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Thread: US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomacy crisis

  1. #16
    Elite Member ana-mish-ana's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    I doubt the leaks so far is the juicy stuff- I think Wikileaks is going to leak the more interesting stuff later. I also wonder what's in the encrypted insurance file they released earlier last month. I think that has the humdinger info instead of this.

  2. #17
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    fellow traveller


    Diplomats as spies: As part of an intelligence gathering effort, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009 ordered diplomats overseas and at the U.N. to collect personal information on foreign officials including credit card and frequent flier numbers and biometric information. Read that cable here, and the New York Times' writeup here. While this may not be shocking to foreign policy wonks, it is certainly embarrassing for the United States and calls into question how much -- and how frequently -- the role of diplomat and spy has been blurred.
    is anyone really surprised by this? i'm obviously not surprised at all since this is my line of work - though i can't say i've ever really been asked to spy or anything sexy like that. i'm way too junior and i work for the wrong country for that. but i've seen enough to know how often this stuff goes on. and even in my non-sexy diplo capacity, there's the stuff i report officially and then there's all the non-official, under-the-table info you submit through other channels.

    for lulz, here's the entire gaddafi cable. it's hilarious.

    S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 TRIPOLI 000771



    E.O. 12958: DECL: 9/29/2019

    CLASSIFIED BY: Gene A. Cretz, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy Tripoli,
    Department of State.
    REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

    1. (S/NF) Summary: Recent first-hand experiences with Libyan
    Leader Muammar al-Qadhafi and his staff, primarily in
    preparation for his UNGA trip, provided rare insights into
    Qadhafi’s inner circle and personal proclivities. Qadhafi
    appears to rely heavily XXXXXXXXXXXXX reportedly cannot travel with his senior Ukrainian nurse, Galyna
    Kolotnytska. He also appears to have an intense dislike or fear
    of staying on upper floors, reportedly prefers not to fly over
    water, and seems to enjoy horse racing and flamenco dancing.
    His recent travel may also suggest a diminished dependence on
    his legendary female guard force, as only one woman bodyguard
    accompanied him to New York. End Summary.


    2. (S/NF) Muammar al-Qadhafi has been described as both
    mercurial and eccentric, and our recent first-hand experiences
    with him and his office, primarily in preparation for his UNGA
    trip, demonstrated the truth of both characterizations. From
    the moment Qadhafi’s staff began to prepare for his travel to
    the United States, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX of
    his 40-year rule, various proclivities and phobias began to
    reveal themselves in every logistical detail. When applying for
    Qadhafi’s visa, XXXXXXX asked whether it was necessary
    for the Leader to submit a portrait of himself that fit consular
    application regulations, noting that his photo was displayed
    throughout the city and that anyone of hundreds of billboards
    could be photographed and shrunken to fit the application’s
    criteria. When the rule was enforced, XXXXXXXXX
    reluctantly conceded to take a portrait of the Leader
    specifically for the visa application.

    3. (S/NF) When XXXXXXX began to search for proper
    accommodations for Qadhafi, XXXXXXXX informed us that the Leader
    must stay on the first floor of any facility that was rented for
    him. (XXXXXXXXXX separately told U.S. officials in Washington that
    Qadhafi could not climb more than 35 steps.) XXXXXXXX cited this
    requirement as the primary reason that the Libyan residence in
    New Jersey was selected as the preferred accommodation site
    rather than the Libyan PermRep’s residence in New York City. XXXXXX also sought to find accommodations with room to pitch
    Qadhafi’s Bedouin tent, Qadhafi’s traditional site for receiving
    visitors and conducting meetings, as it offers him a non-verbal
    way of communicating that he is a man close to his cultural

    4. (S/NF) Qadhafi’s dislike of long flights and apparent fear of
    flying over water also caused logistical headaches for his
    staff. When discussing flight clearances with Emboffs,XXXXXXX
    explained that the Libyan delegation would arrive from Portugal,
    as Qadhafi “cannot fly more than eight hours” and would need to
    overnight in Europe prior to continuing his journey to New York. XXXXXXXX also revealed in the same conversation that Qadhafi
    does not like to fly over water. Presumably for similar
    reasons, Qadhafi’s staff also requested a stop in Newfoundland
    to break his travel from Venezuela to Libya on September 29.
    [Note: The Government of Canada recently confirmed that the
    Libyan delegation canceled plans to stop in Newfoundland. End


    5. (S/NF) Qadhafi appears to be almost obsessively dependent on
    a small core of trusted personnel. This group includes
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX coordinate the logistics of Qadhafi’s
    visit. XXXXXXXXXX balanced the UNGA preparations between equally
    frenetic preparations for the August 31 African Union (AU)
    Summit and September 1 celebration of Qadhafi’s coup. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX At large events such as the August 31 AU Summit and
    September 1 celebrations, XXXXXXXXX every last
    detail of these complex gatherings, ranging from the overall
    program to the position of the press pool. At UNGA, XXXXXXXXX Qadhafi to the podium at the UNGA and XXXXXXXXXX his papers and props upon the conclusion of
    the Leader’s remarks. Long-time Qadhafi Chief of Staff Bashir
    Salah appears to play an equally important role in Qadhafi’s
    personal retinue, and XXXXXXX via an
    old-fashioned green phone XXXXXXXX. It is next to a
    red phone, which presumably connects to Qadhafi himself. We
    constantly hear that National Security Adviser and son,
    Muatassim, also plays a key role as his father’s confidante and
    handler during travel abroad. Muatassim also seems to have been
    tasked with insuring that the Leader’s image is well-preserved
    through the full array of carefully-planned media events.

