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WikiLeaks flood of US cables,World braces

WASHINGTON:  The release of millions of potentially embarrassing US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks are braced by Governments around the world on Saturday as Washington raced to contain the fallout.

The whistle-blower website is expected to put online three million leaked cables covering US dealings and confidential views of countries including Australia, Britain, Canada, Israel, Russia and Turkey.

US diplomats skipped their Thanksgiving holiday weekend and headed to foreign ministries hoping to stave off anger over the cables, which are internal messages that often lack the niceties diplomats voice in public.

“WikiLeaks are an absolutely awful impediment to my business, which is to be able to have discussions in confidence with people. I do not understand the motivation for releasing these documents,” said James Jeffrey, the US ambassador to Iraq.

He told reporters.“They will not help, they will simply hurt our ability to do our work here,”The top US military commander, Admiral Mike Mullen, meanwhile urged WikiLeaks to stop its “extremely dangerous” release of documents, according to a transcript of a CNN interview set to air Sunday.

Russia’s respected Kommersant newspaper said that the documents included US diplomats’ conversations with Russian politicians and “unflattering” assessments of some of them.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the impending file dump on “little thieves running around the Internet.”The Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.“They steal secret documents there, but we do not get the same thing here — or at least not to the same extent,”

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley has said that the United States was “gearing up for the worst-case scenario” and informing governments about the possible release of documents.

WikiLeaks has not specified the documents’ contents or when they would be put online, but Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said officials were expecting a release “late this week or early next week.”The website has said there would be “seven times” as many secret documents as the 400,000 Iraq war logs it published last month.

Turkish media said the planned release includes papers suggesting that Ankara helped al Qaeda militants in Iraq and that the United States helped Iraq-based Kurdish rebels fighting against Turkey ,potentially explosive revelations for the two allies.

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