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CONNECT THE WORLD
What WikiLeaks Documents Reveal about North Korea; Investigation of FIFA; Latest WikiLeaks Disclosures
Aired November 30, 2010 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: China seeks damage control after leaked cables show it's growing tired of North Korea's antics, while the U.S. and South Korea ignore warnings from Pyongyang to stop these military exercises or face the consequences. This hour, what all involved hope to achieve, as we stand by for the release of even more documents from WikiLeaks.
Going beyond borders on the day's biggest stories, on CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.
Well, this time last night, you heard it here first -- China accusing North Korea of being a spoiled child. Well, with more WikiLeaks to come this hour, the low down on the global diplomatic fallout.
I'm Becky Anderson in London for you.
What you think about the release of this cache of secret documents. Your comments coming into us at Facebook.com/cnnconnect. I'll share some of those with you.
Also coming up, well, it's one country's bid to host the World Cup -- the football World Cup, of course. But a sting op claims the entire process is dirty. We're live in Zurich.
And we're going to take you to Brazil in the next 60 minutes, where decades old trash is being harnessed to power the country.
Well, shunned by almost every government on earth, North Korea has only one real ally. Newly released documents suggest that China is not only losing patience with Pyongyang, but could be warming to the idea of a unified Korea under the South's control.
And we begin tonight for you with Eunice Yoon in Seoul.
EUNICE YOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The latest U.S. diplomatic cable confirmed what many China watchers have suspected for years -- that China is growing frustrated with North Korea. One cable dating back to April, 2009, was particularly telling. It referred to a conversation with a Chinese vice foreign minister, who called North Korea "a spoiled child" trying to get the attention of Washington by carrying out missile tests.
Many believe the frustrations are being felt today, after the shelling of a South Korean island.
At a regularly scheduled bringing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wouldn't comment on the WikiLeaks release, but did acknowledge the potential fallout.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HONG LEI, CHINA MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (through translator): : I can't say. We have no comment. We don't want to see any disturbance to US/China relations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOON: As a key ally to North Korea, China is under pressure to step in whenever North Korea lashes out or Beijing risks compromising its own relationship with countries like South Korea and the United States. It's unclear whether the views in the cables are reflective of China's official policy.
However, analysts believe that these cables could indicate Beijing's acknowledgement of a changing geopolitical and economic landscape.
Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: All right, well, the "spoiled child" remark is just but one of several eyebrow raising comments attributed to Chinese officials. According to the leaked documents, senior Chinese figures told a South Korean official they believed Korea should be reunified under Seoul's control. They said this view was gaining ground with the leadership in Beijing.
Well, that South Korean official also dismissed the prospect of China's military intervention in the event of a North Korean collapse, saying, quote, "China's strategic economic interests now lie with the United States, Japan and South Korea, not with the North."
Well, these revelations come at an extremely tense time on the Korean Peninsula. As you know, the United States and South Korea are in the midst of military exercises, hoping that the show of force will deter North Korea from future attacks after a deadly assault recently on the South.
Stan Grant for CNN is aboard the USS George Washington.
STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One after one, these fighter jets are coming back in to land on the USS George Washington aircraft carrier. There are about 75 of these. We'll take a break right now. They make an absolutely almighty sound as they come in, an extraordinary sight as they come to such an abrupt halt. You can really feel that shake right through your body.
Now, these aircraft are part of these exercises in the Yellow Sea between South Korea and the United States. There are about 6,000...
(SOUND OF HORN)
GRANT: OK. Wait then -- about 6,000 troops on board this aircraft carrier. And they've been linking up with the South Korean forces.
We're about 100 kilometers, 60 miles, south of the disputed moratorium border between North and South Korea.
Now, these exercises were meant to be for defensive purposes. But, of course, they're taken on a whole new significance after North Korea's attack on Yeonpyeong. South Korea branding that an inhumane act, an act unprecedented since the Korean War to target civilians and warning that any more aggression, any more provocation and South Korea will hit back and hit back hard.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Stan Grant there for you.
Well, China may be growing frustrated with North Korea, but the White House today said that Beijing has an obligation to pressure Pyongyang into changing what it calls its belligerent behavior.
Well, let's find out what's going on here, shall we?
Our next guest says it's no secret that there is no love lost between China and North Korea.
Nina Hachigian has written a book called "The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive As Other Powers Rise".
She's also served in the U.S. National Security Council.
Joining us tonight from Los Angeles.
And if you were still serving, what do you think you'd have made of -- or what do you think they are making on the Security Council, of these WikiLeaks?
NINA HACHIGIAN, AUTHOR, "THE NEXT AMERICAN CENTURY," SENIOR FELLOW, AMERICAN PROGRESS: If I were still a U.S. official, I'd be very dismayed. I mean not only does it greatly complicate an already very complicated diplomatic situation, but it -- it would -- I would -- I would be concerned about what it is that I would say that would make it out into the public sphere. I mean it is -- it's, you know, it's a violation of the law.
