The New York Times has a number of documents already online for your viewing, along with several articles on the current batch of releases. One of the articles speaks to consequences for the world [emphasis mine].:
The anticipated disclosure of the cables is already sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could conceivably strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and American ambassadors around the world have been contacting foreign officials in recent days to alert them to the expected disclosures. A statement from the White House on Sunday said: “We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.”
Little did we know when Assange posted this tweet last week, he was talking about firing the first shot in World War III [only half kidding].
The Huffington Post has an article up with several thousand comments about the wonders of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Naiveté is the order of the day, it seems.
Prior to the release of documents today, the White House issued the following statement [emphasis mine]:
We anticipate the release of what are claimed to be several hundred thousand classified State department cables on Sunday night that detail private diplomatic discussions with foreign governments. By its very nature, field reporting to Washington is candid and often incomplete information. It is not an expression of policy, nor does it always shape final policy decisions.
Nevertheless, these cables could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders, and when the substance of private conversations is printed on the front pages of newspapers across the world, it can deeply impact not only US foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world.
To be clear -- 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. These documents also may include named individuals who in many cases live and work under oppressive regimes and who are trying to create more open and free societies.
President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal. 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. We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.
The Pentagon noted the following:
The 9/11 attacks and their aftermath revealed gaps in intra-governmental information sharing. Departments and agencies have taken significant steps to reduce those obstacles, and the work that has been done to date has resulted in considerable improvement in in
formation-sharing and increased cooperation across government operations," spokesman Bryan Whitman said.
"However, as we have now seen with the theft of huge amounts of classified data and the Wikileaks compromises, these efforts to give diplomatic, military, law enforcement and intelligence specialists quicker and easier access to greater amounts of data have had unintended consequences -- making our sensitive data more vulnerable to compromise."
UPDATE 1: The Australian government has placed Wikileaks on their list of banned websites. Fines will be assessed if you link to Wikileaks in Australia.
UPDATE 2 - 6:32 EST: Iran has big missiles.
North Korea secretly gave Iran 19 powerful missiles with a range of 2,000 miles. The missiles, known as the BM-25, are modified from Russian R-27s, which were submarine-based missiles carrying nuclear weapons. “If fired from Iran,” the New York Times notes, a missile with that range could “let its warheads reach targets as far away as Western Europe, including Berlin.”
UPDATE 3: Information as to how these cables found their way to Julian Assange, as well as what the cables reveal.