Arshad Mohammed and Ross Colvin
Saudi King Abdullah has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran’s nuclear program and China directed cyberattacks on the United States, according to a vast cache of diplomatic cables released on Sunday in an embarrassing leak that undermines U.S. diplomacy.
The more than 250,000 documents, given to five media groups by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, provide candid and at times critical views of foreign leaders as well as sensitive information on terrorism and nuclear proliferation filed by U.S. diplomats, according to The New York Times.
The White House condemned the release by WikiLeaks and said the disclosures may endanger U.S. informants abroad. WikiLeaks said its website was under attack and none of the underlying cables was visible there Sunday night, though some were posted by news organizations.
Among the revelations in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, which also received an advance look at the documents along with France’s Le Monde, Germany‘s Der Spiegel and Spain’s El Pais, King Abdullah is reported to have “frequently exhorted the U.S. to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program.”
“Cut off the head of the snake,” the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, quotes the king as saying during a meeting with General David Petraeus in April 2008.
The leaked documents, the majority of which are from 2007 or later, also disclose U.S. allegations that China’s Politburo directed an intrusion into Google’s computer systems, part of a broader coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by Chinese government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws, the Times reported.