ANDERSON: All right. OK, be that as it may, as we await more to drop from WikiLeaks tonight, the "spoiled child" line out of Beijing, it's certainly some of the most powerful rhetoric that we've heard to date. You say, though, that that doesn't surprise you.
HACHIGIAN: You know, anyone who's looked at the relationship knows that -- that there's not a lot of trust between Beijing and Pyongyang, between -- between China and North Korea. It used to be said that they were as close as wisdom teeth. But it's been -- it's been, I think, some decades since they've actually enjoyed a close -- any sort of a close, trusting relationship.
North Korea is a -- is a neighbor of China's and so they have to, you know, they have to deal and put up with North Korea. But it's -- it's not as if they -- they enjoy it.
ANDERSON: So, how do these war games -- let's call them that -- how do -- how do they play out in -- in the big scheme of things here?
Do -- does it really scare the North?
For example, do they -- are they necessary?
HACHIGIAN: I think it is -- I think it is necessary to show some sort of response. You wouldn't want North Korea thinking that they could get away with -- with an attack on a South Korean island and nothing happens.
On the other hand, you know, there were some war games just a couple of months ago between the U.S. and South Korea after the -- the sinking of the -- of the Cheonan by North Korea and that didn't seem to have deterred, you know, this current round of -- of provocative behavior.
So, you know, it's unclear yet how it's going to play out...
ANDERSON: I want to talk about...
HACHIGIAN: -- at the same time.
ANDERSON: -- six party talks to you, which, to all intents and purposes are breaking down at this point. We spoke last night to the U.S. envoy to those talks recently, the former U.S. envoy, Christopher Hill, who spoke to us out of Denver, Colorado.
This is what he said about the WikiLeaks last night.
Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: So we have a -- diplomatic dispatches being leaked all over the world. And, frankly, every country in the world would want to protect its diplomatic dispatches, just as the United States does. The real issue now is whether the kinds of relationships that we have around the world, whether with foreign analysts, foreign politicians, foreign leaders, whether those relationships will now be -- be damaged and whether that will harm the ability of the United States to conduct diplomacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: He went on to suggest that he was quite concerned about the -- the likelihood of six party talks getting ahead, if at all, going forward.
What is Washington doing wrong here?
HACHIGIAN: I -- you know, I don't think Washington is doing anything wrong. I think they're, you know, making best of -- of what's an incredibly bad situation. There's no, you know, we're in the land of lousy options here. I mean I think that up until this latest round of, you know, first the attack on -- or, well, first the revelation that -- that North Korea has an active uranium enrichment program; and, second, the attack on the South Korean island.
Before those and before the WikiLeaks there were, you know, lots of little noises that we were going to get right back on the track of the six party talks.
Now, I think that they are derailed. And although, again, we're not - - there's no magic bullet, I think the six party talks probably are the best path forward. So, hopefully we can, you know, get back to them.
ANDERSON: OK, so what we've got is WikiLeaks, when we learn, allegedly, what Beijing thinks about Pyongyang at the moment. We've got war games going on off the coast. And we've got the potential for six party talks possibly going forward in the future.
My question to you is this, now that the general public around the world is better informed about how Beijing feels about Pyongyang, do you think that diplomats need to change their rhetoric toward how they deal with North Korea going forward?
We now know, it seems, that China ain't that happy with what's going on in Pyongyang.
Do they actually really expect them to accept this kind of provo -- sort of provocation, to a certain extent, that we get when we've got these war games and these talks about six party talks still?
HACHIGIAN: Well, you know, they're not -- they're not that happy with North Korea. On the other hand, what they want more than anything is stability. And in the long-term, North Korea -- and part of the reason they're so irritated with North Korea is that North Korea just, you know, attracts all kinds of instability. It's instability itself but it -- it attracts all this international diplomatic attention, which with -- which China doesn't want.
But in the short-term, a -- a coherent North Korea makes -- makes it prevent -- well, that -- that if -- in the case of a breakdown in North Korea, you'd have refugees streaming across the border.
So in the short-term, North Korea staying as it is means stability for Beijing.
ANDERSON: So now Koreas, as it were, going forward, in the short- term, at least?
HACHIGIAN: You said two Koreas?
HACHIGIAN: You said that?
ANDERSON: No u -- no reunification is effectively what you're saying, in the short-term?
HACHIGIAN: Not, not in the short-term.
ANDERSON: How long?
HACHIGIAN: In the long-term, I think it's inevitable. Oh, it's -- you know, it's impossible to say it. I mean the cables are -- are -- you know, suggest that -- that the -- that North Korea will collapse a couple of years after Kim Jong-Il dies. I -- I wouldn't hold my breath.