    6. (S/NF) Finally, Qadhafi relies heavily on his long-time
    Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, who has been described as a
    ”voluptuous blonde.” Of the rumored staff of four Ukrainian
    nurses that cater to the Leader’s health and well-being, XXXXXXXXXXX emphasized to multiple Emboffs that Qadhafi
    cannot travel without Kolotnytska, as she alone “knows his
    routine.” When Kolotnytska’s late visa application resulted in
    her Security Advisory Opinion being received on the day
    Qadhafi’s party planned to travel to the U.S., the Libyan
    Government sent a private jet to ferry her from Libya to
    Portugal to meet up with the Leader during his rest-stop. Some
    embassy contacts have claimed that Qadhafi and the 38 year-old
    Kolotnytska have a romantic relationship. While he did not
    comment on such rumors, a Ukrainian political officer recently
    confirmed that the Ukrainian nurses “travel everywhere with the


    7. (S/NF) In addition to the personality quirks revealed through
    Qadhafi’s travel to New York, the Qadhafi’s preferences for
    dancing and cultural performances were displayed over the last
    month. The three-day spectacle of his 40th anniversary in power
    included performances by dance troupes from Ukraine, Tunisia,
    Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco, as well as musical performances by
    bands from Mexico, Russia, New Zealand, and a number of other
    nations. Qadhafi appeared particularly enthralled by Tuareg
    horse racing during two of the events, clapping and smiling
    throughout the races. The flamenco dancers that participated in
    his celebratory events appeared to spark a similar interest, as
    Qadhafi decided to stop in Seville (for a “personal trip”
    according to the Spanish Ambassador here) on his way back to
    Libya from Venezuela specifically to attend a flamenco dance
    performance. [Note: That stop has reportedly been scrapped for
    unknown reasons. End note.]


    8. (S/NF) While Qadhafi’s reported female guard force has become
    legendary, it played no role in his travels to New York. Only
    one female guard was included among the approximately 350-person
    strong Libyan delegation to New York. This is the same female
    bodyguard who sticks close to Qadhafi in his domestic and
    international public appearances and may, in fact, play some
    sort of formal security role. Observers in Tripoli speculate
    that the female guard force is beginning to play a diminished
    role among the Leader’s personal security staff.

    9. (S/NF) Comment: Qadhafi’s state visits and appearances at
    various conferences and summits, both at home and abroad, have
    revealed greater details about his personality and character.
    While it is tempting to dismiss his many eccentricities as signs
    of instability, Qadhafi is a complicated individual who has
    managed to stay in power for forty years through a skillful
    balancing of interests and realpolitik methods. Continued
    engagement with Qadhafi and his inner circle is important not
    only to learn the motives and interests that drive the world’s
    longest serving dictator, but also to help overcome the
    misperceptions that inevitably accumulated during Qadhafi’s
    decades of isolation. As XXXXXXX told us, pointing to a
    larger-than-life portrait of Qadhafi, “When you have been
    isolated for so long, it is important to communicate.” End

    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  3. #18
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    You would say that because you don't want to blow your cover.
    "But I am very poorly today & very stupid & I hate everybody & everything." -- Charles Darwin

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  4. #19
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    fellow traveller


    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  5. #20
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default WikiLeaks ‘Cablegate’ Site Hit By Powerful Cyber-Attack

    NEW YORK (CBS/AP) – The WikiLeaks website said it came under a forceful Internet-based attack on Tuesday morning, making some of the content, including the controversial “Cablegate” documents, inaccessible for hours to users in the U.S. and Europe.

    The site appears to have responded by switching its main hosting base from Sweden to the U.S., making it available again.

    On Tuesday, traffic to the site went to Inc.’s server-for-rent service, based in the U.S.

    The site, which distributed a trove of U.S. diplomatic documents on Sunday, said in a Twitter message on Tuesday morning that it was under a “distributed denial of service attack,” a method commonly used by hackers to slow down or bring down sites. WikiLeaks didn’t identify the attackers.

    “We are currently under a DDOS attack,” according to one tweet early Tuesday. Shortly after 9 a.m., another tweet was sent, saying, “DDOS attack now exceeding 10 Gigabits a second.”

    The site, which is devoted to releasing anonymously submitted documents, also came under attack Sunday, but Tuesday’s attack appeared to be more powerful.

    Calls to were not immediately returned. Bahnhof, the Swedish Internet company that has been WikiLeaks’ main host, had no immediate comment on Tuesday.

    In a typical denial-of-service attack, remote computers commandeered by rogue programs bombard a website with so many data packets that it becomes overwhelmed and unavailable to visitors. Pinpointing the culprits is difficult.

    WikiLeaks said the malicious traffic was coming in at 10 gigabits per second on Tuesday, which would make it a relatively large effort. According to a study by Internet security company Arbor Networks, the average denial of service attack over the past year was 349 megabits per second, 28 times slower than the stream Wikileaks reported.

    Sunday’s attack didn’t stop the publication of stories based on messages leaked from the U.S. State Department in several major newspapers. WikiLeaks had given the media outlets prior access to the diplomatic cables to publish in conjunction with their Sunday release on its site.

    The cables, many of them classified, offer candid, sometimes unflattering assessments of foreign leaders, ranging from U.S. allies such as Germany and Italy to other nations like Libya, Iran and Afghanistan

    WikiLeaks Hit By Powerful Internet-Based Cyberattack CBS New York – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

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  6. #21
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM


    Gee, who could have enough concentrated power to send 10 gigs a second....
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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