Crikey is picking through the WikiLeaks cables currently available, categorising them into different subjects and grabbing the most potent highlights from each, plus the reaction — if any — that embarrassed governments are giving.
For your perusal, here’s the juiciest of the ye olde — the oldest starting in 1966 and going to the early 90s — historical cables published, compiled by Amber Jamieson:
Date: 1966-12-28 18:06
A cable from Buenos Aires discussing Argentinean sea borders
Key point: The oldest cable released and was already a de-classified document. Came six months after a coup in Argentina and details Argentinas plans to increase its sea jurisdictions and establish a six mile territorial sea. US diplomats are concerned about US fishing rights in Argentinian waters.
Dispatch: ”FONOFF (Foreign office) legal advisor concedes distinction between exclusive and preferential fishing jurisdiction a semantic nicety. He understands that in zone of preferential jurisdiction Argentina would claim right to tax, license and otherwise control all activities related to exploitation of resources of seas. ”
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Date: 1972-08-22 09:09
Cold War call from Iran for more fighter
Key point: Iranian Minister for War calls for the accelerated delivery of one squadron of F-4 fighter jets to use against the Soviets and Iraq. The shah of Iran (the king), is worried about the strengthening Soviet presence and influence over the Middle East, particularly its friendship with Iraq, and demands more air power to fight this. US will increase production of F-4s and will send an additional 16 F-4s, in order to maintain the critical relationship between the two nations. The US closed its Iranian embassy after the 1979 revolution.
Dispatch: “Shah is again turning to USG (US government) because in periods of anxiety Shah feels he can look to us for cooperation and he hopes that US as reliable friend will find chance be responsive on matter he considers important and vital to Iran’s security. Thus USG consideration of request must recognise that decision involves unusual degree of political importance related to fabric of USG-GOI (government of Iran) relations. Decision should also not overlook or underestimate importance of Iran for vital US interests.”
Date: 1989-12-13 19:07
US hopes for coup or something — in Panama
Key point: Cable sent a week before the US invaded Panama and deposed of the military dictator Manuel Noriega a previous paid informant to the CIA. Cable gives a breakdown of the current situation and how Noriega is only just clinging on to power after recent coup attempts and therefore is increasing harassment of his opposition.
Dispatch: ”The political tension in Panama increased by recent press revelations and U.S sanctions announcements, will likely ebb in early 1990, absent some major event. Noriega is showing no signs that he has any intentions of leaving voluntarily. Give broad political realities in this country, the only hope for a first step in crisis resolution is another coup. Waiting for that to happen is the main political prospect or Panama in 1990.”