Published November 29, 2010
Among the thousands of diplomatic cables Wikileaks has released, about 300 of them pertain directly to Iceland.
As has been reported world wide, Wikileaks has dumped thousands of diplomatic cables – frank exchanges between diplomatic officials from around the world – and the US government has responded by briefing other countries ahead of time. Iceland has been no exception. Urður Gunnarsdóttir, the media representative for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed for Fréttablaðið that US government officials had contacted the ministry, letting them know ahead of time to expect diplomatic cables to be leaked.
Journalist and Wikileaks staffer Kristinn Hrafnsson told Eyjan that there are about 300 documents related to Iceland. They date from between 2005 and 2010, and many of them are labelled as secret. It is rumoured that some of these cables show the Icelandic government’s attempts to prevent the NATO base from closing – American forces left Iceland in 2006.
Kristinn also said that it should be possible to read the documents within the coming days or weeks.
As it stands now, Wikileaks is reporting that they are under a massive denial of service attack, so it may be slow going for those trying to access the main page. However, the Guardian has a preliminary search function of the some of the documents.
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has been criticized in the past for the release of leaked classified documents through his website, with some critics alleging that doing so endangers innocent lives. Amnesty International has also said Wikileaks has “put in danger the lives and integrity of many Afghans.” Assange, for his part, has denied these charges, saying that Wikileaks has made the effort to exclude the names of people whose lives might be endangered by the release of this information.