Documents obtained by WikiLeaks provide a glimpse of US dossiers on world leaders.
Among the substantive revelations in the U.S.diplomats' communications was the citing of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah as repeatedly urging the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme. The WikiLeaks website contains a page where the words "cut off the head of the snake" are attributed to Abdullah, talking about his Iranian neighbour.
WikiLeaks says more than quarter of a million documents have been published -- covered a huge swatch of issues, from instruction to comment and observation:
One July 2009 cable from the State Department's intelligence bureau contains instructions to U.S. diplomats for collecting intelligence on the United Nations.
The directive urges diplomats to collect biographical information on U.N. personnel, including such personal data as telephone, cellphone, pager and fax numbers and e-mail
addresses; credit card account numbers; frequent flyer account numbers, work schedules, and Internet and intranet "handles" (or nicknames).
When Afghanistan's vice president, Ahmed Zia Massoud, visited the United Arab Emirates last year, local authorities working with the Drug Enforcement Administration discovered he was carrying 52 million U.S. dollars in cash that a cable from the American embassy in Kabul said he "was ultimately allowed to keep without revealing the money's origin or destination." He denied taking the money out of Afghanistan.
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is the "alpha-dog" ruler of a deeply corrupt state dominated by its security forces. By contrast, President Dmitry Medvedev "plays Robin to Putin's Batman", is pale and hesitant and has to get his decisions approved by Putin.
Yemen has helped cover up the American role in missile strikes against the local branch of al-Qaeda.
According to a cable, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in January told General David H. Petraeus, then the American commander in the Middle East: "We'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours." This prompted Yemen's deputy prime minister to joke that he had just "lied" by telling parliament that Yemeni forces had carried out the strikes.
The United States has failed to prevent Syria from supplying arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has amassed ahuge stockpile since its 2006 war with Israel, the cables said. One week after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad promised a top State Department official he would not send "new" arms to Hezbollah, the United States complained it had information that Syria was giving the group increasingly sophisticated weapons.
American diplomats have bargained with other countries to help empty the Guantanamo Bay prison by resettling detainees. Slovenia was told to take a prisoner if it wanted to meet with President Barack Obama, and Kiribati was offered incentives worth millions of dollars to take in Chinese Muslim detainees. In another case, accepting more prisoners was described as "a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe," a cable said.