twitter under the #wlfind hashtag. The site is a powerful tool for those scouring the cables: it enables keyword searches for over 140,000 released cables. This page also has a ‘comments’ field where readers can share research and valuable contextual knowledge regarding the cables, as well as link cables across themes and countries. Crowdsourcing allows for the significance of the material to grow organically: along with readers’ geographical diversity comes a diversification of subject matters and a plurality of angles.

Crowdsourcing is not at odds with journalism. WikiLeaks has witnessed how the #wlfind hashtag has led to stories being published in the mainstream press. The crowdsourcing of the bulk of the cables will assist journalists to sift through the tens if not hundreds of thousands of cables relating to the contemporary history of their own region. Readers are discovering that even the media organisations with the most resources, WikiLeaks’ original partners, do not have the capacity to sift through all the cables nor report on all the big stories. It is a shared responsibility, then, for citizens, journalists, and researchers to comb through the material and find its local and global significance. Those stories that established media organisations are unable or unwilling to report on due to fear of being sued, or conflict of interest, or both, should nevertheless be in the public domain and available for everyone to access.

With crowdsourcing, WikiLeaks is also observing another interesting phenomenon: cables that have been previously published are also finding their way to the #wlfind hashtag. Cablegate stories that have already been reported in national papers or in a different language have not transcended borders – this is now changing as the readers scour the cables. Crowdsourcing is drawing attention to new angles on previously published cables and helping to maximise the impact of the release.

We encourage you to use the tool and to share your finds through articles, or applying the hashtag #wlfinds on blogs and social networking sites such as twitter and Facebook. Readers are also encouraged to stay informed on how to optimise research through the WikiLeaks twitter feed and website.


29 August 2011

Please see ’30 new revelations from #wlfind’ here for further information.

