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WikiLeaks Says It’s Leaking Over 500,000 Saudi Documents

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WikiLeaks is in the process of publishing more than 500,000 Saudi diplomatic documents to the Internet, the transparency website said Friday, a move that echoes its famous release of U.S. State Department cables in 2010.

WikiLeaks said in a statement that it has already posted roughly 60,000 files. Most of them appear to be in Arabic.

There was no immediate way to verify the authenticity of the documents, although WikiLeaks has a long track record of hosting large-scale leaks of government material. Many of the documents carried green letterhead marked “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” or “Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” Some were marked “urgent” or “classified.” At least one appeared to be from the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

If genuine, the documents would offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the notoriously opaque kingdom. They might also shed light on Riyadh’s longstanding regional rivalry with Iran, its support for Syrian rebels and Egypt’s military-backed government, and its opposition to an emerging international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.

One of the documents, dated to 2012, appears to highlight Saudi Arabia’s well-known skepticism about the Iranian nuclear talks. A message from the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran to the Foreign Ministry in Riyadh describes “flirting American messages” being carried to Iran via an unnamed Turkish mediator.

Another 2012 missive, this time sent from the Saudi Embassy in Abu Dhabi, said the United Arab Emirates was putting “heavy pressure” on the Egyptian government not to try former president Hosni Mubarak, who had been overthrown in a popular uprising the year before.

Some of the concerns appear specific to Saudi Arabia.

In an Aug. 14, 2008 message marked “classified and very urgent,” the Foreign Ministry wrote to the Saudi Embassy in Washington to warn that dozens of students from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries had visited the Israeli Embassy in the U.S. capital as part of an international leadership program.

“They listened to diplomats’ briefings from the embassy employees, they asked questions and then they took pictures,” the message said, asking the embassy for a speedy update on the situation.

Another eye-catching item was a document addressed to the interior and justice ministers notifying them that a son of Osama bin Laden had obtained a certificate from the American Embassy in Riyadh “showing (the) death of his father.”

Many more of the dozens of documents examined by The Associated Press appeared to be the product of mundane administrative work, such as emails about setting up a website or operating an office fax machine.

The AP was able to partially verify a handful of documents’ authenticity by calling the telephone numbers included in many of them. WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told AP he was confident that the material was genuine.

It is not clear how WikiLeaks got the documents, although in its statement the website referred to a recent electronic attack on the Saudi Foreign Ministry by a group calling itself the Yemen Cyber Army. Hrafnsson declined to elaborate on the statement or say whether the hackers subsequently passed documents on to WikiLeaks.

“As a matter of policy we’re not going to discuss the source of the material,” he said.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not immediately return repeated messages seeking comment.

In its statement, WikiLeaks said the release coincided with the three-year anniversary of its founder, Julian Assange, seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about alleged sex crimes. Assange has denied any wrongdoing.

Associated Press

25 Comments on "WikiLeaks Says It’s Leaking Over 500,000 Saudi Documents"

  1. joe on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 10:50 am 

    Now guys don’t be hoping for a peak oil smoking gun. They are unlikely to address the most important thing in their nation in diplomatic letters. Oil is their state secret, their secret sauce.

  2. penury on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 11:50 am 

    If anyone is interested in reading these for entertainment OK. Anyone who reads them for gathering intel, good luck.

  3. Nony on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 12:36 pm 

    It’s 8 years after Stuart Staniford made his ominous posts about “nose dive toward the desert”, about the 8% decline in 2006, about Ghawar watering out. And they have done just fine for the last 8 years. And are pumping at 10+ MM bpd right now.

  4. GregT on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 1:08 pm 

    The more straws you stick in the glass, the faster the drink will run out Nony.

  5. Nony on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 2:08 pm 

    Stuart Staniford said they were already struggling, back in 2007. He was wrong.

  6. Apneaman on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 2:14 pm 

    Stuart Staniford. You can’t stop talking about the guy marm-noon – why don’t you just go suck his cock and get it over with?

  7. GregT on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 2:20 pm 

    80% of what is left needs to stay in the ground Nony, if you don’t want to experience a living hell in your lifetime. Your future is going to be ugly enough already, without adding even more CO2 into the environment.

  8. Nony on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 3:04 pm 

    You’re actually not a peaker,
    Greg. You’re an environmentalist. I can respect that.