ANDERSON: Hmmm. Interesting.
All right, so your expert on the subject tonight.
HACHIGIAN: We just -- we really just don't know.
ANDERSON: We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
Well, surprise it's been a hot topic online. You've been sharing your views on our CONNECT THE WORLD Facebook page. Here's some of what you had to say.
Jorge Varanda wrote on our page that things aren't quite as simple as they seem. He says: "The documents perhaps give us an idea of how North Korea tends to be seen behind the curtains, but they don't tell us anything of how China will act in the future."
One viewer voting on our Facebook wall said: "I wonder what North Korea is thinking. They are really spinning out of control."
Osy wrote: "It's become a moral burden for China to continue defending North Korea. It is necessary that they indicate to the North that any provocation will lead to war on the peninsula."
And Moulid weighs in by saying It isn't North Korea who's a "spoiled child," as described in those cables, but it is, in fact, America who acts like a "spoiled child".
What do you think?
Join the debate. Become a fan of the Facebook page by visiting Facebook.com/cnnconnect and then you can get involved.
And be sure to join us on Friday for a special edition of this show. CONNECT THE WORLD will dig even deeper into the WikiLeaks controversy, as we examine the effect these documents are having on policy for a number of key issues, including North Korea and Iran. We'll also take a broader look at the impact on diplomacy itself. That's Friday right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Moving on tonight, we are far from finished with this story, so stay with us. We're hearing the latest documents to be released will deal with U.S. and British fears over Pakistan's nuclear program. We're going to have more on that coming up in the next few minutes.
Plus, FIFA hits out over yet more claims of corruption.
But will it affect this week's World Cup vote?
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Well, we're going to get more on the WikiLeaks as they hit the wires for you and get into CNN Center.
We just want to move on at this point in the show, though, to another headlining story for you. By this time Thursday, we're going to know who will host the World Cup in 2018 and in 2022. But in the hours before the crucial vote, the International Olympic Committee has announced an investigation into claims of corruption against FIFA's vice president.
Now, a report by the BBC alleges that Issa Hayatou, who is also a long time IOC member, was one of three FIFA officials who reportedly accepted bribes in the 1990s. Football's world governing body has dismissed the allegations, saying they've already been investigated by Swiss authorities.
Well, in a statement, it stressed that, quote: "There has been no court conviction against FIFA. The investigation and the case are definitely closed."
Well, some worry that revelations by a British broadcaster are the last thing that England needs ahead of Thursday's crucial vote. The country has submitted one of the four competing bids, that is the competition of the tournament in 2018. Other contenders include Russia, as well as joint bids from Belgium and the Netherlands and Portugal and Spain. Countries competing for the 2022 World Cup include the U.S., Qatar, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
So what should we make of these latest corruption allegations?
Let's go back to Pedro Pinto, who's in -- in Zurich for you tonight, where the vote will take place less than 48 hours from now -- and, Pedro, another week, another scandal, it seems.
PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It is true, Becky.
Good evening from Zurich.
And I'm standing outside the hotel where David Beckham will conduct a press conference on Wednesday morning. Of course, he and the rest of the England bidding team will be hoping that these latest revelations made by a documentary don't damage the chances England have of hosting the World Cup in 2018.
You mentioned what's been happening with Issa Hayatou. There is more fallout. The president of the Confederation of African Football has threatened legal action against the BBC. The reason for that is that he is denying any kind of allegations that he took personal payments. He said these payments were made to the Confederation as part of a sponsorship deal from a marketing company. So there was nothing illegal going on.
Of course, Issa Hayatou was not the only FIFA high ranking official implicated in this documentary that was released on Monday night in England. The others were Ricardo Teixeira. He's the president of the Brazilian Confederation. And also Nicolas Leoz. He's from Paraguay and is the president of CONMEBOL, the South America football confederation. And they were also implicated in this alleged bribing scandal, where all three high ranking officials did take money in exchange for providing a -- a special relationship for (AUDIO GAP) whose firm is now defunct.
So this is the latest that we have heard from this documentary in England. And England, especially, will be hoping that their chances of victory are not damaged. And I can tell you that in some book makers, their odds of winning the bid to host 2018 have fallen -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff.
All right. And you'll be there, I know, through Thursday and through the vote.
Pedro Pinto for you in Zurich.
Well, you've been telling us what you think or who you think should host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.
Andreas writing: "Give it to countries that haven't had it before. Russia for 2018 and Australia in 2022."
Kimberly writing on the blog tonight: "It should be Spain, because they just won the cup. England, I don't think, should win it."
Wooo to you.
Tom weighs in: "England should win for 2018. The infrastructure is all there and the weather is not too bad."
