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Unpublished Wikileaks Cables Appear on State-Backed Belarussian Website

by Joseph W

Writing in technology magazine FastCompany, Neal Ungerleider comments on Israel Shamir publishing unredacted cables on Counterpunch:

As in all things WikiLeaks, the details of the story remain murky. Shamir has close ties to the Belarus government and recently visited Belarus, which has an infamously repressive government. Given that detail, it is seems extremely interesting that all the unredacted cables he leaked had to do with former Soviet states.

Today, more Shamir-related shenanigans. There is an NGO in Belarus named the Foreign Policy and Security Research Center. According to Wikipedia, the organisation was formed in 2008:

Foreign Policy and Security Research center established in 2008 by Doctors of History and Ph.D. in history, law, foreign policy and other subjects, currently working in public institutions of Belarus: Belarusian National Technical University, Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus, Belarusian State University (Faculty of International Relations).

Today, the FPS has published an article entitled “Wikileaks has told about schemes for financing the Belarus opposition from the USA,” reproducing a cable entitled Vilnius 000732, which has not been published by Wikileaks yet (13/1/11).

The FPS has also published an excerpt of the cable 04Brussels4944, which has not been published yet by Wikileaks either. The cable is presented in such a way, to try and show that the USA and the EU are conspiring against Belarus.

How did FPS get hold of cables still unpublished by Wikileaks?

This is because Wikileaks rep Israel Shamir met with the head of the Belarussian presidential administration Uladzimri Makei on election day, promising to expose financial dealings between the Belarussian opposition and the US government.

While in Minsk, Shamir observed the Dec 19 elections, and claimed they were perfectly fair, just disrupted by US-backed opponents of Lukashenko. In Minsk, Shamir has made a deal with leading newspaper Naviny.by, as part of his role as a Wikileaks gatekeeper.

Shamir’s smears against the Belarussian opposition are demonstrably false, as I argued earlier this month. Yet I doubt the FPS really care about the rights and wrongs of Shamir’s arguments about pro-democratic movements in Eastern Europe.

Wikileaks doesn’t seem too concerned either.

The Guardian reported last month:

Assange defended one of WikiLeaks’ collaborators, Israel Shamir, following claims Shamir passed sensitive cables to Belarus’s dictator, Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko has arrested 600 opposition supporters and journalists since Sunday’s presidential election. The whereabouts and fate of several of the president’s high-profile opponents are unknown.

Of Shamir, Assange said: “WikiLeaks works with hundreds of journalists from different regions of the world. All are required to sign non-disclosure agreements and are generally only given limited review access to material relating to their region. We have no reason to believe these rumours in relation to Belarus are true.”