Tuesday, June 23, 2015

#SaudiCables : The Wikileaks mania reaches the Kingdom

Thanks to Wikileaks, the Middle East has something to speak about than the usual talk: The Saudi Cables.
On Friday, Wikileaks began to publish the first batch of 70,000 Saudi diplomatic top secret documents out of half a million cables. Since then journalists in the Arab world began to search inside the Wikileaks to see what is hidden in the first batch of  cables released from 2010 to 2015.The only Media partner of Wikileaks in the Arab world if not the whole world this time is Lebanese Al-Akhbar Newspaper.
No other Arabic newspaper has joined forces with Al-Akhbar and Wikileaks in this adventure like what happened with the U.S cables.
Interestingly in April the Saudi ambassador envoy to Beirut Ambassador Ali Assiri accused the left-leaning newspaper of being a tool in the hands of Hezbollah and Iran for its opposition against the war in Yemen.
It created a controversy during then and the Lebanese journalists considered it an attack on the press freedom in their country.
Of course as soon as Wikileaks announced its big announcement, the Saudi government announced that the cables were fake and the citizens should not spread them otherwise they would face legal consequences. The Saudi ministry of foreign affairs published those tweets on the same day.

Dear citizen : Do not spread documents that could be fake and help the nations' enemies in achieving their goals.

Dear citizen : avoid going to any website in order to get any leaked documents and information that could be untrue in order to harm the national security.
Some Saudi tweeps hinted out that actually those tweeps made more Saudis pay attention to the Saudi cables in Ramadan.

On Sunday after the initial claims that the Saudi cables on Wikileaks site were completely fake , we found out that the Saudi MOFA published that official statement on its official Facebook page announcing that it was still conducting the hacking that happened to the ministry’s  servers from couple months ago.
عقب رئيس الإدارة الإعلامية بوزارة الخارجية السفير أسامة بن أحمد نقلي على التصريح الذي أدلى به في 4 / 8 / 1436 هـ ، بشأن ...
Posted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Saudi Arabia on Saturday, June 20, 2015
The statement also urged the citizens not to help the enemies of the nation by spreading any document online especially that many of the alleged spread documents online were fake.
Nevertheless in the statement, we find that interesting line “ This hacking won’t affect the transparent policies of the Kingdom as what has been leaked from documents is not that different from the official policies of the Saudi MOFA and its statements, which is true.
Saudi Arabia  The Bureau of Investigation & Public Prosecution’s official twitter announced that spreading confidential information can lead whoever did it to legal consequence on Sunday.

The Saudi BIP already announced that that statement before in April when news spread that the servers of the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs were hacked.
The Saudi ministry of foreign affairs' servers were indeed hacked by ”Yemen Cyber Army”, a Pro-
Assange vs. Al-Jubeir 
Houthi hacking group in May.

The group announced that it had got the credentials of Saudi officials between the different Saudi embassies and Riyadh. Later the group and its findings disappeared. Now in June we know what happened to the hacked information.
Now the Saudi regime supporters inside and outside the Kingdom claim that the Wikileaks got sinister agenda following Iran and Russia as well Israel as the famous whistleblowing website did not publish about those countries anything incriminating them !!
Well Wikileaks website does not work like that despite those who responsible for the leaks are Pro-Iranian Yemeni Hackers or as they claim. Personally I smell the Pro- El-Assad Syrian Cyber army here. Of course both Al-Assad and Houthis are backed up directly by Iran. 
Realistically speaking there is nothing we do not know in those cables when it comes to the policies of the Kingdom during the Arab Spring year.
Everything is already well known as the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs said in its statements.
The rivalry between Qatar and the Kingdom was also well known during the time of King Abdullah. Of course now this rivalry is almost over and we got somehow a new or rather the old order in the Gulf where all the Gulf states are led by Saudi Arabia while having the same stance.
What is new is the names of politicians and public figures as well media figures from different Arab countries mentioned in the Saudi Cables cooperating with the Saudis and asked for funding bolding and disgustingly while attacking their opponents and accusing them of being agents to the foreign countries like in the case of Mostafa Bakry in Egypt or Samir Gagae in Lebanon. Here is it is not the mistake of the Saudis that those politicians offer themselves for sale. The cables are also revealing about certain times in the past 4 years.
Of course ,I am going to have separate posts about the cables from the Saudi embassy in Egypt.I am waiting to read the most recent cables from 2015.
Anyhow, I can not hide my admiration on how the Saudi embassy in Cairo was sending reports about the country and its media to the motherland in that way. Of course, I do not dare to imagine if something happens like that now in the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs in that way because in the end day we are not that Egypt in the 1960s or 1970s. We are not longer a true regional power compared to the Gulf. Our foreign policies are reactive more than proactive.
Now regarding the Sisi leaks and why I stopped writing about them.
Well, I am afraid it has to do with my laziness more than anything. Already the upcoming episode of the Sisileaks should involve one of the biggest and most controversial alleged leaks about the Egyptian media and the relation between Sisi’s office and Egypt’s top TV hosts. This leak was already discussed in foreign websites like NY Times and Middle East Monitor, but I want to discuss it here. It is extremely important I believe than the alleged leaks about Gulf funding.

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