Well, not in June, anyway.
From the Netherlands Matthijs wrote: "The Dutch people don't want a bunch of corrupt FIFA officials telling our government what to do. England can have it, as they seem to want it the most."
And finally, David Burton tonight for you: "I am Australian. My wife is American. And we both live in Qatar. While we would both love our respective countries to win, I honestly believe there could be no better decision than to have Qatar win in 2022.
Tell us what you think. Get your voice heard. Join in the debate on the Web site, CNN.com/connect.
Well, who will get the final nod to host the tournament?
Well, join us, though, to find out. CNN will have live coverage of FIFA's announcement. We'll get the previews and reaction from every country bidding for the tournament.
On our team, Pedro Pinto live in Zurich; Isha Sesay for you in Atlanta. Coverage begins 14:30 in London, 15:30 in Central Europe, right here on CNN.
Well, up next on the show tonight as we analyze -- continue to analyze the latest WikiLeaks revelations, we're hearing more classified documents are set to be published soon. We're going to bring you the latest expose as that happens.
First, though, CNN's Green Week continues in Brazil. We'll show you how three decades of garbage there may soon become a powerful new source of energy.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: All right, I promised to keep you bang up to date on what we are hearing on the WikiLeaks disclosures and this just dropping this -- in the past few minutes. U.S. diplomatic cables about Pakistan cited by "The New York Times" reveal a relationship full of anxiety about the country's uranium stockpile and its role in the struggle against Islamic militancy and its economic crisis. That the very latest coming to us from WikiLeaks.
We'll have more live from our reporters at the half hour for you. That's just about five or six minutes from now. Do stay with us for that. They are working to get as much as possible for you for the bottom of the hour.
All this week, though, on CNN, we are looking at how our actions today are impacting us potentially tomorrow.
We began Monday in Yemen, a country torn between a valuable cash crop and a disappearing water supply.
Well, tonight we turn to Brazil, where one man's trash is another man's treasure and a third man's plan for powering the country into the future.
CNN's Shasta Darlington reports.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The stench is unbearable. You throw something away in Rio de Janeiro, there's a 70 percent chance it will show up here, in the Gramacho landfill -- an otherworldly place where scavengers spend their days digging for cans, bottles and cardboard to recycle while vultures fight for their share.
Tiago has worked here for 30 years. "I make enough to eat rice and beans every day," he says.
Gramacho is one of the biggest landfills in Latin America. You can see it on Google Earth. 2.4 million tons of urban waste have been buried here every year for the last three decades.
Garbage pickers sift through it 24 hours a day.
(on camera): Now these guys know their trash. They actually look for the trucks when they come in to see where they're coming from. The best ones come from Rio de Janeiro proper. This one comes from a poor suburb, so you won't see that many people jumping on it as it dumps its load. But here they go. Each person has a specialty. One person will look for plastic, another for paper, cardboard, metal. And each person will then take their load down to the bottom of the hill and sell it. They'll recycle it.
Whoever gets -- gets it first gets to keep it.
(voice-over): For Paula, it's like an extended family: "We all work in the same place," she says. "We laugh, we sleep when the sun goes down. One person helps another."
But soon, they'll all be out of a job. Engineers have already started drilling a network of 300 wells in the massive mountain of garbage to extract methane generated by the trash.
EDUARDO LEVENHAGEN, NOVO GRAMACHO PLANT: You can see the big pipes spread on the -- over the landfill.
DARLINGTON: That methane is being pumped down the hill to this plant, where they purify it, separating out CO2 and nitrogen. By April next year, the methane will be piped to a nearby refinery owned by the state oil Monopoly, Petrobras, providing 10 percent of the refinery's power.
LEVENHAGEN: The other fuels, methane or natural gas from the -- the wells that we have offshore. We are using something from the landfill that's renewable energy.
DARLINGTON: By converting huge amounts of greenhouse gases over the next 15 years, the plant will also receive carbon credits.
LEVENHAGEN: This is the most important thing for us.
DARLINGTON: Smaller, more modern landfills will take Gramacho's place. Rio's giant landfill will close down for good in 2012, a boon for the environment but a bittersweet end for the 1,300 people who make their living here.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Jardin Gramacho.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Hmmm. And tomorrow, our Green Week takes us out of the -- to the old ball game. We're going to show you how one of the most legendary names in baseball and some new ones, too, are making their stadiums eco-friendly. That is tomorrow at this time on CONNECT THE WORLD.
And we are getting word on a new batch of cables leaked by the WikiLeaks Web site. One hot subject tonight, Pakistan and concerns over its nuclear program. We've got our reporters standing by to give us details on that just ahead.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in London. It's just after half past nine. Coming up, the latest WikiLeaks release, reportedly including material on Pakistan. Our reporters getting ready to bring you the latest information on world governments and diplomats and what they've been saying to each other.
