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WikiLeaks makes world 'less safe': Bildt

AFP/The Local · 29 Nov 2010, 13:38

Published: 29 Nov 2010 13:38 GMT+01:00

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"This will weaken diplomacy around the world. It will weaken diplomacy in general, but first and foremost American diplomacy. I see this rather as something that is making the world less safe," Bildt told Swedish public radio.

"There is a need for confidential communication between different governments ... to be able to handle crises and difficult situations," he said, lamenting that "we are not going to be able to have that now."

"Then we will be stuck with megaphone diplomacy, which I know from experience can lead to more conflicts and more problems," he added.

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks began on Sunday what it says will be a slow release of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables, unveiling a number of shocking diplomatic episodes, from a nuclear standoff with Pakistan to Arab leaders urging a strike on Iran.

Bildt stressed that the cables were "written by individuals," stressing the need for "diplomats to have the freedom to make fairly uninhibited evaluations ... without needing to publish a press release."

"If you undermine diplomacy in the way that is now being done, you are also undermining the possibility to hinder conflicts and promote stability," he said.

A total of 819 of the diplomatic documents yet to be released are known to concern Sweden, and the Expressen daily reported Monday it had received information the files mainly related to Sweden's European Union presidency last year.

One document, according to the paper, criticised the Scandinavian country for leading the European resistance to imposing sanctions on Iran.

Bildt did not discuss what elements may have been revealed in the Sweden-related documents, but said in his radio interview that the release of these files "of course is not good."

"It makes it much more difficult to gain confidence," he said.

The Swedish foreign minister was also critical of the US security lapses that made it possible for the sensitive documents to leak out.

"I think this is very bad," he said, adding "it will take a long time to repair the damage."

"I suspect that if this (security problem) has not already been fixed, it will be soon."

Chris Dunnett, a spokesperson for the US embassy in Stockholm welcomed Bildt's remarks about the leak, admitting that the affair was "embarrassing" for the US government.

Story continues below…

"We deeply regret the disclosure of information from conversations that are meant to be confidential," he told The Local.

"The ability to have an honest dialogue with your partner is part of the basic bargain of diplomacy."

Dunnett doubted, however, that US-Swedish relations would be adversely affected by the leak.

"We've always had very strong relations with Sweden and I'm confident that those strong relations will continue," he said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:20 November 29, 2010 by NickM
Wrong Mr Bildt. Even the CIA have concluded that American and Western aggression abroad has made the world less safe. The more we know about what these people are doing to make the world less safe, the better.
17:02 November 29, 2010 by Twiceshy
Less safe for corrupt government officials, maybe.
17:13 November 29, 2010 by thinkright24
how can it make the world less safe? i think it is an eye opener. it has barely scratched the surface of 'what lies beneath a happy face'. i would love to see more
17:36 November 29, 2010 by grantike
i think we should be glad and happy we functional government even though there are atom of corruption in the system .what do we have to say about a lot African countries with no better definition of (corrupt) rulers -we should be happy of what we have
17:38 November 29, 2010 by Twiceshy
grantike that's a laughably poor argument. If you have to use the worst possible reference for comparison...
17:58 November 29, 2010 by Jonsol69.blogspot.com
"WikiLeaks makes world 'less safe': Bildt ???"

I cannot believe my fellow humans are so naive and void of the most basic intelligence, observation, testing and reasoning.

This is like saying: if you know the truth you become less safe. Nonsense and in point of fact, insulting.

Like saying this statement is a lie: If you join the Swedish army, you currently have a 5 in 500 chance of being injured with and or loss of life and limb for the benefit of your government, pharmaceutical/ chemical companies, banks and or weapons manufacturer owners, at a loss to you, your family, relatives and or friends in injury, death and or taxes. Aside from the mental illnesses you may suffer as a result.

As with most people in positions of power you display the pathologies of delusion, denial, sociopaths and or megalomaniacs. It would be better if you resigned to allow a wiser centred being who is focused on serving the needs of the people of his country and not pandering to the people that have already bought and paid for one to act on their crooked and infirm behalf.

Finally all the leaks up to date have not compromised any military activities including, torture, genocide, assassinations, black ops, false flats and or murder. Be very conscious of the fact Mr. Bildt, when you look in the mirror, you are playing your part in what is unjust, ethically and morally wrong. It certainly does take a very particular character to act and speak as you do in light of the truth.
18:35 November 29, 2010 by zircon
Nice blonde hair, Mr Bildt.
19:16 November 29, 2010 by skatty
Actually, the word"SAFE" is arguable. SAFE for whom and what for?