Cables released between 25th and 28th August

Origin, Count Secretary of State, 5727
Embassy Ankara, 4043
Embassy Tokyo, 3810
Embassy Madrid, 2619
Embassy Amman, 2165
Embassy Hanoi, 2042
USUN New York, 1980
Embassy Mexico, 1941
Embassy Paris, 1937
Embassy Khartoum, 1925
American Institute Taiwan, 1895
Embassy Kuwait, 1853
Embassy The Hague, 1846
Embassy Kabul, 1762
Embassy Tel Aviv, 1757
Embassy Kinshasa, 1685
Embassy Buenos Aires, 1547
Embassy Colombo, 1533
Embassy Bangkok, 1523
Embassy Jakarta, 1510
Embassy Brasilia, 1485
Embassy Beijing, 1484
Embassy Harare, 1417
Embassy New Delhi, 1399
Embassy Baghdad, 1392
Embassy Ashgabat, 1385
Embassy Abuja, 1372
Embassy Santo Domingo, 1336
Embassy Rome, 1271
Embassy Ottawa, 1229
Embassy Vienna, 1210
Embassy Abu Dhabi, 1208
Embassy Bogota, 1176
Embassy Santiago, 1171
Embassy Wellington, 1171
Embassy Dhaka, 1141
Embassy Moscow, 1131
Embassy Tegucigalpa, 1101
Embassy Nairobi, 1096
Embassy Pretoria, 1091
Embassy Cairo, 1076
Embassy Astana, 1060
Embassy Zagreb, 1049
Embassy Manila, 982
Embassy Lima, 963
Embassy Islamabad, 928
Embassy Bridgetown, 921
Embassy Guatemala, 903
Consulate Jerusalem, 894
Embassy Seoul, 886
Consulate Adana, 884
Embassy Kingston, 878
Embassy Muscat, 872
Embassy Yerevan, 847
Embassy Belgrade, 838
Embassy Kathmandu, 795
Consulate Sao Paulo, 752
Embassy Maputo, 751
Embassy San Salvador, 746
Embassy Asuncion, 744
Embassy Quito, 730
Embassy Berlin, 725
Embassy Port Au Prince, 722
Consulate Ho Chi Minh City, 696
Embassy Rabat, 674
Embassy Ndjamena, 671
Embassy Managua, 658
Consulate Lagos, 634
Embassy Bratislava, 630
Embassy Phnom Penh, 625
Embassy San Jose, 623
Embassy Addis Ababa, 621
Embassy Dushanbe, 616
Embassy Athens, 606
Embassy Prague, 602
Embassy Accra, 590
Consulate Guangzhou, 568
Embassy Lilongwe, 566
Embassy Sanaa, 532
Consulate Hong Kong, 516
Embassy Minsk, 503
Embassy La Paz, 495
Embassy Djibouti, 494
Embassy Maseru, 494
Embassy Dublin, 493
USEU Brussels, 493
Embassy Damascus, 490
Embassy Manama, 478
Embassy Paramaribo, 476
Embassy Canberra, 470
Embassy Sofia, 466
Embassy Kuala Lumpur, 462
Embassy Panama, 457
Embassy Brussels, 447
Embassy Vilnius, 443
Embassy Conakry, 442
Embassy Rangoon, 441
Embassy Dar Es Salaam, 437
Embassy Tallinn, 427
Embassy Lisbon, 415
Embassy Dakar, 413
Embassy Tbilisi, 413
Embassy Tashkent, 408
Embassy Singapore, 405
Embassy London, 401
Embassy Tunis, 397
Embassy Niamey, 389
Embassy Beirut, 388
Embassy Nicosia, 388
Consulate Istanbul, 385
Embassy Ljubljana, 380
Embassy Kyiv, 375
Embassy Warsaw, 374
Embassy Antananarivo, 372
Embassy Bucharest, 368
Embassy Stockholm, 366
Embassy Kigali, 353
Embassy Riyadh, 353
Consulate Kolkata, 351
Embassy Helsinki, 349
US Office Almaty, 347
Embassy Caracas, 344
Embassy Ulaanbaatar, 333
Embassy Oslo, 331
Embassy Baku, 329
Embassy Bishkek, 329
Embassy Pristina, 327
Embassy Riga, 314
Embassy Skopje, 311
Embassy Port Of Spain, 307
Consulate Shanghai, 302
US Mission Geneva, 302
Embassy Vatican, 297
Embassy Cotonou, 294
Embassy Tirana, 294
Consulate Chennai, 286
Embassy Budapest, 283
Embassy Georgetown, 281
Embassy Kampala, 270
Consulate Frankfurt, 268
UNVIE, 268
Embassy Montevideo, 263
Embassy Sarajevo, 249
Embassy Freetown, 248
Embassy Monrovia, 238
Embassy Dili, 232
Embassy Abidjan, 223
Embassy Algiers, 220
Embassy Doha, 214
Embassy Chisinau, 212
Embassy Nassau, 208
Embassy Reykjavik, 201
Embassy Luanda, 193
Embassy Yaounde, 193
Embassy Belmopan, 189
Mission USOSCE, 189
Embassy Gaborone, 182
Embassy Lusaka, 178
Consulate Mumbai, 175
Embassy Bamako, 173
Mission USNATO, 168
Consulate Surabaya, 167
Embassy Podgorica, 164
Consulate Casablanca, 162
Consulate Chiang Mai, 158
Embassy Vientiane, 156
Embassy Copenhagen, 152
Embassy Tripoli, 152
Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan, 148
Consulate Halifax, 136
Consulate Toronto, 132
Embassy Grenada, 119
Embassy Port Louis, 118
Embassy Bujumbura, 115
Consulate Chengdu, 114
Embassy Asmara, 114
Consulate Rio De Janeiro, 111
Embassy Suva, 108
Consulate Monterrey, 106
Embassy Bern, 105
Embassy Ouagadougou, 104
Consulate Vladivostok, 100
Embassy Bangui, 100
Embassy Nouakchott, 97
Embassy Lome, 94
Embassy Windhoek, 92
Embassy Luxembourg, 89
Embassy Libreville, 87
Consulate Munich, 85
US Interests Section Havana, 81
Consulate Nogales, 78
Mission Geneva, 78
Embassy Banjul, 75
Embassy Mbabane, 75
Consulate Dusseldorf, 73
Mission UNESCO, 73
Consulate Thessaloniki, 72
REO Hillah, 68
Consulate Dubai, 67
Embassy Brazzaville, 67
Consulate Cape Town, 66
Consulate Jeddah, 66
Consulate Montreal, 65
Embassy Valletta, 58
UN Rome, 55
Embassy Kolonia, 54
REO Basrah, 51
Consulate Melbourne, 49
Consulate St Petersburg, 47
Consulate Durban, 45
Consulate Hamburg, 44
Embassy Praia, 43
Consulate Lahore, 39
Consulate Vancouver, 38
Consulate Johannesburg, 37
Consulate Osaka Kobe, 37
Consulate Karachi, 34
Consulate Yekaterinburg, 34
Consulate Quebec, 33
Consulate Guadalajara, 30
Consulate Barcelona, 29
Consulate Hamilton, 27
Embassy Port Moresby, 27
Iran RPO Dubai, 25
Consulate Tijuana, 23
Consulate Shenyang, 20
Consulate Hermosillo, 19
Consulate Milan, 19
REO Kirkuk, 19
Consulate Amsterdam, 18
Consulate Guayaquil, 18
Consulate Curacao, 16
US Delegation, 15
Consulate Auckland, 14
Consulate Calgary, 14
Consulate Naha, 14
Embassy Malabo, 13
Consulate Fukuoka, 12
Consulate Recife, 12
Consulate Naples, 11
American Consulate Hyderabad, 10
Consulate Ciudad Juarez, 10
Embassy Apia, 9
Consulate Florence, 8
Consulate Leipzig, 8
Consulate Matamoros, 7
Consulate Perth, 7
Consulate Sydney, 7
Embassy Koror, 7
Embassy Majuro, 7
Consulate Strasbourg, 6
Consulate Dhahran, 5
Consulate Nuevo Laredo, 5
Consulate Peshawar, 5
Embassy Tehran, 5
Consulate Izmir, 4
Consulate Kaduna, 4
Consulate Marseille,4
Consulate Nagoya, 4
Consulate Sapporo, 4
US Delegation FEST TWO, 4
Consulate Merida, 3
US Mission CD Geneva, 3
Consulate Krakow, 2
REO Mosul, 2
Consulate Alexandria, 1
Consulate Belfast, 1
Consulate Ponta Delgada, 1
Department of State, 1
Embassy Mogadishu, 1
Embasy Bonn, 1
Total, 133,887


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