Then, we dig deeper and look at the material that you may have missed after the first wave of media coverage.
And the diplomatic fallout as the proverbial egg splattered all over the faces of American officials.
All that ahead in the next half hour for you. Before that, let's get you a very quick check of the headlines this hour.
The European Commission says it's opening an anti-trust investigation of Google after rivals accused it of rigging the online search market. But officials say the probe does not imply that they have proof that EU rules were violated. Google says it will cooperate.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran has agreed to full discussions about the country's nuclear program as long as talks are, quote, "handled with respect." The meetings would involve the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany. The Five Plus Six meeting is set to begin in Geneva in December on December 6th.
On his State of the Union address, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev issued a call for cooperation in Europe's missile defense shield. He warned that Russia and the west could face a new arms race if they fail to reach an agreement on the defense system.
New details are emerging from the batch of cables released by the WikiLeaks website. According to "The New York Times" and other media, the US cables show anxiety over Pakistan's nuclear program, its struggle against militants, and its economic crisis. CNN cannot independently verify the content of all of these cables.
We are, though, across them for you, and let's find out what the latest revelations from the organization are. I want to bring in Atika Shubert here in our London newsroom, and Frederik Pleitgen, who is at CNN Center. First, Fred, what are you hearing?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, what I'm hearing is mostly from "Der Spiegel," which, of course, is one of the publications that was able to get these cables and look through them as well.
They're, of course, like "The New York Times," also focusing on this new -- on these Pakistan cables right now. The big headline there -- there, you can see the "Spiegel" head -- the "Spiegel" website. The big headline there right now is, as you said, the thought of the American government that the Pakistani government is more unstable than many people believe.
Also, of course, the worries about Pakistan's nuclear program and how, allegedly, the Americans were trying to control that nuclear problem. They're really quite frustrated with the way that Pakistani government reacted.
This is really something that a lot of people were thinking anyway, a lot of people were talking about in Islamabad, as well. I spent a lot of time there, as well. So, certainly, this is something that really confirms a lot about what people had been thinking the relationship between the US and Pakistan was like, where the US was going in one direction, but was never really feeling that the Pakistanis were fully onboard with US interests in that region, Becky.
ANDERSON: All right, Fred, thanks for that. For the time being, that is what we're getting out of "Der Spiegel," one of the organizations that have signed up to, effectively, drop the load on these -- with these WikiLeaks. Atika Shubert covering the story for you out of London. And what are we hearing from elsewhere, Atika?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Same thing, echoing those anxieties about Pakistan. "Le Monde," the French paper, their headline is "Obama's Nuclear Nightmare in Pakistan," and it cites one of these cables from the US ambassador Anne Patterson, who was the ambassador in Pakistan, saying that the -- that Pakistan's nuclear program was his "private nightmare," according to one telegram that they are citing.
And "The Guardian" also, same thing, a little bit more details about fears over Pakistan's nuclear weapons and just how difficult diplomacy is in that country. Again, as quoting Anne Patterson in a cable saying, "Our major concern is not having an Islamic militant steal an entire weapon but, rather, the chance someone working in government of Pakistan facilities could gradually smuggle enough material out to eventually make a weapon." So, it seems like Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is the headline for tonight.
ANDERSON: All right, keep working the story for us, guys. We'll be back to you as and when you get more. Let's give you a sense of how this whole story is playing out across the Middle East. In a moment, Ben Wedeman will give us the view from Cairo. First, though, here's Kevin Flower in Jerusalem.
KEVIN FLOWER, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF (on camera): Despite some dire predictions just a few days ago about the possible impact a WikiLeaks release could have on US-Israeli relations, Israeli officials here in Jerusalem have seen very little that they've been upset about thus far.
In fact, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to point out today that cables that documented Arab leaders' desires to see the US deal more forcefully with Iran and its nuclear program were clear evidence that Israeli fears and warnings about Iran were not only justified, but shared by other countries throughout the region.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): For the first in modern history, there is not an inconsequential agreement in Israel and countries in the region that the main threat stems from Iran, its expansion plans, and its weaponizing steps. This was exposed in a very persuasive way in the latest disclosures. Although it was known, well, it was not said directly.
FLOWER (on camera): And while still not being said directly, it's direct enough for the Israeli government, which welcomes any news that puts the focus on Iran and its nuclear program and off the stalled peace process with the Palestinians. Kevin Flower, CNN, Jerusalem.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I'm Ben Wedeman in Cairo. The picture that emerges from the WikiLeaks cables on Egypt is of an old American ally that oftentimes feels unappreciated.
WEDEMAN (on camera): Of an Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, who's personally offended by occasional US criticism of his authoritarian rule. The US ambassador to Cairo describes how Mubarak has a visceral hatred for Iran, whose leaders he considers to be liars.
