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  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 5:20am
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DIPLOMACY

WikiLeaks collates Kissinger files from '70s to make them searchable

Whistle-blowing website collates diplomatic files from the '70s to show scope of US' global reach

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2013, 9:11am

Whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks has published more than 1.7 million United States diplomatic and intelligence documents from the 1970s.

The data released yesterday were records from the start of 1973 to the end of 1976, covering a variety of diplomatic traffic including cables, intelligence reports as well as congressional correspondence.

Henry Kissinger was US secretary of state and national security adviser during the period covered by the collection, and many of the reports were written by him, or were sent to him.

The new records have not been leaked and are available to view at the US national archives.

The website has collated a variety of records including cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence and is releasing them in a searchable form. Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' head, said the documents were illustrative of the "vast range and scope" of global US influence.

In a document, Kissinger as quoted as saying: "Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, 'The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer'," during a 1975 conversation which included a Turkish and Cypriot official.

Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, 'The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer'

Among the other information released is the revelation that that the Vatican may have collaborated with the US in supporting the Pinochet coup in Chile, which saw in a regime of bloodshed and disappearances.

In a cable dated 18 October 1973, it is stated that "Archbishop [Giovanni] Benelli, Vatican Deputy Secretary of State, expressed to illing [sic] his and Pope's grave concern over successful international leftist campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation".

The WikiLeaks releases additionally suggest that the late Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi worked as a negotiator for Swedish firm Saab-Scania, which was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to Chile in the 1970s.

Assange has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London for nine months as he seeks to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault, which he denies.

Assange fled to the embassy in June after losing his battle in the British courts against extradition.

Ecuador granted him asylum in August but Britain has refused to allow him safe passage out of the country, sparking a diplomatic stalemate.

Assange founded the WikiLeaks website that enraged Washington by releasing cables and war logs relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks sent shockwaves around the diplomatic world in 2010 when it released a set of more than 250,000 leaked US cables.

Many of the documents, which WikiLeaks has called the Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD), are marked NODIS (no distribution) or Eyes Only, while others were originally marked as secret.

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