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After Julian Assange gave a speech at the Oxford Union on January 23, 2012, The Guardian published an article criticizing his appearance, saying "he refused to be gracious". At the time, video had not been uploaded of the event, so it was impossible to contradict The Guardian's claims. Now that the Oxford Union has uploaded the full speech and Q&A session (albeit only after editing out footage of "Collateral Murder" due to copyright fears), The Guardian's blatant smear tactics can be revealed.

It should first be noted that The Guardian chooses to focus on Julian Assange, rather than the event which he was speaking at: the Sam Adams Award ceremony. Thomas Fingar, the recipient of the award who authored a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate which asserted that Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, is not even mentioned in The Guardian's article.
The Guardian describes Mr Assange's talk as "an impassioned defence of WikiLeaks and against censorship of all kinds", but foregoes any actual discussion of his 21-minute speech, instead focusing on the Q&A session. The article states that Mr Assange "repeatedly refused to answer questions about his decision not to return to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault". This is false as Mr Assange did not "refuse" to answer any questions, but indeed answered all that were asked of him.
The first question The Guardian mentions is a student asking how long Mr Assange will stay in the Embassy. He responds, "We will see. Hopefully not much longer, but who knows". As Mr Assange and the Ecuadorian Government are attempting to arrange a diplomatic solution with Britain, this can be viewed as an honest, straightforward answer. But The Guardian implies that his answer was insufficient, stating that "the next student fared no better".


The following question is about Julian Assange's refusal to return to Sweden. The Guardian describes his answer stating:
"Assange's smile faded. "I have answered these questions extensively in the past," he replied sharply and referred the student to a website."
First off, The Guardian implies that the question altered Julian Assange's mood, something which can be concluded to be false upon seeing the video. He receives and answers the question in the same manner. Secondly, it is true that he has "answered these questions extensively", and it is also detailed in Ecuador's statement on the acceptance of his asylum. Furthermore, after referring the student to the Justice for Assange website, he goes on to give a brief explanation of how Sweden refuses to guarantee against his extradition to the U.S. Again, answering the question. 

 
Mr Assange is then asked, "What would you say to the protesters outside who say that your appearance here and you being in the Ecuadorian Embassy is dismissing victims of rape and the seriousness of the crime of rape?"
The Guardian states, "Assange half closed his eyes and sighed", neither of which happen. Again, we see The Guardian attempting to paint Mr Assange as someone who is annoyed by these questions, when he is actually answering them in an even, straightforward manner.
The Guardian continues:
"[Assange speaking:] "I heard there was a protest but we sent our cameras out there before joining you tonight and there were 28 supporters of me and of no one else."
Before the event, however, there had been at least 50 protesters and no supporters of Assange to be seen. After the ceremony, security staff confirmed they had not seen anyone defending the WikiLeaks founder all evening."
 
If you listen to Mr Assange's actual response, you will notice that he is implicitly referring to the planned protest outside the Ecuadorian Embassy:
"Well, I'm here at the Embassy. I heard there was going to be a protest, repeated ad infinitum in The Guardian by PPE students who somehow have roles writing for The Guardian. But actually, we count 28 supporters of ours out there—we just sent out the cameraman—and no one else."


As he suggests, there were plans to protest both outside the Oxford Union and the Ecuadorian Embassy, arranged by the same person.
The second half of The Guardian's article contains quotes from the protesters outside, as if to frame Mr Assange as a liar based on the previous claims they make. All other questions he is asked go unreported—namely, all the ones not about the Swedish allegations, but about a government's right to keep secrets, Mr Assange's asylee status, the publication of unredacted cables, WikiLeaks' decision process of what to publish, and cyberterrorism.
It is clear from The Guardian's article that they have an obsession with Julian Assange and are incredibly selective of their quotations in order to frame him as an ungrateful liar. But if one reviews the actual source material, it is evident that The Guardian's claims hold no truth.


All videos of Julian Assange's speech at the Oxford Union can be seen at its YouTube Channel.