In a world of market economy and super capitalism, the word "SAFE" has no other meaning than protecting the interests of big businesses and corporate executives!

After all, the" megaphone diplomacy" is just a part of the whole diplomacy!
20:13 November 29, 2010 by truthworthy
I am loving wikileaks. thanks for being there. This thing called diplomats are being embarrassed by their double standards.
20:20 November 29, 2010 by misssh
the truth is finally coming out

quote: "This will weaken diplomacy around the world. It will weaken diplomacy in general, but first and foremost American diplomacy."

America is already corrupt and is the biggest trouble makers around anyway

they are the real terrorist and leaks like this will open the eyes of the people of this world and more people will rise up to these bullies!

screw America
20:46 November 29, 2010 by Kevin Harris
There is an old saying amongst thieves and other criminals, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime". Clearly US spies, diplomats and politicians don't hold to that one. The leaked documents reveal several clearcut crimes (spying and theft of information fro other countries politicians, business people and representatives), and incredible arrogance and disrespect by US state employees towards leaders and representatives of other countries. The US State Department has been caught red handed. The squeals of outrage against Wikeleaks for making use of stolen documents are comical, when those documents themselves are instructions to US ambassadors to steal information from others. What incredible hubris.

And how was this information so important to a "safe ... world" stored? Why on a database accessible to any low level US government employee! In this case, allegedly a low-level US army soldier who downloaded it onto a Lady Gaga CD. All this information so important to the safety of the world was metaphorically, left laying about on the kitchen table. What an incredible betrayal of the trust and confidence of anyone stupid enough to put themselves at risk by communicating with the US government.

Those foolish enough to be distracted by US calls for the prosecution of Wikileaks and JA for "acts of terrorism", and "treachery" (Sara Palin) ought to remember, first, Wikileaks did not steal the documents, they published them. Second Wikileaks, and JA, are not, under US juristiction. Think before you speak, it is not JA and Wikileaks you should be angry with, it is the criminals and fools in the US government exposed by these documents, and the idiots who left them laying about. This is a wholly US made disaster. Blaming others for this butt clenchingly embarrasing affair just won't cut it. The US government was caught in the crime, now it's going to have to do the time. The rest of us can sit back and enjoy the show. There's lot's more to come.

Good job Wikileaks, thanks for the show.
21:24 November 29, 2010 by zeero
But really Mr. Bildt, who care what you think, SE has 0 impact on world diplomacy.
21:58 November 29, 2010 by Nomark
@Kevin Harris

Regarding your ridiculous "don't do the crime" statement, do you really think that the US is unusual in its spying ? What do you think diplomats from China, France, Russia (or indeed any country with the relevant capabilities) do ? This is what diplomats from influential countries do and what they've been doing for hundreds of years and what they will continue to do in the future regardless of wikileaks.

As for the leak, wow, a system involving humans isn't secure. That said, I haven't seen anything released which I didn't already know or couldn't have guessed. Saudia Arabia is scared of Iran - I never would have guessed. Prince Andrew is a berk, that surely can't be true.... In fact, given all of the hype, the whole thing is rather underwhelming.

Calling this is a wholly US made disaster is just weak. Nobody forced anyone to make the information public and, unless someone is very naive and unworldly its not that much of an expose.

May I suggest getting some steps with which you can climb down from that high horse you're sitting on. That said, all that hectoring was rather amusing - thanks for the show.
22:30 November 29, 2010 by eviking
This is why I slipped on the ice in the parking lot and came close to mortal injury. Shame on you WikiLeaks and the US.
22:38 November 29, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Safe and Safe

Less safe

than smoking a packet of cigarettes every day.

"Sista Hillary" says that those wicked wiki leaks are an attack on civil liberty and on the I)nternational Community:


