Editor’s Note: The transparency advocacy organization WikiLeaks has begun publication of hundreds of thousands of electronically stolen cables from the government of Saudi Arabia in cooperation with a Lebanese newspaper. The Justice Integrity Project is reprinting as a guest column the group’s announcement of its plan and purpose. We share concerns, of course, about commentary about stolen documents of as-yet unknown authenticity. A spokesman for the Saudi Foreign Ministry said the leaked cables were related to a recent cyberattack and suggested that some of the documents were “clearly fabricated.”
But relevant also are other factors. These include the heavy influence of Saudi money and oil on U.S. policies, decision-makers, and world peace. One of the world’s most repressive, autocratic and anti-democratic regimes is suspected of instigating and otherwise fostering many crimes, including funding of the 9/11 terrorists and the rampages of Al Qaeda and ISIS. As we here and others have reported in Senators: Expose Financers Of 9/11 Hijackers, only one 2016 presidential candidate and a few elected members of the U.S. Senate and House dare even look at the secret report by Congress in 2002 identifying which country funded the 9/11 terrorists. Even few fewer dare co-sign resolutions in Congress to release those 28 pages to the American public and thereby risk support from the Saudis and their allies on Wall Street, munitions, energy, intelligence, and the media.
Additionally, the Saudi government is now using U.S.-supplied arms and logistical help to perpetrate a one-sided air war and deadly food boycott targeting its neighbor Yemen, thereby inflicting death and disease on such a scale as to pose a threat soon of genocide.
The Saudi war of aggression intruding into a civil war began in March with no basis in international law under Nuremberg precedents and thus constitutes war crime. The devastation (portrayed at right in a typical scene) has generated no effective response from the global community, especially with the total breakdown of UN peace discussions June 19.
Also, the Saudi Royal family has undergone a historic succession following the death of King Abdullah in January and installation of a younger, more militant leadership under King Salman, shown in a file photo.
Moreover, June 21 marks the third anniversary of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s flight to secure political asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London, which was forced by the unjust and oppressive political prosecution of Assange by Swedish and British authorities who are suspected of succumbing to pressure from United States officials who wanted to suppress his organization’s work. Our project broke major stories in 2010 and 2011 showing serious irregularities in Sweden’s claims it was pursuing a non-political investigation of Assange. One example was on the Huffington Post, Rove Suspected In Swedish-U.S. Political Prosecution of WikiLeaks. Assange has never been charged with a crime arising from claims by two women who invited him to sleep with them during an August 2010 speaking trip to Sweden. Assange has refused to leave the embassy to travel to Sweden for fear that its government would repeat its occasional past practice of renditioning prisoners illegally at CIA request. Swedish officials have agreed to question him at Ecuador’s embassy now that the five-year statute of limitations is set to expire on any crimes that might be alleged.
For such reasons, we publish a WikiLeaks summary of documents that go far beyond what the mainstream media is willing or able to share about Saudi leadership.
WikiLeaks publishes the Saudi Cables
On June 19 at 1pm GMT, WikiLeaks began publishing “The Saudi Cables,” more than half a million cables and other documents from the Saudi Foreign Ministry that contain secret communications from various Saudi Embassies around the world.
The publication includes “Top Secret” reports from other Saudi State institutions, including the Ministry of Interior and the Kingdom’s General Intelligence Services. The massive cache of data also contains a large number of email communications between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign entities. The Saudi Cables are being published in tranches of tens of thousands of documents at a time over the coming weeks. WikiLeaks is releasing around 70,000 documents from the trove as the first tranche.
The Saudi Cables provide key insights into the Kingdom’s operations and how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting key individuals and institutions. The cables also illustrate the highly centralized bureaucratic structure of the Kingdom, where even the most minute issues are addressed by the most senior officials.
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher (shown in a file photo), said: “The Saudi Cables lift the lid on a increasingly erratic and secretive dictatorship that has not only celebrated its 100th beheading this year, but which has also become a menace to its neighbours and itself.”
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a hereditary dictatorship bordering the Persian Gulf.
Despite the Kingdom’s infamous human rights record, Saudi Arabia remains a top-tier ally of the United States and the United Kingdom in the Middle East, largely owing to its globally unrivaled oil reserves. The Kingdom frequently tops the list of oil-producing countries, which has given the Kingdom disproportionate influence in international affairs. Each year it pushes billions of petro-dollars into the pockets of UK banks and US arms companies. Last year it became the largest arms importer in the world, eclipsing China, India and the combined countries of Western Europe. The Kingdom has since the 1960s played a major role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and dominates the global Islamic charity market.
For 40 years the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was headed by one man: Saud al Faisal bin Abdulaziz, a member of the Saudi royal family, and the world’s longest-serving foreign minister.
The end of Saud al Faisal’s tenure, which began in 1975, coincided with the royal succession upon the death of King Abdullah in January 2015. Saud al Faisal’s tenure over the Ministry covered its handling of key events and issues in the foreign relations of Saudi Arabia, from the fall of the Shah and the second Oil Crisis to the September 11 attacks and its ongoing proxy war against Iran.