Wikileaks distributes thousands of secret documents to NYT, The Guardian, Der Spiegel

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Wikileaks' plan to deliver thousands of leaked government documents to the public began this afternoon. Five papers have exclusive access to the documents including The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais (Spain), Le Monde (France), and Der Spiegel (Germany). As you can imagine, government officials are not too happy about the organization revealing all of their secrets — approximately 250,000 of them — to the media. The main concern is the memos transmitted between America and other countries, "cables" of communication between hundreds of American embassies abroad. White House officials are certain the leak will damage our relationship with those countries.

In a statement Sunday, Gibbs said, in part, that "such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government."

"By releasing stolen and classified documents, Wikileaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals," Gibbs' statement said. "We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information."

Five hours ago Wikileaks tweeted, "We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack" which is kind of funny since one guy in Germany picked up an errant early copy of Der Spiegel and had his own congratulatory leak on Twitter anyway. Regardless, leak packages are up and running on the five papers' websites. So what are the big secrets, other than the inter-politico beefs that apparently pepper the documents throughout?

The New York Times and The Guardian provide teasers of forthcoming leaks that include:

  • America's top secret attempts to prevent Pakistan from touching anything nuclear
  • the actual conversation about closing Guantanamo Bay
  • what really happened with the Google privacy invasion in China
  • Russia using crime lords as their muscle to enforce policy (like the movies!)
  • Salacious remarks by the British royal family about something

Get ready to hear about nothing else this week.