Once again WikiLeaks airs out a country’s dirty laundry on the internet for everyone to see. This time the target is Saudi Arabia.
The wealthy Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has gone through pains to maintain a positive public image in international media and frequently monitors mentions of Saudi Arabia in the news. however, this latest avalanche of information is not likely to win the Saudis any friends.
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This latest data spill includes over 60,000 documents that are being referred to as “The Saudi Cables.” WikiLeaks claims to have even more, up to a half million. In a press release, Julian Assange said, “The Saudi Cables lift the lid on an 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.”
Here are some of the less-than-neighborly things that the kingdom has done, according to The Saudi Cables:
-In a show of both extreme wealth and international political manipulation, documents show the Saudi government willing to pay $10 billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood for the release of disposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
-There are several discussions about what can be done to destabilize Iran. Among the things suggested are to publicize concerns of Iranian citizens though the internet and social media, hoping for public unrest.
-One document suggests “hosting opposition figures overseas, coordinating with them and encouraging them to use galleries to show pictures of torture carried out by the Iranian regime against the people.”
-Saudi Arabia has been spending thousands of dollars at a time buying subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and radio stations in exchange for favorable Saudi coverage in Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Indonesia and other countries. When an Iranian news station, Al-Alam, refused to be swayed documents say Minister of Foreign Affairs Saud Al Faisal wanted to sabotage their broadcast signal.
Not all of these documents have been verified and it will likely still take some time to comb through the thousands of correspondences in order to do so. For their part, the Saudi government has issued a warning to citizens telling them not to distribute “documents that might be faked.”
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Osama Naqli said that investigations into the leak are underway.
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