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WikiLeaks | PlusD: Public Library of US Diplomacy | The Kissinger Cables

In News on April 8, 2013 at 1:22 AM

WikiLeaks PlusD

04/08/2013

PlusD: Public Library of US Diplomacy

Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks today announced their latest release, “PlusD”: Public Library of US Diplomacy.

The data published today includes 2 million U.S. diplomatic records from 1973 to 1976, comprising approximately 1 billion words – covering a traffic of cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence on every country in the world.

WikiLeaks described the Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) as “the world’s largest searchable collection of U.S. confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. The single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published.”

Thousands of the documents are marked NODIS (no distribution) or Eyes Only, as well as cables originally classed as secret or confidential.

Julian Assange said WikiLeaks had undertaken a detailed analysis of the communications, adding that the information eclipsed Cablegate.

The collection published today has not been leaked. Assange said WikiLeaks had been working for the past year to analyse and assess a vast amount of data held at the U.S. national archives before releasing it in a searchable form.

Assange said WikiLeaks had developed sophisticated technical systems to deal with ‘complex and voluminous’ data.

Top secret documents were not available, while some others were lost or irreversibly corrupted for periods including December 1975 and March and June 1976, said Assange.

Henry Kissinger was U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Adviser during the period covered by the collection, and many of the reports were written by him or sent to him.

WikiLeaks PlusD Map

THE KISSINGER CABLES

“The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer” ~ Henry A. Kissinger, US Secretary of State, March 10, 1975

The Kissinger Cables comprise more than 1.7 million US diplomatic records for the period 1973 to 1976, including 205,901 records relating to former US Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. Dating from January 1, 1973 to December 31, 1976 they cover a variety of diplomatic traffic including cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence. They include more than 1.3 million full diplomatic cables and 320,000 originally classified records. These include more than 227,000 cables classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and 61,000 cables classified as “SECRET”. Perhaps more importantly, there are more than 12,000 documents with the sensitive handling restriction “NODIS” or ‘no distribution’, and more than 9,000 labelled “Eyes Only”.

At around 700 million words, the Kissinger Cables collection is approximately five times the size of WikiLeaks’ Cablegate. The raw PDF data is more than 380 Gigabytes in size and is the largest WikiLeaks publication to date.

WikiLeaks’ media partners will be reporting throughout the week on their findings. These include significant revelations about US involvements with fascist dictatorships, particularly in Latin America, under Franco’s Spain (including about the Spanish royal family) and in Greece under the regime of the Colonels.

The documents also contain hourly diplomatic reporting on the 1973 war between Israel, Egypt and Syria (the “Yom Kippur war”). While several of these documents have been used by US academic researchers in the past, the Kissinger Cables provides unparalled access to journalists and the general public.

Most of the records were reviewed by the United States Department of State’s systematic 25-year declassification process. At review, the records were assessed and either declassified or kept classified with some or all of the metadata records declassified. Both sets of records were then subject to an additional review by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Once believed to be releasable, they were placed as individual PDFs at the National Archives as part of their Central Foreign Policy Files collection. Despite the review process supposedly assessing documents after 25 years there are no diplomatic records later than 1976. The formal declassification and review process of these extremely valuable historical documents is therefore currently running 12 years late.

The form in which these documents were held at NARA was as 1.7 million individual PDFs. To prepare these documents for integration into the PlusD collection, WikiLeaks obtained and reverse-engineered all 1.7 million PDFs and performed a detailed analysis of individual fields, developed sophisticated technical systems to deal with the complex and voluminous data and corrected a great many errors introduced by NARA, the State Department or its diplomats, for example harmonizing the many different ways in which departments, capitals and people’s names were spelt. All our corrective work is referenced and available from the links in the individual field descriptions on the PlusD text search interface: https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd

RECLASSIFICATION ATTEMPTS THWARTED

The CIA and other agencies have attempted to reclassify or withhold sections of the US National Archives. Detailed minutes of US State Department meetings show that these attempts, which originated under the Bush II administration, have continued on through until at least 2009. A 2006 analysis by the US National Security Archives, an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at George Washington University, found that 55,000 pages had been secretly reclassified.

The censorship of the US National Archives was thrown into stark relief in November last year when the Archive censored all searches for ‘WikiLeaks’ from its records. See: http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2012/11/03/us-national-archives-has-blocked-searches-for-wikileaks/

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ publisher, said: “The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world. Fortunately, an organisation with an unbroken record in resisting censorship attempts now has a copy.”

MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS REPORTING THIS WEEK

  • Australia – Fairfax (Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the Canberra Times and the Australian Fianancial Review)
  • Argentina – Pagina 12
  • Brazil – Publica
  • Bulgaria – Bivol
  • Egypt – Al Masry Al Youm
  • Greece – Ta Nea
  • Guatemala – Plaza Publica
  • Haiti – Haiti Liberte
  • India – The Hindu
  • Italy – L’Espresso
  • Italy – La Repubblica
  • Lebanon – Al Akhbar
  • Mexico – La Jornada
  • Spain – Publico
  • Sweden – Aftonbladet
  • UK – Press Association
  • US – Associated Press
  • US – The Nation

PRESS CONFERENCE

WikiLeaks Special Project K: Concerning the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Central and South East Asia, Europe and the Pacific, with special focus on Israel, Russia, India, Japan, South Africa, France and Francophone Africa.

WHERE

The National Press Club
The Holeman Lounge
529 14th St. NW
13th Floor
Washington, DC
20045

+1 202-662-7500

WHEN

Monday April 8th at 9am (Washington time)

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