WIKILEAKS HAS STEPPED up the publication of its cache of over 250,000 United States diplomatic cables – publishing over 130,000 messages in the past few days, without the assistance of its ‘media partners’.Marking nine months since it began the publication of the cables, the site said it had published over half of its total trove of 251,287 messages – expressing disappointment at how media coverage of the cables had trailed off.
“Despite the amount of material yet to be reported on, mainstream media organisations in Europe and the United States have slowed their rate of publishing Cablegate-derived stories,” a WikiLeaks statement read.
“This has led to the misperception in Europe and the US that WikiLeaks has been less active in recent months. In fact, WikiLeaks has stepped up its activity, establishing new partnerships on each continent with local media organisations”.
The statement added that the decision to accelerate the publication of the cables was taken in accordance with its policy of maximising the coverage and impact of its material.
The site, which originally began publishing the cables with four media partners, including the Guardian, has since established links with 90 partners worldwide including the Irish Independent, which published stories on Irish-related cables in May and June.
The Guardian itself, despite being one of the original partners, has not published a Cablegate-themed story since late May, and is known to have fallen out with WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief Julian Assange over its coverage of the cables.
The new batch of cables has proven controversial in its own right, with WikiLeaks coming under scrutiny for its decision to publish the new cables in an unredacted form which exposes the names of diplomatic sources.
While WikiLeaks’ cables had previously blocked out the names of such sources, whose comments and conversations often formed the bulk of messages sent within the US diplomatic network, the recent cables have left the names intact for public view.
The Los Angeles Times quoted the president of Human Rights First, a non-profit organisation, which said it was “deeply concerned” at the move to reveal the names of diplomatic sources, who may now “face reprisals by oppressive governments”.
Australia’s attorney-general Robert McClelland also criticised WikiLeaks for publishing a cable containing the uncensored names of a number of terror suspects.
The BBC quoted McClelland as saying the publication of the 23 names, all of whom were believed to be linked to Yemeni terrorist groups, “could compromise Australia’s national security, or inhibit the ability of intelligence agencies to monitor potential threats”.