I wonder what she will have to say eventually, about the nuclearization of the radical Revolutionary energy/ ideology of the Islamic Republics.
23:33 November 29, 2010 by Bumblebeetuna
I wonder if wiki leaks are an equal opportunity hacker organisation or if they are just after the US. I'm sure they'd have their hands full if they focused on any country. I support the idea about freedom of information but surely there must be some kind of an ethical code to follow. We're all against corruption. So, show us those kind of injustices. Not how hot the politicians think the nurses are. With the information that has surfaces so far I think it just hurts WIkileaks' reputation. We'll see what else surfaces, eh?
01:13 November 30, 2010 by harrylatour
The whole of society exists on half truth,inuendo,telling tales about YOUR FRIENDS to THEIR FRIENDS,,,giving secrets,,,keeping secrets,,telling tales to those in charge etc,etc.This is the human condition like it or not.Politico's are still ''people' with all the usual weaknesses and that is YOU LOT TOO! Am I the only one not surprised by any of these leaks? If someone has a bomb,,yeah tell everyone,,if someone thinks the president of some country is a ''bit risky'',,,well he probably thinks that of other people too!! Look at it this way,,,how often has someone told YOU stuff about one of your friends,,did you tell tales,,of course not,,it would only fragment your circleof friends.Yeah,be too honest and we would ALL end up just having our own reflection as a friend,trusting no one.A load of billy no mates.
02:13 November 30, 2010 by sgt_doom
What Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be concerned about is an unnoticed cable which may very weil implicate her, in her capacity as chair of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, as co-chair of the MCC, in financing and orchestrating the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Honduras.

Likewise, I'm sure there may very well be other cables containing implicating evidence against various and assorted corrupt political swine.

I can see why you might be worried, Mr. Bildt.

The worldwide hacker community is beginning to make itself felt.

Finally, a "we the people" moment.....
04:38 November 30, 2010 by BarCode
Nobel Peace Prize?
05:32 November 30, 2010 by MarkinBoston
So we've learned that governments don't tell the public everything they do privately? Shocking!
06:08 November 30, 2010 by Rebel
Okay, the government wants the right to know what you are saying in private e-mails and cell phone conversations...all Wikileaks does is apply a bit of fiarness from the point of view of the people.
07:06 November 30, 2010 by rolfkrohna
Are you worried Mr Bildt? What corruption and unsavory activities have you been involved in? What might Wikileaks disclose about you? Fascism, anarchism and dictatorship thrive in the secrecy, and we are not allowed elect or dismiss bureaucrats by voting. The very foundation of "democracy" is openness and no secrets, that media can uncover what the leaders and bureaucrats do not what them to know. Media as papers and TV has virtually stopped functioning now, and Wikileaks is the new generation. When can we see a Swedish Wikileaks, the Chinese already have one in planning.
08:50 November 30, 2010 by Kevin Harris

I can assure you Stealing information is a crime, whether it is committed by spies from China, France, or Russia. Diplomats who steal information, commit not only a crime, but a grievous and unusual breach of trust and protocol. As Ban Ki Moon reminded us all yesterday, UN diplomats are supposed to be above that sort of thing. You actually try and excuse the crime on the basis that everybody else does it so it must be OK; how childish. I recommend you avoid a career in law. The significant difference here is that the US got caught redhanded, and worse, using priviledged ambassadors; not spies.

Your knowledge of international affairs is astounding. You knew China was ready to abandon North Korea, and that Pakistan was in intense negotiations with the US concerning nuclear material! Of course the rest of us, being "naive and unworldly" have to read the news to learn these things. It is incredible that despite your astonishing knowledge of international affairs, you got so much wrong in your post.

Thank you for explaining to us all that the leak is "not that much of an expose." This story is on the front page of every newspaper in the world, and being avidly read by billions. But of course, as you say, you already knew all the details, so it won't be news for you. Please excuse the rest of the global population who are a bit behind you.

If you reply to this post, please check your facts better, and try to restrain your inflated ego. If you do not, it makes you look pompous and absurd. (see post #13 for details).
09:21 November 30, 2010 by locaxy
Yeah, yeah...wikileaks kills puppies. What shameless suggestion!

The one thing wikileaks ensures is transparency. That guarantees public opinion is aware of what happens in the backrooms of power. It makes the world a safer and freer place to live in.

Don't forget to donate what you can to the organization!
10:20 November 30, 2010 by Hagrid
Bildt is right on this one. This leak made the world less safe. I am not talking about the lighter gossip stuff about the world leaders (that was actually very funny) but the more serious leaks. In this respect, all you people who tout and extol wikileaks so much and rejoice at America's embarassment, are either:

1. Plain ignorant of world politics - if it wasn't for meticulous diplomacy, the world would endure so much more conflicts and crises. It is precisely the confidenticality of diplomacy, which enables to global problems to be quietly resolved and neutralized without backlash. If all the people know all the information all the time, there would always be a reason for someone to get upset and cause havoc. Furthermore, without this confidentiality, leaders of extremist countries would never dare to approach the West and help it to fight terror, for fear of losing their power and their life. Now the the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf states have been put in a very dangerous position in their countries, after it was exposed they urged America to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. Now these leaders would think twice or three times before cooperating with America, this would weaken the efforts against Iran, Al-Qaida, Hizbollah, etc, and ultimately this will indeed make the world a less safe place.

