19 June 2015, News Wires – Opec giant Saudi Arabia is the latest to feel heat from WikiLeaks as the file sharing site opened up the books on “more than half a million cables and other documents” from the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry.
A first tranche of files, comprising more than 61,000 documents, went online on Friday, with WikiLeaks promising more tranches “over the coming weeks”.
The documents contain “secret communications from various Saudi embassies around the world”, and “top secret” reports from other state institutions in one of the world’s top crude oil producers.
WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who continues to be walled up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, said: “The Saudi Cables lift the lid on a increasingly erratic and secretive dictatorship that … (has) become a menace to its neighbours and itself.”
A statement from the controversial document publishing group read: “The Saudi cables provide key insights into the Kingdom’s operations and how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting key individuals and institutions.
“The cables also illustrate the highly centralised bureaucratic structure of the Kingdom, where even the most minute issues are addressed by the most senior officials.”
WikiLeaks continued: “Despite the Kingdom’s infamous human rights record, Saudi Arabia remains a top-tier ally of the (US) and the (UK) in the Middle East, largely owing to its globally unrivalled oil reserves.
“The Kingdom frequently tops the list of oil-producing countries, which has given the Kingdom disproportionate influence in international affairs. Each year it pushes billions of petro-dollars into the pockets of UK banks and US arms companies.
“Last year it became the largest arms importer in the world, eclipsing China, India and the combined countries of Western Europe.”