The hand of U.S. officials in Haitian politics from 2004 to 2006.
The United States is anxious about China's growing influence in Cambodia.
U.S. officials worried that Norway was unprepared for a terrorist attack.
Lithuania's wayward press.
Is Prince Andrew the latest WikiLeaks casualty?
Fourteen people are arrested for a cyberattack on PayPal in solidarity with WikiLeaks.
How two LulzSec hackers got caught.
Julian Assange lawyer Mark Stephens may have been a target of News of the World's phone hacking.
Slavoj Zizek: Julian Assange "is like the boy who tells us the emperor is naked."
The U.S. Library of Congress no longer classifies WikiLeaks as an "extremist" website.
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The U.S. government, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil joined forces to kill a Venezuelan oil deal in Haiti.
The frightening state of the developing world's nuclear energy programs.
China told U.S. officials it wasn't selling nuclear reactors to Pakistan, then did it anyway.
The British government worried that Russian gas behemoth Gazprom was being run by spies.
Julian Assange says WikiLeaks "played a significant role" in the Arab Spring, but that "there are no official allegations in the public domain" of anyone being hurt by the site's document dumps.
President Barack Obama nominates a replacement for the WikiLeaks-deposed U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the U.S. government to officially release WikiLeaked cables about the war on terror.
Al Jazeera's WikiLeaks-inspired document-sharing site isn't much safer than the Wall Street Journal's.
The Swedish Bar Association chastises Assange's lawyer.
Of course you want to know what Jesse Ventura thinks about WikiLeaks.
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U.S. diplomats in 2008 called the Libyan city where protests erupted this week "a locus of extremist activity" not really under the control of Muammar Qaddafi's government.
What U.S. diplomats have to say about Xi Jinping, China's next leader.
NATO on Russia's military: Meh.
Inside the United States' cozy relationship with Bahrain.
Bahrain's king told U.S. officials that his country's opposition was trained by Hezbollah.
The U.S. government's WikiLeaks probe makes its courtroom debut in the United States.
The preposterously complex hacking and counter-hacking saga engulfing WikiLeaks' online allies.
Australia wants to make sure Julian Assange is treated justly in Sweden.
Anonymous is now going after Iran.
THE BIG PICTURE
Free speech advocate and celebrity attorney Alan Dershowitz, now Julian Assange's lawyer, tells FP why WikiLeaks is "the Pentagon Papers case for the 21st Century."
WikiLeaks' Asia cables could be a whole lot worse.
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir allegedly has $9 billion in oil money stashed in Britain.
American diplomats at the United Nations don't like to talk much about human rights anymore.
Joking about Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, or even above Venezuela, is ill-advised.
How Brazil got pharmaceutical companies to hand over cheap HIV/AIDS drugs.
WikiLeaks is banned there.
The Red Cross reported extensive torture of Kashmiris at Indian detention centers in Kashmir to the U.S. embassy in New Delhi in 2005.
Singapore's government owes an apology to basically every major country in Asia.
The Dalai Lama says fighting climate change is more important for Tibet than political independence.
The heir to the Gandhi family political dynasty thinks Hindu extremists are a bigger threat to India than Muslim ones.
Turkmen strongman Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov doesn't like people who are smarter than him.
Eric Clapton's weirdly persistent influence on North Korean politics.
Silvio Berlusconi for the win?
The German government is still not digging L. Ron Hubbard.
The Stockholm embassy discusses Sweden's WikiLeaks-enabling Pirate Party in a particularly meta cable.
The Azeri first lady's plastic surgery creates confusion among U.S. diplomats in Baku.
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko is "bizarre" and "disturbed."
Do Arab leaders actually care about the Palestinians?
Hosni Mubarak thinks his son is a perfectionist.
Is the Egyptian military in "intellectual and social decline"?
The Arab League doesn't like Steven Spielberg.
Julian Assange is released on bail after a media-circus-attracting hearing, but not before Michael Moore manages to get involved. Now that he's out of jail, Assange is pretty chatty -- as is Vaughan Smith, the journalist and WikiLeaks supporter who's hosting him until his next court date.
Things are not going nearly so well for alleged Assange document source Bradley Manning.
Someone posts a manifesto on behalf of Anonymous, the ad-hoc group of hackers that has cyber-attacked an array of targets in solidarity with WikiLeaks over the past two weeks. The manifesto quotes KISS bassist Gene Simmons. A Greek web designer is arrested for it.
A lot of people think Assange should have been Time's 2010 person of the year. Richard Stengel, the magazine's managing editor, isn't one of them.
Would Henry David Thoreau join Anonymous?
Congress considers WikiLeaks.
Mark Prendergast, ombudsman for the U.S. military's official Stars and Stripes newspaper, argues that military personnel should be allowed to read the cables.
If WikiLeaks doesn't get things rolling a little faster, we'll be writing this blog for another 7.6 years.