2. Hypocrites. Wikileaks only exposed the secrets of America and its Western (or pro-Westen) allies, yet did nothing to expose the much more horrible supression of human rights, tortures, massacres, corruption, and dirty politics in rogue states like Iran, Syria and Venezuela. It only weakened the West, while strengthening the extremist countries. Is this really the outcome you want? And if not, where is your criticism of this bias?
10:29 November 30, 2010 by Argentina84
I'm loving Wikileaks, and I agree with everything that has been said in favour of the documents that have been published. We knew that politicians and diplomats are a bunch of hipocrites, but it has still felt great to read on the national newspaper that the US was calling the Argentinian president "paranoic" etc while Hillary was on an official visit in the country. Go Wikileaks, make the world a more honest place!
11:04 November 30, 2010 by Alf Garnett
Would love to see some of the "Top Secret" documents the British civil service has hidden away, especially from the last 20 yrs. I suspect a few Labour parliamentarians would be relaxing in another of Her Majesty' institutions, especially the corrupt Mr Mandelson.
11:21 November 30, 2010 by Rishonim
Now that everyone has been caught with their pants down they are all bitching about wikileaks making the world less safe. Each time a politician or a religious figure tell you something you should in principle divide it by two

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all the time. Lincoln

I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery. - Jean Jaqueas Rousseau
12:25 November 30, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Ekeus congratulates Wikileaks on their first batch of releases which he says were aimed at keeping the world public in the know about mistakes made. Mistakes that have led to suffering. Secret is secret. Where does he set the limits?

I don't get this.

So unbeknownst to us, whilst we were worrying and fretting about the Islamic Republic going nuclear, behind closed doors, our peaceful and diplomatic Sweden was secretly “leading the European resistance to imposing sanctions on Iran.”?

In that case we (the people) would like to hear the rationale behind Mr. Bildt's strategy of “no sanctions against Iran” and his greater trust in toothless diplomacy to actually bring their nuclear progress to a stop.

The only reason I can see so far is that Sweden is further away from Iran than Israel and of course Sweden has not been threatened with being wiped off the world map. If Iran had promised that they were going to wipe Sweden off the world map Herr Bildt would surely be putting less faith in his own diplomacy and perhaps more faith in the Almighty?


Now it seems that all SW is complaining about is that Wicked Wiki has blown someone's diplomatic cover.
13:28 November 30, 2010 by americanska
Kevin Harris says - "I can assure you Stealing information is a crime"

So I would imagine you agree that wikileaks is a criminal organisation probably funded by Soros. And that the puppet/rapist JA should be in jail along with Soros.

The cold war avoided disaster by using this kind of diplomacy. Countries need to share information with each other in this way, it's not spying at all when it's done this way.

Only and idiot, terrorist or an anarchist would side with wikileaks.
15:21 November 30, 2010 by Syftfel
It wont be long now before Assange is found assassinated. For not only did he do damage to the U.S, which is probably what this left wing stooge had hoped. He now has the ire of amongst others Russia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, France, Pakistan and China, and probably some additional weakling, effeminate European states. He better pray that the U.S gets to him first, since that's his best chance for life, no parole. All the others will make sure he ends up in a ditch with no pulse. One doesn't do what Asssange did.! It equals a crime against humanity.
21:31 November 30, 2010 by jon100
Bildt is correct. Diplomacy requires the ability to exchange views privately regardless of content. Wleaks simply undermines that process and the many nasty remarks about the US, leaders, etc. is simply nonsense. Diplomacy happens in real world and railing against the US, etc. is simply an exercise in magical thinking by people who live their lives in a fantasy world.
22:52 November 30, 2010 by hawkeye ajustralia
" misssh the truth is finally coming out

America is already corrupt and is the biggest trouble makers around anyway

they are the real terrorist and leaks like this will open the eyes of the people of this world and more people will rise up to these bullies! ..screw America "

Screw America eh? And therein lies the problem with the Swedish leftist mind.

The Swedish tax base to fund your socialized system is about to crash, and you have allowed people from countries who will never assimilate, and who will in the not too distant future be the majority of your population - which means you WILL be living under Sharia law.

How amazing to watch a society commit suicide through sheer stupidity. A society which hates the country that for more than 50 years through US Aid has fed approximately 3 billion people in 150 countries, and that includes just about all socialist countries and America's enemies in the Middle East and North Korea . And of course the World bank is bankrolled mostly by the US and 25 % ot the anti American UN budget is also ponied up by the USA. And let's forget the cost of $100 billion p/a for defending the socialist countries of Europe. And in 2009, U.S. bank lending to Europe totaled $1.5 trillion.