But none of this is really news. What's most interesting is the little peeks behind the official facade. The cables say that Mubarak likes to recount to visiting American officials how he warned George W. Bush against invading Iraq, ending with "I told you so!" and a wag of his finger.
ANDERSON: That's the picture out of Egypt. Tonight, this hour, Pakistan in the crosshairs. We're going to get a closer look after the break at the newly released WikiLeaks documents. They are just dropping as we speak. What they may mean for both the United States and the people named in them. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: All right, new details emerging from the batch of cables being released by WikiLeaks. Let's get to our reporters covering the story for us. Fred Pleitgen is at CNN Center. What have you got?
PLEITGEN: Well, I've been reading through this new batch that's on "Der Spiegel," of course, the German website. And it's interesting that we've been talking about the whole Pakistan connection there and the worries about Pakistan's nuclear program.
But they really go into depth even a little more in that story, where they talk about further cables, of course, from then-ambassador Anne Patterson, who actually, incidentally was just recently replaced there in Pakistan, saying also about worries about the stability of the Pakistani government, how the US was very worried about their also, allegedly, claiming that parts of the secret service of Pakistan, the ISI, of course it's called, were possibly out of control in that country.
And also, one of the interesting sort of nuggets that we got from that so far is that the assessment of the US embassy there in that country that the chief of the military, Parvez Kayani, is probably the most strong figure in that country.
So, a lot of things that we were -- sort of knew the US was thinking now seem to be confirmed by these cables. Very interesting batch that we're reading through also pertaining to the war on terror, where the US feels that Pakistan may be isn't doing as much as it should be.
And I'm translating this from German, so bear with me for a second, but one of the cables that she apparently writes is that the government of Pakistan has neither arrested Haqqani, of course, from the Haqqani Network, nor Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. And these militants are, essentially, responsible for about 40 percent of the attacks on US troops in Afghanistan.
So, certainly a lot of frustration that appears to be voiced in these cables, but also a lot of things that we sort of already believed were true are now being confirmed, or seemingly being confirmed, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes. Fascinating. All right, Fred, thank you for that. Fred and Atika monitoring what is dropping from WikiLeaks as we speak. While they do that, let's talk about what all these revelations mean for international relations. We're joined by Richard Dalton, who is the former British ambassador to Iran.
I'm going to talk about Pakistan, first, before we turn to Iran, which I know is your area of special interest. But what we're hearing from Pakistan is fascinating tonight. US and UK diplomats warning of terrorists getting a hold of fissile material and Pakistan-India nuclear -- and of Pakistan nuclear exchange with India. And Pakistan is not going to like this at all, are they?
RICHARD DALTON, FORMER UK AMBASSADOR TO IRAN: No, they're not. But they know from academic and governmental discussion and journalists reports over many years that these have been and still are live concerns. So, I don't think they're going to be surprised that this is reflected in the dispatches of American ambassadors.
ANDERSON: They're not going to like it, though, are they?
DALTON: They're not going to like it because it's broadcast to the world through this means.
ANDERSON: Let's talk about Iran, shall we? Because we have some fascinating insight, and I want to say, perhaps, we -- perhaps you know much of what was going on in these -- this cache of secret documents because at one point, you were writing them.
But fascinating for viewers, journalists, and historians alike to learn that the region that surrounds Iran -- well, I'd go so far as to say, fairly gung ho about keeping an eye on what is going on so far as relations with the western world are concerned. And if things don't get better, there was some sense, certainly from the Saudis and the Jordanians, even, supporting that -- bombing Iran wouldn't be a last resort.
DALTON: Yes, but they're wrong, aren't they? That's not going to make their region safer in the long term. And it's evident now that this debate about the right means of responding to Iran have got to be stepped up several years.
There is still an opportunity to make the negotiations that are going to start on the 6th of December a success. And, frankly, it requires a reappraisal in Washington and the other five capitals of their objectives and their tactics hitherto in order to find a win-win deal that can make the region safer and ensure that Iran complies with its NPT obligations.
ANDERSON: And you allude to a meeting on September the -- on December 6th, which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today has agreed to. He says as long as talks are, quote, "handled with respect." Is there any coincidence that yesterday Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the world learned how the region felt about him and today he signs up to a bunch of talks?
DALTON: Ten days ago, the date that was being given was the 5th of December, and haggling was still going on about where it should be. So, talks about serious negotiations had been going on for many weeks, and it's very much to be welcomed that people are no longer talking about these minor details and they're actually going to get together around the same table over a day or two.
But I expect the first round is going to be a bout the agenda and the participation. And there are still many points in Iranian concerns, which are going to be very difficult for the six countries to agree to and vice versa.
