At a glance: Wikileaks cables

Read key revelations and quotes from Wikileaks' release of thousands of US embassy cables.

The Wikileaks website has been subject to cyber attacks and has been forced to change domain names and use mirror sites. For consistency's sake, in some cases we have linked to the organisation's partner newspapers where the cables have also been published.

The Wikileaks cables

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Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Concern among the US and other foreign officials over the fitness of President Karzai to govern.

"[Karzai is] a paranoid and weak individual unfamiliar with the basics of nation-building."

July 2009 cable published by the Guardian

Australia

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, file pic

Then-PM Kevin Rudd described as "mistake-prone control freak" who makes "snap announcements without consulting other countries or within the Australian government".

"His performance so far demonstrates that he does not have the staff or the experience to do the job properly."

November 2009 cable made available to Sydney Morning Herald

Baltic states

Hillary Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a confidential cable saying allies in Nato had agreed to expand the contingency plan to defend Poland, to include the Baltic states.

"The expansion was formally submitted to Allies for decision under a silence procedure."

January 2010 cable published by The Guardian

Burma

Prime Minister Thein Sein

Burma may be building missile and nuclear sites in remote jungle locations with support from North Korea, according to US embassy cables from Rangoon.

"The North Koreans, aided by Burmese workers, are constructing a concrete-reinforced underground facility that is '500ft from the top of the cave to the top of the hill above'."

August 2004 cable published by The Guardian

China

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and Chinese President Hu Jintao

The US urged China to stop a shipment of missile components from North Korea to Iran in 2007, and also expressed concern over Chinese computer hacking.

"The best way to prevent these shipments in the future is for Chinese authorities to take action."

November 2007 cable released by the Guardian

China - Africa

Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping attends the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Pretoria, South Africa (18 November 2010)

The US assistant secretary of state for African affairs describes China as "aggressive and pernicious", and says Beijing wants to secure African votes in the UN. Another cable alleges that the Chinese paid bribes to win contracts in Kenya.

"China is a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals. China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons."

February 2010 cable published by the Guardian

Cuba

Fidel Castro at Havana University (3 September 2010)

In 2006 Cuban leader Fidel Castro was close to death after suffering a perforated intestine during a flight, sources told US diplomats in Havana.

"He won't die immediately, but he will progressively lose his faculties and become ever more debilitated until he dies."

March 2007 cable published by the Guardian

Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

In 2004, a German citizen was snatched in Macedonia and allegedly taken to a secret prison by the CIA. In a separate cable Chancellor Angela Merkel is labelled "Risk averse and rarely creative".

"Our intention was not to

threaten ... but rather to urge that the German Government weigh carefully implications for relations with the US."

June 2007 cable from the US embassy in Berlin concerning the CIA row

Guantanamo

A detainee exercises at Guantanamo Bay (April 2010)

The US military's assessments of detainees at Guantanamo Bay (GTMO) show many were considered to be innocent or low risk. Only 220 of the 780 ever held there were ranked as dangerous terrorists.

"It is undetermined as to why this detainee was transferred to GTMO...It is GTMO's assessment that this detainee is not an enemy combatant."

Files from 2002 to 2008, released by Wikileaks

India

Indian police on guard during a curfew in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir on 17 December 2010

The International Red Cross sent evidence to the US about widespread torture by Indian security forces in Kashmir, including beatings, electric shocks and sexual abuse.

"The continued ill-treatment of detainees... have [sic] led the ICRC to conclude that New Delhi condones torture."

April 2005 cable released by the Guardian

Iran

Iranian President Ahmadinejad

A number of Arab leaders called on the US to attack Iran to stop its suspected nuclear weapons programme. President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is also referred to as "Hitler" by UAE defence minister.

"[King Hamad of Bahrain] argued

forcefully for taking action to terminate their nuclear program, by whatever means necessary."

November 2009 cable details Arab views on Iran, published by the New York Times.

Italy

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is described as "feckless and vain" and had profited from a "nefarious connection" with Russian PM Vladimir Putin.

"Berlusconi admires Putin's macho, decisive, and authoritarian governing style, which the Italian PM believes matches his own."

January 2009 cable speculates on the relationship between Berlusconi and Putin published by the New York Times.

Koreas

Kim Jong-Il

China frustrated with North Korea and coming round to the view the Korean peninsula should be reunified under Seoul's control in the long term. North Korea's Kim Jong-il described by US diplomats as a "flabby old chap".

"We need to solve this problem. It is very troublesome," China's ambassador to Kazakhstan told the Americans.

June 2009 cable published by The Guardian

Libya

Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi

Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi relies heavily on his long-time Ukrainian nurse, described as a "voluptuous blonde".

"Gadaffi has been described as both mercurial and eccentric, and our recent first-hand experiences

with him demonstrated the truth of both characterisations."

