Wikileaks starts publishing 2 million Syria emails
It's going to be a slow process going through the nearly 2 million emails Wikileaks hacked from the Syrian government. That's because most of them are in Arabic while the rest appear to be in Russian.
But if they can't find a few smoking guns that would convict a lot of higher echelon Syrians for war crimes, I'd be very surprised.
WikiLeaks said Thursday it was publishing over two million emails from Syrian political figures dating back to 2006 but also covering the period of the crackdown on dissent by Syria's regime.
"Just now... WikiLeaks began publishing the Syria files, more than two million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies dating from August 2006 to March 2012," said Sarah Harrison, spokeswoman for the anti-secrecy website.
The latest disclosures could throw fresh light on the workings of the Syrian regime and its interactions with allies in the run-up to and during the current bloody crackdown.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the 16 months of bloodshed in Syria have claimed more than 16,500 lives.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London seeking political asylum, said in a written statement: "The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria's external opponents.
"It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts.
"It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it."
WikiLeaks said the first files, released on Wednesday, reveal that Italian defence giant Finmeccanica has provided communications equipment to the Syrian regime since the unrest began.
The communications system was provided by Finmeccanica's subsidiary SELEX Elsag, in claims by WikiLeaks published by Italian magazine L'Espresso.
WikiLeaks' announcement comes a day after Russia denied having discussed with Washington offering exile to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.
I imagine there will be embarrassing revelations for Russia and Iran as well. And the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Syrian opposition is apparently in for some scandals too.
It's hard to see how this would help resolve the situation, as Assange suggests. He's justifying the crime by making a nonsensical statement about "understanding the conflict." You'd have to be close to being brain dead not to understand that the Syrian people are tired of being oppressed and President Assad doesn't want to give up power.
Assange's motivation - and the motivation of his hacker friends - is simple; they want to watch the world burn. Releasing these emails may contribute to that.