WikiLeaks on Monday launched a searchable archive containing 1.7 million US State Department documents from 1973-76 that had been officially declassified but were not easily accessible to the public.
The “Public Library of US Diplomacy” brings together the archived memos — referred to as the “Kissinger Cables” after then secretary of state Henry Kissinger — and the 250,000 cables leaked by the anti-secrecy website in 2010.
The archive can be viewed at wikileaks.org/plusd/
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that even though the 1973-1976 cables were declassified, they previously could only be accessed through the US National Archives in a non-searchable PDF format.
He also said the documents were at risk of being made secret again, citing a 2006 report by a research institute at George Washington University that found some 55,000 government documents had been secretly reclassified.
Assange later added, with characteristic understatement, that “this material we have published today is the single most significant geopolitical publication that has ever existed.”
Although the documents have long been in the public domain, their release in a searchable archive has generated headlines internationally, mainly because the release was coordinated with more than a dozen media outlets.
One such outlet, India’s The Hindu newspaper, cited the cables in a report saying that Rajiv Gandhi, whose family still dominates India’s ruling party, may have been a middleman for an arms deal in the 1970s.
“The corruption in the Gandhi political dynasty is well-known all over the world... and it’s about time that the Congress Party of India took its sandals off before entering the corridors of power,” Assange said. AFP
“It’s about time that the Congress Party of India took its sandals off before entering the corridors of power.”