September 2009 cable on Gadaffi published by the New York Times

Libya - UK

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi

Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi made "thuggish" threats to halt all trade deals if Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi died in jail.

"The Libyans have told HMG flat out that there will be "enormous repercussions" for the UK-Libya bilateral relationship if Megrahi's early release is not handled properly."

October 2008 cable published by The Guardian

Mexico

Mexican soldier inspects seized drugs

The Mexican army was failing in its fight against drugs cartels.

"Mexican security institutions are often locked in competition... information is closely guarded, and joint operations are all but unheard of."

January 2009 cable published by The Guardian

Nicaragua

Daniel Ortega in 2006

Embassy put together "rap sheet" of claims against Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega including links with the drugs trade.

"Escobar's drug trafficking operation received Ortega's approval to land and load airplanes in Nicaragua as they sought to ship cocaine to the United States. In return, Ortega and the FSLN received large cash payments from Escobar."

May 2006 cable listing Ortega "rap sheet" published by Wikileaks

Nigeria

Shell logo Shell

In 2009, Shell's top executive in Nigeria told US diplomats that the oil company had informants in all ministries dealing with the industry.

"She said... Shell had seconded people to all the relevant ministries and that Shell consequently had access to everything that was being done in those ministries."

October 2009 cable published by the Guardian

Pakistan

Pakistan missile and launcher

US and British diplomats feared that Pakistan's nuclear material could fall into terrorists' hands and that the US had been trying to remove highly enriched uranium from a research facility since 2007.

"The UK has deep concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons."

September 2009 cable published by the Guardian

Russia

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin

The country is described as being a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centred on the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. A separate cable describes President Medvedev as "Robin" to Putin's "Batman".

"[Spanish prosecutor Jose 'Pepe' Grinda Gonzalez] stated that he considers Belarus, Chechnya and Russia to be virtual 'mafia states'."

February 2010 cable published by the Guardian

Saudi Arabia

Saudi notes

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warns that donors in Saudi Arabia are the "most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide".

"More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan."

December 2009 cable published by the Guardian

Saudi Arabia - Hezbollah

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal

Saudi Arabia proposed an Arab-led military force to destroy Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2008.

"Saud concluded by underscoring that a UN/Arab peace-keeping force coupled with US air and naval support would "keep out Hezbollah forever" in Lebanon."

October 2008 cable published by Wikileaks

Spain

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

Embassy claims Rolls-Royce lost out on a key contract with the Spanish military following lobbying of Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero by Washington.

"Moncloa - the office of the President - overturned the decision and it was announced that GE had won the bid. The Ambassador is convinced that Zapatero personally intervened in the case in favour of GE."

Cable published by the Guardian

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa was responsible for alleged war crimes, according to a January 2010 cable sent by the US ambassador.

"There are no examples we know of a regime undertaking investigations of its own troops or senior officials for war crimes while in power."

January 2010 cable published by the Guardian

Sudan

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

President Omar al-Bashir siphoned off as much as $9bn of his country's funds and placed it in foreign accounts, according to cables recounting conversations with International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

"Ocampo suggested if Bashir's stash of money were disclosed, it would change Sudanese public opinion from him being a 'crusader' to that of a thief."

March 2009 cable published by the Guardian

Thailand

Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn

Three influential figures in Thailand told US diplomats about their concern over the prospect of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn becoming king.

"All three had quite negative comments about Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn. While asserting that the Crown Prince will become King, [two of the officials] implied the country would be better off if other arrangements could be made."

January 2010 cable published by the Guardian

UK

Former UK prime minister Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was perceived to be "finished" by US diplomats in summer 2008, while the UK also kept quiet about a loophole allowing the US to continue storing cluster bombs on its territory despite an international ban.

"A terrible by-election defeat in Scotland has left the Labour Party reeling and fuelled fears among MPs that Brown's premiership may now be beyond repair."

July 2008 cable published by the Guardian

UK - Royal Family

Prince Andrew

The Duke of York criticised the Serious Fraud Office probe of an arms deal between BAE and Saudi Arabia and spoke in a rude manner during an official engagement.

"[Prince Andrew] railed at British anti-corruption investigators, who had had the 'idiocy' of almost scuttling the Al-Yamama deal with Saudi Arabia."

October 2008 cable published by the Guardian

United Nations

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Diplomats were instructed under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's name to collect DNA samples, fingerprints and credit card details of key UN officials.

"Reporting officers should include as much of the following information as possible... organizational titles; names, position titles and other information on business cards; numbers of telephones, cell phones, pagers and faxes; compendia of contact information."

July 2009 cable on UN espionage published by the Guardian

United States

US State Department

US State Department asks US missions for list of key facilities around the world it describes as vital to its national security and provides 2008 list.

"BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd., Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom: Critical to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter..."

February 2009 cable published by Wikileaks

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