On Friday 2 September, Wikileaks finally published the full batch of over 250,000 US diplomatic cables. The unredacted cables are now available online. The decision to dump the data in the open has landed Wikileaks in further controversy and drawn condemnation from its former media partners around the world, due to the possible risk of harm or danger to individuals named in the cables.
Perhaps it was only a matter of time. As interest in the story waned at The Guardian and other media outlets, Wikileaks engaged a wider range of partners, including 234NEXT.com in Nigeria, to leak country specific material. But the sheer number and size of documents would put any media organisation under strain, and within a few weeks 234NEXT had moved on like its predecessors. The task of editing and redacting the material presented a substantial burden which nobody seemed able to bear for too long.
Over the year, PLATFORM was able to provide timely analysis of cables that exposed Shell’s infiltration of the government of Nigeria, BP’s cover up of a major offshore gas leak in Azerbaijan, ENI’s corruption in Uganda and UK firm Heritage offers to bribe officials in Congo. Now, 9 months after the first cables were released, we will be able to look deeper into the cables and expose the oil industry’s hidden channels of power, influence and abuse and the role of our governments have played.