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In May 2007, Estonia became the world's first victim of a coordinated cyber-attack against a nation state, following a dispute with Russia over the relocation of a Soviet-era war memorial. While the Russian government's involvement in the attacks could never be proved, the Estonian government told the U.S. they believed the Kremlin's hands were all over it, according to a cable from June 6, 2007:
9. (S) The GOE believes it has enough circumstantial evidence to link Moscow with the attacks. As President Ilves told the Ambassador, renting the large number of bots used in these attacks is an expensive business. Moreover, as XXXXXXXXXXXX repeatedly asked us in conversations, "Who benefits from these attacks?" He speculated that the probing nature of the attacks on specific government and strategic private sector targets through the use of anonymous proxies fit the modus operandi of the Putin regime testing a new "weapon." XXXXXXXXXXXXX told us that the GOE now feels that their original assessment of a "cyber riot" may have been incorrect. "Looking at the patterns of the attacks, it is clear that there was a small, core of individuals who intended to launch their attack on May 9," XXXXXXXXXXXX explained, "but when the MOD announced its plans to move the Bronze Soldier on April 27, they moved up their plans to try to link the attacks with the monument's removal." Estonian analysis of these later sophisticated attacks and organization through Russian-language internet forums has led them to believe that the key individuals tried to disguise their initial attacks as a cyber riot. "You don't expect spontaneous, populist cyber attacks to have a pre-determined list of targets and precise dates and times for coordinated attacks," said XXXXXXXXXXX.
11. (S) On May 29, Konstantin Koloskokov, Commissar of the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi in Transnistria, claimed responsibility for some of the early cyber attacks. While not discounting the possibility of his involvement, XXXXXXXXXXXX noted that some of the attacks were extremely sophisticated; beyond the technical abilities of an amateur. To illustrate the point, XXXXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXXXX described an attack that used a mysterious data packet to crash a GOE and Elion router so quickly that the Estonians are still uncertain how it was done. XXXXXXXXXXXX described in detail a number of additional attacks using different tools and techniques and targets to argue that an organized group with deep financial backing was the likeliest culprit. "Koloskokov is window dressing," said XXXXXXXXXXXX, "a convenient set-up by the real perpetrators."
Apart from the BP oil spill last spring, no global energy story has eclipsed the perennial Ukraine-Russia natural gas spat in terms of global attention, drama, nasty accusations, and pure impact -- the relegation of a dozen European countries into the dark and cold. But there has also been mystery, as in, Why does this keep happening? Russia's Vladimir Putin told us it was all a very simple matter of unpaid gas bills, but experts pointed to the role of personal gain and a little-known intermediary company called Rosukrenergo. This company, putatively controlled by a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmitry Firtash, had somehow positioned itself smack in the middle of the natural gas deal, and appeared to be earning some $4 billion a year for the privilege. But what was Rosurkenergo, and who was Dmitry Firtash to get such a deal? Politicians linked them to an alleged organized crime boss, and suspicious experts and journalists resorted to phrases like "shady" and "secretive" to describe this apparent sweetheart deal.
So it was that William Taylor, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, was surprised when, uninvited, Firtash elected to walk into the mission on Dec. 8, 2008, and explained himself, according to a cable filed two days later by Taylor and released by WikiLeaks. Provided this incredible opportunity, Taylor came right out with the main question on everyone's mind: What was his relationship with Semyon Mogilevich, an alleged Russian mob boss wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and now under arrest in Russia?
As the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal report, the answer to the question provides fascinating firsthand insight into the way business is really done in Ukraine and the region as a whole. In a nutshell, Mogilevich had indeed given his blessing to Firtash's foray into Ukrainian business, but that did not mean they were business partners, Firtash said. Instead, he went on, he was simply observing "the law of the streets." From the cable:
Firtash answered that many Westerners do not understand what Ukraine was like after the break up of the Soviet Union, adding that when a government cannot rule effectively, the country is ruled by ‘the laws of the streets.' He noted that it was impossible to approach a government official for any reason without also meeting with an organized crime member at the same time. Firtash acknowledged that he needed, and received, permission from Mogilevich when he established various businesses, but he denied any close relationship to him.
Firtash's bottom line was that he did not deny having links to those associated with organized crime. Instead, he argued that he was forced into dealing with organized crime members including Mogilevich or he would never have been able to build a business. If he needed a permit from the government, for example, he would invariably need permission from the appropriate ‘businessman' who worked with the government official who issued that particular permit. He also claimed that although he knows several businessmen who are linked to organized crime, including members of the Solntsevo Brotherhood, he was not implicated in their alleged illegal dealings. He maintained that the era of the ‘law of the street' had passed and businesses could now be run legitimately in Ukraine.
Firtash was just warming up. He stayed in Taylor's office for two and a half hours. Much of the time, he was pouring scorn on Yulia Timoshenko, the former Ukrainian prime minister. But he also seemed intent on polishing up his own image.