Wikileaks State Cables: Quick Hits By Nate Jones

29 November, 2010 — Unredacted

The five news organizations that Wikikeaks provided the documents to under embargo did a good job synthesizing and reporting the 251,287 cables leaked by someone with access to that information. That said, document hounds (including historians, IR/polisci people, and concerned citizens) know that to really understand the contents and significance of the records you need to get your hands dirty–perusing them and reading them with your own eyes.

Here is a guide to reading Department of State documents. Here is a good list of common acronyms found in the documents.

Basically what I’m doing is starting at the highest level (cables to or from the SecState or with high clearances) and reading haphazardly, looking for other cables referenced and sometimes using tags.) As of now, only 243 cables are available on the wikileaks site. [update: 278 have now been released] If you find any good ones, leave them in the comments!! Without further ado:

07STATE152317 North Korea shipped ballistic missile parts to Iran via China.

09PARIS1254 ‘The French observed that some in Russia have concluded their interests are served by keeping the west ‘tied down in an Afghanistan quagmire’ and by sustaining the status quo in Iran.

09BAGHDAD1103 ‘IRGC-QF [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Force] leadership took advantage of the vacuum which surrounded the fall of Saddam Hussein and the entry of Coalition Forces into Iraq in 2003, using the opportunity to send operatives to Iraq when little attention was focused on Iran.’

09STATE47326 Washington intrigued by the government of Iran’s decision ‘to remove anti-American slogans and art from Tehran’s buildings.’

10STATE15856 US is concerned a Turkish firm may be selling US-made grenade launchers to Iran.

10STATE17263 ‘In their [Russia’s] analysis, the missile programs of Iran and the DPRK are not sufficiently developed, and their intentions to use missiles against the U.S. or Russia are nonexistent, thus not constituting a ‘threat’ requiring the deployment of missile defenses.’

09MANAMA642 Soft power? ‘King Hamad asked General Petraeus for his help in encouraging U.S. aircraft manufacturers to participate in the inaugural Bahrain Air Show.’

09STATE119085 In from the cold?


Just a smattering, I’ll add more as I come across them (and so can you!)

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