WikiLeaks' Latest: 1.7M US Records From 1970s
Julian Assange worked on project from embassy refuge
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2013 6:47 AM CDT
This Aug. 19, 2012 file photo shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange making a statement to the media and supporters at a window of Ecuadorian Embassy in central London.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

(Newser) – Julian Assange hasn't been spending all his time inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London plotting his political career, chilling with Lady Gaga, and costing his celebrity backers money: He's also been at work on what WikiLeaks says is the biggest searchable collection of US diplomatic records in the world. The majority of the more than 1.7 million documents are diplomatic cables dating from 1973 to 1976; 320,000 of the documents were originally classified records. WikiLeaks is calling the collection the Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD), the BBC reports. (Less formal name: "The Kissinger Cables," since more than 205,000 of the records have to do with Henry Kissinger, Mashable notes.)

But WikiLeaks didn't actually leak the documents, which were already viewable at the US national archives; it just decided to offer them in a searchable format. The documents include, among other things, allegations that former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi worked as a middleman in a failed arms deal between a Swedish fighter jet maker and India. Also of interest: A diplomat's "first impressions" of new Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher, who died this morning of a stroke. Thatcher is "crisp and a trifle patronizing" with the media, the diplomat wrote, and "has a quick, if not profound, mind."

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
jerrymac
Apr 8, 2013 5:06 PM CDT
Hey Evann Gastaldo (Newser compiler of this story), You wrote "Thatcher is "crisp and a trifle patronizing" with the media, the diplomat wrote, and "has a quick, if not profound, mind." Why did you feel the need to deliberately include those cherry picked comments of some diplomat's opinion of Baroness Thatcher? You had to combine comments from two paragraphs in the source story from the BBC (shown below) to come up with this comment that casts Baroness Thatcher in a not too flattering light and completely ignores the compliments paid to her by the very same diplomat. It is very easy to see what comments you decided to ignore Here is the first paragraph you cut and pasted: The diplomat wrote that "she has a quick, if not profound, mind, and works hard to master the most complicated brief". And the second: She is "crisp and a trifle patronizing" with the media, but "honest and straight-forward" with her colleagues, "if not excessively considerate of their vanities", the diplomat wrote. Perhaps most telling is the very next paragraph from the source that you completely ignored: "The personification of a British middle class dream come true," she is the "genuine voice of a beleaguered bourgeoise [sic], anxious about its eroding economic power and determined to arrest the society's society's seemingly inexorable trend towards collectivism", the cable said. Your deliberate choice of somewhat demeaning quotes so soon after her death speaks volumes about you, and they are not very favorable.
notmenorme
Apr 8, 2013 4:38 PM CDT
Please help support freedom of the press and freedom of information by sponsoring Julian Assange for the Nobel prize for freedom of the press: Google: Avaaz.org "Julian Assange for Nobel prize "Freedom of the Press"" and vote! PLEASE HELP PROMOTE THIS LINK.If we fail to protect the "Assanges" of the world, we condemn ourselves to tyranny.
Bill Inaz
Apr 8, 2013 7:11 AM CDT
"...have another hit...of fresh air"* *Powers, Valenti...