  9. GregT on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 3:17 pm 

    We’ve already passed peak affordable oil Nony, not only economically, but environmentally.

    All we are doing by going after what remains, is robbing ourselves of our own futures.

    Both economically, and environmentally.

  10. davy on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 3:30 pm 

    NOo, let me translate Greg’s comment. NOo we are cooked economically and running on empty with oil.

  11. davy on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 3:31 pm 

    And fried environmentally

  12. Makati1 on Sat, 20th Jun 2015 11:42 pm 

    Past history. The Saudis are now reaping some of the results of their meddling as ISIS moves into their country. The US is moving back into their ~505 bases in Iraq, and still donating billions in weapons to the ISIS group thru the Iraqi faux army and other ‘mistakes’. According to some sources, they already have thousands of US made, armored, Hum-Vs that were left behind the last time. You remember, when we turned tail and left Iraq like we left Vietnam … tails between our legs? But it’s good for the Military Industrial Complex and Wall Street (1%). Screw the taxpaying, savings losing, future losing, sheeple.

    And the war drum beat goes on…

  13. Beery on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 4:07 am 

    “Stuart Staniford said they were already struggling, back in 2007. He was wrong.”

    Either that, or you don’t understand how big Ghawar is.

  14. Boat on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 4:14 am 

    The US didn’t turn tail in defeat in Iraq. The US people elected a leader who promised an exit from Iraq. Then that leader fulfilled his campaign promise.

  15. Davy on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 6:56 am 

    No Boat we didn’t turn tail. We won most of the battles but we should never of gone into Iraq. That fateful move destroyed lots of resources and global goodwill for the selfish neocon agenda of world domination. Wrong is wrong Boat get a grip man.

  16. Makati1 on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 7:37 am 

    We won nothing in Iraq, or Afghanistan or any other ‘war’ since WW2. You cannot claim victory if you are forced out by the real winners. The American’s are so brainwashed, they have no touch with reality.

  17. ghung on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 7:52 am 

    Mak: “We won nothing in Iraq, or Afghanistan or any other ‘war’ since WW2.”

    We? Who? The Filipinos?

  18. Makati1 on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 8:20 am 

    ghung: The Americans, of course. Filipinos don’t go to war unless invaded … by Spain, the US and then Japan.

  19. Makati1 on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 8:27 am 

    Boat, if you actually believe that your vote elected the sock puppet in chief, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale cheap. The billionaire elite chose the two ‘contestants’ that they already own and then they tell the ‘winner’ what he is going to do for the next 4 years. It helps if they are not too smart … i.e. Bush Jr and O. Ditto for the voters.

  20. ghung on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 9:10 am 

    Gosh, Mak, seems you need to take the “EX” in EX-patriot more seriously, or admit that you’re as guilty as the rest of us; ‘WE’evil scumbag Americans.

  21. Jimmy on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 10:41 am 

    If flying half way around the planet to fight the poorest people on the planet makes ‘merikans feel tough then you guys are pretty pathetic. Got your asses kicked too. What a joke. You guys should try fighting a real army for a change.

  22. Makati1 on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 8:07 pm 

    ghung, actually, I am not as guilty. I don’t bother to play their game and haven’t for 30 years. I arranged my affairs so I have as little to do with the US as possible. I spend less than $500 per year on US exports and buy Asian/Australian/European as much as possible. I pay zero taxes to the US, since 2008. I do not have to enroll in Obamicare. Nor do I use Medicare. I do take my SS payment as they still owe me for what I paid in. I consider it a savings withdrawal. That too will soon be history.

  23. Makati1 on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 8:10 pm 

    Jimmy, Americans will never take on an equal. They know they would get their asses kicked. The Vietnamese taught them that even a 3rd world country can do so. They have not won a real battle since WW2 and then they would have lost if the Russians had not beat the Nazis on the Eastern Front. But Americans don’t hear the real war stories, just propaganda.

  24. Davy on Sun, 21st Jun 2015 8:32 pm 

    Come on Makster the US doesn’t owe you anything but a boot in your ass for being an unfortunate U.S. progeny. I often wonder what you are going to do when the SS check stops coming. It’s funny how you want the US to have a crash but that crash will be your crash. I imagine you will have to leave your 10th floor slum hole apartment. That is going to be an eye opener when you are living on the street with millions of other hungry Filipinos.

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