WikiLeaks US Diplomatic 'Storm' Contains Info on Bulgaria

Politics » DIPLOMACY | November 29, 2010, Monday // 09:22
WikiLeaks US Diplomatic 'Storm' Contains Info on Bulgaria: WikiLeaks US Diplomatic 'Storm' Contains Info on Bulgaria Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrives to speak about his organization and the United States at a November 4 press conference at the Geneva press club. Photo by BGNES

WikiLeaks, the organization devoted to revealing secret documents has posted cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, some involving Bulgaria.

The cables provide a first-time inside look at back-room bargaining by US embassies around the world, harsh and blunt opinions on foreign leaders, and forthright assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

WikiLeaks, who refuse to reveal their sources, have send the documents to the US newspaper "New York Times," the UK "Guardian," the French "Le Monde," the Spanish "El Pais," and the German magazine "Spiegel."

The cables were published despite strong opposition from the US, insisting these documents were obtained illegally and must be returned.

Top American diplomats, including Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, spent the weekend trying to get in touch with different foreign governments and leaders in an attempt to prevent a looming political scandal.

The cables tell the tale of regular communication between the US State Department and embassies in about 270 countries, many simply routine, but others containing "embarrassing" details and comments. Most date from 2005 - 2010, i.e. they involve also the Administration of current President, Barack Obama.

From the documents it becomes clear the US Embassy in Bulgaria has been requested to provide information about corruption at the high-echelons of power, including sources of financing of political parties and election candidates, and the cabinet's plans to secure transparency of the cash flow. The Embassy has been asked to also monitor the rule of the country, law enforcement, corruption and organized crime, political development and democratic progress, energy security and international relations, financial stability, economic growth, money laundering, human rights violations, especially towards minorities, and police activities.

Collected information also involved biographical data about Bulgarians, who attracted the interest of American authorities and a special interest in ties between Bulgaria and Russia and related energy dependency.

In a cable, dated June 2009, Washington has asked the Embassy in Sofia to provide details on personal relations between Bulgarian leaders and Russian officials and businessmen.

The cable also includes a request for a report on governmental corruption and ties of politicians with organized crime, human and drug trafficking, computer crimes, including child pornography, and credit card fraud, among others.

More on the WikiLeaks scandal read HERE (New York Times) and HERE (Guardian).

The full text of the diplomatic cable from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the US Embassy in Sofia released on the WikiLeaks website is available HERE

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Tags: Hilary Clinton, US Embassy, diplomatic scandal, Wikileaks, US Embassy in Bulgaria
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