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WikiLeaks cables: Shell boasts it has infiltrated Nigerian government

David Smith, Guardian
US embassy cables reveal top executive’s claims that company ‘knows everything’ about key decisions in oil-rich Niger Delta

The oil giant Shell claimed it has inserted its staff into all key ministries of the Nigerian government, giving it access to politicians’ every move in the oil-rich Niger Delta, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable.

The company’s top executive in Nigeria told US diplomats that Shell had seconded employees to every relevant department and so knew “everything that was being done in those ministries”. She boasted that the Nigerian government had “forgotten” about the extent of Shell’s infiltration and were unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations.

The cache of secret dispatches from Washington’s embassies in Africa also revealed that the Anglo-Dutch oil firm swapped intelligence with the US, in one case providing US diplomats with the names of Nigerian politicians it suspected of supporting militant activity and requesting information from the US on whether the militants had acquired anti-aircraft missiles.
(8 December 2010)
Related from CBS: WikiLeaks: Shell Oil Infiltrated Nigerian Gov’t.

WikiLeaks climate change cables: what do you think

Damian Carrington, Guardian
It was like watching a vast army advance. As I read the WikiLeaks cables, the strategy became clear. The US decides what is in its interests, then sets its massed ranks of diplomats around the globe to work.

Demarchés, statements of what the US wants, are delivered in person and pledges of support gathered. Only the strongest resist: a major developing power like Brazil or a rich and secure nation like Norway might bridle, but I saw dozens of cables from tiny nations immediately acceding to US demands.

The US wanted to maximise support for the Copenhagen Accord, the weak compromise that emerged from the wreck of the UN climate change summit last December, because it best matched its unambitious aims for action on climate change. Diplomatic shock and awe ensued, complete with spying, threats and bribes: result, 140 nations have now signed up or say they will, near the top end of the US target of 100-150.

The US dearly wanted to block an Iranian scientist from high office on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It deployed its diplomatic arsenal: the Iranian was not elected.
(7 December 2010)

Wikileaks Reveals Hushed Concern Over Tar Sands Oil in US State Dept.

Brian Merchant, Treehugger
Not all of the cables aired in the latest Wikileaks focus on the tense, high-stakes diplomacy with China, Afghanistan, or the Middle East, though that stuff certainly grabs the headlines. Yet there are quiet revelations about other important diplomatic subjects as well — like Canada, for instance. And no, the news is not that our northern neighbor is boring; it’s about the concern over tar sands. Specifically, how the Obama administration is aware of how destructive tar sands oil is — and plans on moving ahead with the pipeline that will pump it across the US regardless.

Here’s a chunk of the cable, which was sent from a US diplomat before on of president Obama’s trips to Canada:

there is … keen sensitivity over the higher environmental footprint of oil from western Canada’s oil sands and concern about the implications for Canada of your energetic calls to develop renewable energies and reduce our reliance on imported oil. Canada is also rich in hydroelectric power, has similar objectives for developing renewables, and is working strenuously to improve the environmental impact of production from the oil sands …

The cable makes it clear that both Canada and the United States are aware of the dreadful impact of the Alberta tar sands — roundly dubbed the ‘most destructive project on earth’. Yet, the public statements from both parties differ significantly from the private cables.
(7 December 2010)
Related: Wikileaks: Obama briefed on oil sands’ ‘environmental footprint’.

Pablo Solón Responds to Secret U.S. Manipulation of Climate Talks Revealed in WikiLeaks Cable

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now
Secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have revealed new details about how the United States manipulated last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen. The cables show how the United States sought dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming, how financial and other aid was used to gain political backing, and how the United States mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the “Copenhagen Accord.” We speak to Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Pablo Solón. Several of the cables addressed Bolivia’s opposition to the U.S.-backed accord.

… Several of the memos addressed Bolivia’s opposition to the U.S.-backed accord. One cable from the U.S. embassy in Brussels describes a meeting this January between European Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and White House adviser Michael Froman. The memo states, quote, “Hedegaard responded that we will need to work around unhelpful countries such as Venezuela or Bolivia. Froman agreed that we will need to neutralize, co-opt or marginalize these and others such as Nicaragua, Cuba, Ecuador.” Soon after that meeting, the U.S. cut off millions of dollars in environmental aid money to Bolivia and Ecuador.

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales is also criticized in the leaked cables for organizing the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in April. John Creamer, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Bolivia, writes, quote, “Bolivia is already suffering real damage from the effects of global warming, but Morales seems to prefer to score rhetorical points rather than contribute to a solution. This radical position won him plaudits from anti-globalization groups, but has alienated many developed nations and most of Bolivia’s neighbors,” he wrote.
(6 December 2010)
Bolivia puts Wikileaks documents related to it online:

La Vicepresidencia del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, Presidencia de la Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional, en busca de democratizar el acceso a la información, pone a disposición del público los documentos del Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos, publicados por Wikileaks, que hacen referencia a Bolivia. Todos ellos se encuentra disponibles en su idioma original (inglés) y aquellos que contengan información relevante respecto al país, más allá de simples referencias, están traducidos al castellano o en su defecto en proceso, situación frente a la cual les pedimos paciencia.

El buscador ofrece distintas alternativas de búsqueda acorde a la relevancia del documento, su fecha de creación, el idioma en que se encuentran, la institución de origen, etc. Creemos firmemente que esta página ampliará el acceso a esta importantísima información y facilitará el trabajo de muchos ciudadanos.

Vicepresidencia del Estado
Presidencia de la Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional

“La verdad os hará libres”
(Juan 8,32)

“Toda institución reposa sobre una montaña de secretos”
(Julian Assange)

WikiLeaks: oil deal executive ‘was paid £46,000 a month’

Steven Swinford, Telegraph (UK)
A British executive overseeing a lucrative oil deal was paid nearly £50,000 a month, according to cables obtained by WikiLeaks
(1 December 2010)