10 Most Controversial Exposes by WikiLeaks

Wikileaks Exposes

WikiLeaks, founded by Julian Assange in 2006, has been at the center of numerous high-profile controversies due to its publication of classified and sensitive information. Here are ten of the most controversial exposes:

1. Guantánamo Files (2011)

In 2011, WikiLeaks released classified assessments of approximately 800 detainees at the U.S. detention camp in Guantánamo Bay. The documents revealed extensive details about the detainees, the reasons for their detention, and the abuse and torture they endured.

The files exposed the often flimsy evidence used to justify detentions and highlighted the harsh interrogation techniques employed.

Guantánamo Files (2011)

2. Iraq War Logs (2010)

The Iraq War Logs, published in 2010, comprised nearly 400,000 classified U.S. military documents detailing the Iraq War from 2004 to 2009. The logs disclosed the death of over 66,000 civilians, which had been previously unreported. The documents provided meticulous records of torture, rape, and other forms of abuse, painting a grim picture of the war’s human cost and the conduct of coalition forces.

Iraq War Logs (2010)

3. Afghan War Diary (2010)

In the same year, WikiLeaks released the Afghan War Diary, a collection of 91,000 reports from internal U.S. military logs covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010. The diary exposed how civilian casualties were massively underreported and detailed covert operations and misconduct by U.S. contractors, including the use of male child prostitutes by some contractors.

Afghan War Diary (2010)

4. Vault 7 (2017)

Vault 7, published in 2017, was a series of leaks from the CIA that revealed the agency’s hacking tools and techniques. The documents showed how the CIA could weaponize products from major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The leaks raised significant concerns about privacy, security, and the potential misuse of these tools.

Vault 7 (2017)

5. Diplomatic Cables (2010)

The release of U.S. diplomatic cables in 2010 exposed the extent of U.S. interference in foreign governments and international organizations.

The cables revealed spying on UN officials, support for dictatorships in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, and attempts to influence the UN’s decisions and actions. The disclosures caused widespread diplomatic embarrassment and strained international relations.

Diplomatic Cables (2010)

6. Syria Files (2012)

In 2012, WikiLeaks released over 2 million emails from Syrian political figures, detailing the inner workings of the Syrian government and its response to the uprising and ISIS. The emails provided insights into the regime’s strategies, international relations, and the impact of the conflict on Syrian society.

Syria Files (2012)

7. Global Intelligence Files (2012)

The Global Intelligence Files, published in 2012, consisted of over 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private intelligence firm. The emails revealed how the U.S. government and large corporations monitored activists and protestors. The leaks also highlighted the firm’s operations, including its covert activities and dealings with clients.

Global Intelligence Files (2012)

8. TPP, TTIP & TISA (2013)

In 2013, WikiLeaks published draft versions of international trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).

The documents revealed efforts by the U.S. to create a new global economic and legal bloc that would empower multinational corporations and centralize U.S. influence. The leaks sparked global debate about transparency, corporate power, and the impact of these agreements on national sovereignty and public policy.

TPP TTIP and TISA (2013)

9. NSA World Leaders Target (2016)

WikiLeaks revealed in 2016 that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had been targeting world leaders, particularly in Europe, for surveillance.

The documents showed that the NSA had bugged a private climate change strategy meeting between UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The revelations strained diplomatic relations and raised ethical and legal questions about the extent of U.S. espionage activities.

NSA World Leaders Target (2016)

10. Hillary Clinton Emails Leak (2016)

The release of emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, in 2016 was one of WikiLeaks’ most politically charged actions.

The emails, which were seen as damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, included details about the DNC’s favoritism towards Clinton over Bernie Sanders, as well as excerpts from Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street. The leaks fueled debates about the integrity of the U.S. political process and the role of foreign interference in the election.

Hillary Clinton Emails Leak (2016)

Each of these exposés by WikiLeaks has had far-reaching implications, affecting governments, international relations, and public perceptions of transparency and accountability. While some view WikiLeaks as a champion of free speech and governmental transparency, others criticize it for endangering national security and diplomatic efforts.

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