ANDERSON: Our viewers will be waiting and watching for further revelations from the WikiLeaks documents, and we'll bring those to them as they drop. Our reporters are working the story as we speak. In between all the discussions and disclosures about major players on the world stage, these leaked cables, Richard, have other interesting revelations that some people might have missed.
So, I just want to remind people, for instance, what we've heard from Kuwait interior ministry, reportedly telling a US ambassador that his country does not want to see the return of Kuwaiti terror suspects held in Guantanamo Bay. He said, quote, "If they are rotten, they are rotten, and the best thing to do is to get rid of them."
Another cable talked about Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. He reportedly advised the US to forget about democracy in Iraq and instead install a new dictator there who would stand up to Iran. These are the sort of things we've been hearing over the last 48 hours or so.
And the personal jabs, Richard, just keep coming. French president Nicolas Sarkozy was reportedly described by a US diplomat as "thin-skinned and authoritarian." Other descriptions include "an activist on the international scene with an opportunistic eye for grabbing credit and attention."
Another document, meantime, referring to Russia as a virtual Mafia state where decision-making is done by, quote, "alpha dog Prime Minister Vladimir Putin." You can imagine these revelations have left US diplomats red-faced. But apparently what comes around, goes around.
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HILLARY CLINTON, US SECRETARY OF STATE: I can tell you that in my conversations, at least one of my counterparts said to me, "Well, don't worry about it. You should see what we say about you."
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ANDERSON: Richard, you've been a diplomat. You've written these --
ANDERSON: Secret documents, as they once were. How do you feel about all of this?
DALTON: Well, first of all, they're going to be secret in the future. You can't eliminate the possibility of the leaks, but I expect the United States will tighten up its handling of material. And we know perfectly well that there are many circulations and many destinations of US official telegrams which are nowhere near WikiLeaks. So, it's possible to do if you apply the need-to-know principle better than the United States has done in the connection with this Defense Department intranet.
ANDERSON: You've been in the diplomatic world for years. The sort of things that we're hearing, whether people know or not that they are talking about each other's countries -- maybe not everybody knows that these secret documents go back and forth and people are talking about how they feel about the country that they are an ambassador in. But some of what's been said is pretty embarrassing.
DALTON: Yes, but it's not undiplomatic language.
DALTON: The job of a diplomat is to tell it how it is, and the ministers to whom ambassadors are writing, in effect, in democracies, need to know about the personalities and about the political atmosphere as well about -- as well as about the bare facts of political machinations and parties.
ANDERSON: Would you have described somebody the way that Nicolas Sarkozy was described in an e-mail?
DALTON: I would've been prepared to if it was relevant to the official need, which my government wanted, which was an effective description of how things are in the country to which I'm appointed. And, clearly, there's a risk that you're going to be found out by your domestic government on occasions.
But after all, much of what we've seen is about the past. There's very little so far revealed about negotiations or policies or actual operations that are underway in the last few weeks.
ANDERSON: All right. We're going to find out more about what is coming in. "Alpha dog" Vladimir Putin, did you describe him like that when you were a diplomat?
DALTON: Everybody's seen the photographs of Putin half-dressed with big biceps, sporting a sniper's rifle, out hunting with a large Alsatian beside him. That's the way he presents himself on occasions.
ANDERSON: OK. All right, I get your point. Richard Dalton is with us, former ambassador to Iran for the Brits. As you say, we're looking to find out what happens next and what's in the future. We've heard the revelations so far, but more are still to come. What will they mean for American diplomacy moving forward? That part of the story up next.
ANDERSON: All right, the latest batch of new information on US diplomacy from WikiLeaks coming to us. CNN reporters around the globe are covering the story. I'm joined by Atika Shubert here in our London newsroom and Fred Pleitgen at CNN Center. Let's kick off with you, Fred.
PLEITGEN: Yes, Becky, well, this one news story that was actually just posted on "Der Spiegel" website, which of course is one of the media outlets that has gotten to see these cables.
And this actually pertains to something between the US and Germany where, apparently, a US defense contractor that's operating in Iraq and Afghanistan attempted to circumvent German laws on defense goods export. So they're very strict, actually, in Germany.
And, apparently, this is about several helicopters that were bought by this American company and then, against German laws, were then brought into Afghanistan, which is something that the Germans, of course, are very sensitive about.
There's a quote in there from the ambassador at the time, his name is William Timken, he's since replaced -- been replaced by Phillip Murphy, of course. And he was saying -- and again, I'm translating this from German as I go. And it's saying, this whole thing in Germany if it becomes known could get -- could become problematic to the extent that it's much more important than just a few helicopters. The German public is very, very sensitive about what's going on in Afghanistan.
So this is certainly something that seems to have worried the US embassy in Berlin, something that they were not very happy about and something that, right now, we're of course learning from these documents, Becky.
