The Irish Independent, along with sister newspaper the Belfast Telegraph, have obtained 1,903 US embassy cables from the WikiLeaks organisation that detail the sometimes “murky” underworld of international diplomacy between Ireland and the US. Both newspapers began publishing details contained within the cables today and will do so throughout this week.
1,903 cables totaling 2.3 million words, all relevant to Irish domestic and foreign affairs, that were sent between 1985 and February 2010 have been exclusively obtained by the newspapers. Over half of these originate from the US embassy in Dublin, while the rest are sourced from embassies and consulates across the globe. Previously, only 11 of these cables have ever been published.
Regarding the content of the cables, the Irish Independent report that they will “provide new and telling insights into the behind-the-scenes politicking and horse trading that goes on behind the closed doors of international diplomacy”. They talk about a ‘special relationship’ between the two states that is not a relationship of equals. The Irish government are said to be unwilling to confront the US on matters of diverging interests.
The cables, to name a few, detail the issue of Shannon Airport and its controversial role in aiding the US military, contain sensitive information on Irish government coalition negotiations, and issues concerning terrorism and human trafficking. One particular cable by an American diplomat relating to the Irish economic crisis is titled ‘The Irish Economy – As Black as the Guinness’.
It’s a shame, however, that both newspapers only fully report on these leaked revelations in their print editions. One could argue that true champions of free speech would publish their findings online, involving a much larger audience. That said, the Irish Independent do offer an insightful video interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on their website.
Image courtesy of Esthr on Flickr