8 Revealing Wikileaks Cables Highlight Disturbing U.S. Foreign Interference
1. WikiLeaks Honduras: State Dept. Busted on Support of Coup by Robert Naiman
“By July 24, 2009, the U.S. government was totally clear about the basic facts of what took place in Honduras on June 28, 2009. The U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa sent a cable to Washington with subject: “Open and Shut: The Case of the Honduran Coup,” asserting that “there is no doubt” that the events of June 28 “constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup.” The Embassy listed arguments being made by supporters of the coup to claim its legality, and dismissed them thus: “none… has any substantive validity under the Honduran constitution.” The Honduran military clearly had no legal authority to remove President Zelaya from office or from Honduras, the Embassy said, and their action — the Embassy described it as an “abduction” and “kidnapping” — was clearly unconstitutional.
…Instead, a month after this cable was sent, the State Department, in its public pronouncements, pretended that the events of June 28 — in particular, “who did what to whom” and the constitutionality of these actions — were murky and needed further study by State Department lawyers, despite the fact that the State Department’s top lawyer, Harold Koh, knew exactly “who did what to whom” and that these actions were unconstitutional at least one month earlier.”
2. WikiLeaks’ lesson on Haiti: What the US embassy cables reveal about Washington’s malign influence should make Latin American nations quit the UN force by Mark Weisbrot
“This logic is why they got rid of Aristide – who was much to the left of Preval – and won’t let him back in the country. This is why Washington funded the recent “elections” that excluded Haiti’s largest political party, the equivalent of shutting out the Democrats and Republicans in the United States. And this is why Minustah is still occupying the country, more than six years after the coup, without any apparent mission other than replacing the hated Haitian army – which Aristide had abolished – as a repressive force.
People who do not understand US foreign policy think that control over Haiti does not matter to Washington, because it is so poor and has no strategic minerals or resources. But that is not how Washington operates, as the WikiLeaks cables repeatedly illustrate. For the state department and its allies, it is all a ruthless chess game, and every pawn matters. Left governments will be removed or prevented from taking power where it is possible to do so; and the poorest countries – like Honduras last year – present the most opportune targets. A democratically elected government in Haiti, due to its history and the consciousness of the population, will inevitably be a left government – and one that will not line up with Washington’s foreign policy priorities for the region. Thus, democracy is not allowed.”
3. The (Not So) Secret (Anymore) US War in Pakistan by Jeremy Scahill
“Despite sustained denials by US officials spanning more than a year, US military Special Operations Forces have been conducting offensive operations inside Pakistan, helping direct US drone strikes and conducting joint operations with Pakistani forces against Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in north and south Waziristan and elsewhere in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, according to secret cables released as part of the Wikileaks document dump. According to an October 9, 2009 cable classified by Anne Patterson, the US ambassador to Pakistan, the operations were “almost certainly [conducted] with the personal consent of [Pakistan’s] Chief of Army Staff General Kayani.” The operations were coordinated with the US Office of the Defense Representative in Pakistan. A US special operations source told The Nation that the US forces described in the cable as “SOC(FWD)-PAK” were “forward operating troops” from the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the most elite force within the US military made up of Navy SEALs, Delta Force and Army Rangers.”
4. Wikileaks: Documents Confirm US Plans Against Venezuela by Eva Golinger
‘Since Hugo Chavez won the presidency for the first time in 1998, Washington has engaged in numerous efforts to overthrow him, including a failed coup d’etat in April 2002, an oil industry strike that same year, worldwide media campaigns and varios electoral interventions. The State Department has also used its funding agencies, USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), to channel millions of dollars annually to anti-Chavez NGOs, political parties, journalists and media organizations in Venezuela, who have been working to undermine the Chavez administration and force him from power.
When these interventionist policies have been denounced by the Chavez government and others, Washington has repeatedly denied any efforts to isolate or act against the Venezuelan head of state.
Nonetheless, the State Department cables published by Wikileaks clearly evidence that not only has Washington been actively funding anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela, but it also has engaged in serious efforts during the past few years to convince governments worldwide to assume an adversarial position against President Hugo Chavez.”
5. Wikileaks: Israelis ‘Intend to Keep the Gazan Economy on the Brink of Collapse’ by Juan Cole
“The Norwegian newspaper Aftenpost has released a March, 2008, US embassy cable describing the Israeli blockade and siege of Occupied Gaza as an attempt to reduce the society to the lowest possible level of functioning without provoking a “humanitarian crisis” (presumably mass starvation)…
It seems to me the Israeli right-wingers missed their mark, since 55% of Palestinians in Gaza are food-insecure and 10% of children show signs of stunting from malnutrition. I’d call that a humanitarian crisis. What the despicable Israeli officials meant by their phrase, of course, is that a mass die-off should be avoided that would bring to bear world pressure to abandon this criminal policy. The Israeli blockade of Gaza is illegal in international law and violates explicit United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
(Full cable included in article)
6. Contrary to public statements, Obama admin fueled conflict in Yemen by Justin Elliott
“The Obama administration supplied emergency arms shipments to Saudi Arabia to aid the Saudis’ attacks on a Northern Yemeni rebel group late last year, according to a cable released by WikiLeaks — a revelation that is directly at odds with a public statement at the time by the top State Department spokesman, who flatly insisted that the U.S. had no military role in the conflict.”
7. The Madrid Cables by Scott Horton
“Attention has focused on three separate matters, each pending in the Spanish national security court, the Audiencia Nacional: the investigation into the 2003 death of a Spanish cameraman, José Cuoso, as a result of the mistaken shelling of Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel by a U.S. tank; an investigation into the torture of Spanish subjects held at Guantánamo; and a probe into the use of Spanish bases and airfields for extraordinary renditions flights, including the one which took Khaled El-Masri to Baghdad and then on to Afghanistan in 2003.
These cables reveal a large-scale, closely coordinated effort by the State Department to obstruct these criminal investigations. High-ranking U.S. visitors such as former Republican Party Chair Mel Martinez, Senator Judd Gregg, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were corralled into this effort, warning Spanish political leaders that the criminal investigations would “be misunderstood” and would harm bilateral relations. The U.S. diplomats also sought out and communicated directly with judges and prosecutors, attempting to steer the cases into the hands of judges of their choosing. The cables also reflect an absolutely extraordinary rapport between the Madrid embassy and Spanish prosecutors, who repeatedly appear to be doing the embassy’s bidding.”
8. Pirates’ Catch Exposed Route of Arms in Sudan by Jeffery Gettleman and Michael R. Gordon
“But it turns out the pirates were telling the truth — and the Kenyans and Ukrainians were not, at least publicly. According to several secret State Department cables made public by WikiLeaks, the tanks not only were headed to southern Sudan, but they were the latest installment of several underground arms shipments…
Bush administration officials knew of the earlier weapons transactions and chose not to shut them down, an official from southern Sudan asserted in an interview, and the cables acknowledge the Kenyan officials’ assertions that they had kept American officials informed about the deal.”