ANDERSON: OK, Fred, thank you for that. Fascinating stuff. Let's get to Atika Shubert monitoring some of the other organizations who've got these WikiLeaks. What have you got?
SHUBERT: Well, "Le Monde," the French newspaper, has just put up their latest headline, "WikiLeaks Says Nicolas Sarkozy, the American." And it basically says that they're going to be publishing a whole new set of documents and embassy cables that show just how much Sarkozy and President Bush basically admired each other.
And one of the things they're quoting here is the ambassador to France from the US saying Sarkozy has expressed his admiration for President Bush. And they quote President Sarkozy in this cable saying "They call me Sarkozy the American. They consider it an insult, but I take it as a compliment."
So, it is quite a long article, and it may have some quite embarrassing revelations for Sarkozy in terms of showing just how much he cooperated with the US administration. Iraq, for example, highly unpopular with the French public, but it does show a lot of cooperation between Sarkozy and President Bush and a number of other discussions here.
It's also interesting to note there is a -- in one of the cables here, a description of Sarkozy saying that he's pragmatic, brilliant, impatient, undiplomatic, unpredictable, charming, and innovative. That's a lot of adjectives for one president.
ANDERSON: All right, Atika, thank you for that. Keep up the good work.
Officially, most government officials criticized in the leaked documents say the information will not impact their future relations with the United States. But is that really true? I want to delve into potential political fallout, diplomatic and political fallout now. Richard Dalton's still with me, here, in the studio, the former UK ambassador to Iran. First, on what we've just heard?
DALTON: I think that people outside governments who talk to American ambassadors, and maybe other ambassadors are well, are going to be a bit more reserved. That is a serious loss.
Secondly, there will be occasions when American representatives maybe get frozen out and the minister in question of particular country of importance to the United States really wants to get his or her message across directly to the recipient in Washington.
So, maybe patterns of diplomatic communication will shift, but the substance will remain the same. Because the facts of power remain the same. Because national interests remain the same.
And in the case of the United Kingdom, whatever might have been thought about David Cameron at one point in the past, David Cameron is the best UK prime minister whom the US administration have got for the next four and a half years. So, they're going to have to work together.
ANDERSON: You did such a job for some time. It's not an easy job, I'm sure. I'm banking on the fact that you're going to tell me it's not an easy job. But anyway, just how -- you say things ultimately won't change and people will still talk to each other whatever they've learned other people might feel about them. But it will make the job an awful lot more difficult, won't it?
DALTON: No, I don't think it will. It's going to make it complex in cases where there are individuals in the country where you are working who feel a reserve as a result of this exercise.
ANDERSON: In what sort of countries, then? Where are you talking about?
DALTON: I think maybe Arab countries are a good example, where people are very sensitive to personal criticism or to personal embarrassment.
In Europe, for example, the kinds of things we're hearing that American representatives have said about statesmen in our continent pale into insignificance in comparison with the kind of insults and backchat which they get from their own parties, let alone from their own hostile press or their own political opposition. So their backs are broad. But that may not be the case elsewhere.
ANDERSON: Pakistan, for example.
DALTON: Maybe, yes.
ANDERSON: All right. Good, good stuff. Just finally before we go, we are still, as I say, monitoring, viewers, what is coming in on these WikiLeaks, and do stick with CNN for all of this. If you were still in the game, would you be concerned about what was going on at the moment?
DALTON: I would be reminding ministers in democracies to keep their covenant with their public servants in good order. And that means observing international law, living up to your ideals and values rather than trying to circumvent them, and making sure that your lines of democratic accountability are 100 percent intact, that you're not going in for black ops or deniable operations in which you have deliberately set up structures or arranged explanations of the Geneva Conventions which obviate the constraints which your constitution and the liberties of your citizens require you to live by.
So, there's a big challenge here for the future, which has been discussed, and it's why we have Chilcot inquiries looking into the origins and conduct of the Iraq war in the United Kingdom. This is an important message of the WikiLeaks episode.
ANDERSON: And finally, and very briefly, would the Americans be even more upset if they found out what other people were saying about them rather than us finding out what they are saying about other people?
DALTON: Well, yes, but I expect they know a good deal of that anyway.
ANDERSON: Richard Dalton, thank you for joining us. Former UK ambassador to Iran, your expert on the subject this evening.
Do be sure to join us on Friday for a very special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. We're going to dig even deeper into this WikiLeaks controversy, round it out for you as we get through a week's worth of documentation. We're going to examine the effect these documents are having on policy for a number of key issues, including North Korea and Iran.
We'll also take a broader look at the impact on diplomacy itself. That's Friday, right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
I'm Becky Anderson in London. That is your world connected. "BackStory" and the headlines are next right after this very short break. Stay with us.