After WWII, America did not send her former enemies people to "camps' or try to exterminate a whole race of people. Instead America after having lost tens of thousands of sons and daughters killed by Germans, she brought food, money and defended Germany and the rest of Europe from the brutal advancing Soviet Armies.

And of course there was the formation of NATO, the Berlin Airlift and the Marshall Plan. America opened up it's markets to Germany and the rest of her enemies, at great cost to her own industries. And for that and the $100 billion a year for the defence of Europe, what does she get in return? - Scorn and envy while her "friends" Germany and France colluded with Saddam on the QT to buy embargoed oil which Saddam used to buy weapons that would be later used against US troops - some "friends".

Yes and while you sit there smugly in your little, about to go down the toilet socialist world disparaging the United States for all the world's faults, for which I am sure you will still find a thousand reasons for what America did or didn't do. Why not ask yourself just what Sweden has done lately for the good of the world?...The answer will be, not much that's for sure!

Canadian journalist Mark Steyn once said about self-appointed moralists -"safe inside the citadel of Western freedom, economic propriety, and the United States military, who, from the very ramparts they damn, praise the enemy ramming the gates below."
01:30 December 1, 2010 by jon100
Great comments...
07:44 December 1, 2010 by Alf Garnett
Who exactly are we fighting, Wleaks have taken the focus off the real enemy & now has the "allies" fighting amongst themselves.

Wleaks, Assange & Co must be financed by Al-Qaeida or some other religious psychotic fundementalist group.

I agree in principle with abidadidinajad (irans frontman)or whatever his name is, although it is actually the opposite, the release of these documents is a conspiracy of Islamic countries to upset the equilibrium we have in the civilised world.

Some things just need to be kept secret.
08:42 December 1, 2010 by Nomark
@Kevin Harris

Oh dear - I've rattled a nerve.

Sine you raised it, can you explain how the old "don't do the crime if you can't do the time" doesn't apply to someone who need not do the time in the first place i.e. enjoys diplomatic immunity. Also, it is very relevant to speak of the "real world" in which diplomats spy and report back conversations. They've done so for ages and will continue to do so in the future. This is what they do.

Second, of course this is dominating the front pages because its rather titillating to read other people's words especially if it is "secret". Also, you shouldn't forget that these are diplomatic cables - they report what some people thought at the time often based on incomplete information. Whether they represent the reality of a situation is open to question. I don't have an astounding knowledge of foreign affairs but I wasn't surprised by anything I've so far read. Most of it I knew or could guess and even the China-North Korea thing has been reported and speculated many times. I suggest you broaden your own sources. I guess that's another reason why the cables attract so much attention - so many people are utterly pig-ignorant about the world around them and only read certain news items if they are thrust in their faces.

By focusing on the USA you display a crass and naive anti-Americanism. Read the post by hawkeye ajustralia and try to understand the whole picture

.You accuse me of being pompous. There may be something in that. However, you should rerread your own posts and recall that saying about people in glass houses and stone throwing..
16:29 December 1, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Given Carl Bildt's vast experience not only on the diplomatic front but also as a former leader of the Moderate Party and a former Prime Minister of Sweden now enjoying the status of a world Statesman, I for one who in contrast with Mr. Bildt knows next to nothing about anything ought to be inclined to repose all the usual confidence and trust that I have in him, but for the fact that I know Iran and Shia Islam much better I know Carl Bildt – and the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel's future looms larger for every day that passes by and in my humble opinion it's unlikely that the Mullahs in Iran will concede diplomatic defeat since they believe that if their enemies have nuclear weapons then by hook or by crook they should also be entitled to have some too, to stand up to them at least on the level of an equilibrium of terror.

It's understandable too that sanctions imply a loss of business for those who do very lucrative business with Iran and would not like to jeopardise their nations' economies with that much loss of business incurred by imposing sanctions when – at the end of the day, quiet diplomacy and sanctions having failed, only the military option will remain. Hence perhaps the reluctance to forgo making profit whilst the sun shines and it's still possible to do so.

Still on the less safe issue, a little bit of blah:

16:29 December 1, 2010 by Seamus Guevara
@ NickM Nicky is good to know you are going to protect us from the evil the CIA can't
07:20 December 2, 2010 by swedeb
If all of you are for transparency and getting all of the 'country's confidential/secret conversations' in the public, why are you all not protesting YOUR country for this? Or is it only ok for the US's conversations to be public and not your own country's?
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