[Update]

A short letter criticizing the same article, signed by ten former intelligence officers and foreign service officers, has been published by The Guardian. It reads as follows:
If the Guardian could "find no allies" of Julian Assange (Report, 24 January), it did not look very hard. They could be found among the appreciative audience at the Oxford Union, and in our group seated at the front: the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. Many in our group, which co-sponsored the event, had travelled considerable distances to confer the 10th annual Sam Adams award on Dr Thomas Fingar for his work overseeing the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that revealed the absence of an Iranian nuclear weaponisation programme since 2003. Many of us spoke about the need for integrity in intelligence, describing the ethical dilemma that confronts government employees who witness illegal activity, including serious threats to public safety. However, none of this, nor any aspect of Dr Fingar's acceptance speech, made it into your article.

Today sees the launch of the Freedom of the Press Foundation − a new initiative inspired by the fight against the two-year-long extra-judicial financial embargo imposed on WikiLeaks by U.S. financial giants including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and the Bank of America.
The Freedom of the Press Foundation, an initiative of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) co-founder John Perry Barlow, former Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, the actor John Cusack and others, will crowd-source fundraising and support for organizations or individuals under attack for publishing the truth. It aims to promote "aggressive, public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption and law-breaking in government".
Over the last two years the blockade has stopped 95 per cent of contributions to WikiLeaks, running primary cash reserves down from more than a million dollars in 2010 to under a thousand dollars, as of December 2012. Only an aggressive attack against the blockade will permit WikiLeaks to continue publishing through 2013.
The new initiative, combined with a recent victory in Germany, means contributions to WikiLeaks now have tax-deductible status throughout the United States and Europe.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' publisher, said: "We've fought this immoral blockade for two long years. We smashed it in the courts. We smashed it in the Treasury. We smashed it in France. We smashed it in Germany. And now, with strong and generous friends who still believe in First Amendment rights, we're going to smash it in the United States as well."
The Foundation's first 'bundle' will crowd-source funds for WikiLeaks, the National Security Archive, The UpTake and MuckRock News. Donors will be able to use a slider to set how much of their donation they wish each organization to receive and can donate to WikiLeaks using their credit cards. The Foundation holds 501(c) charitable status, so donations are tax-deductible in the U.S. Other courageous press organizations will be added as time goes by. It will not be possible to see by banking records what portion of a donor's contribution, if any, goes to WikiLeaks.
It is admitted by Visa, MasterCard and others that the blockade is entirely as a result of WikiLeaks' publications. In fact, the U.S. Treasury has cleared WikiLeaks and WikiLeaks has won against Visa in court, but the blockade continues.
John Perry Barlow, a board member of the new Foundation, says the initiative aims to achieve more than just crowd-sourced fundraising: "We hope it makes a moral argument against these sorts of actions. But it could also be the basis of a legal challenge. We now have private organizations with the ability to stifle free expression. These companies have no bill of rights that applies to their action - they only have terms of service."
The WikiLeaks banking blockade showed how devastating such extra-judicial measures can be for not-for-profit investigative journalism and free press organizations. Initiatives such as the Freedom of the Press Foundation are vital to sustain a truly independent free press.
In heavily redacted European Commission documents recently released by WikiLeaks, MasterCard Europe admitted that U.S. Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King were both directly involved in instigating the blockade.
As journalist Glenn Greenwald − also on the FPF board − recently wrote: "What possible political value can the internet serve, or journalism generally, if the U.S. government, outside the confines of law, is empowered − as it did here − to cripple the operating abilities of any group which meaningfully challenges its policies and exposes its wrongdoing?... That the U.S. government largely succeeded in using extra-legal and extra-judicial means to cripple an adverse journalistic outlet is a truly consequential episode: nobody, regardless of one's views on WikiLeaks, should want any government to have that power."
But what of the chance these U.S. companies will blockade the FPF like they did WikiLeaks? "Let Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and all the rest block the independent Freedom of the Press Foundation. Let them demonstrate to the world once again who they really are," said Mr Assange.

LONDON -- As news of the massive leak of secret U.S. diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks spreads like wildfire around the world, American politicians have reacted with outrage. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) wants to shut down Wikileaks, the brainchild of Julian Assange. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) wants it declared a terrorist organization. Over in Europe, however, where some of the leaked documents have the ability to do some real damage, reactions have been considerably more varied.

There is, understandably, some shock and concern that the information was so widely available within the various echelons of the U.S. government in the first place. Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian newspaper -- which has published many of the Wikileaks revelations -- said Monday that numerous British diplomats he'd consulted with were "astonished" to learn that more than 2.5 million U.S. government personnel and soldiers, many of them extremely junior, were cleared to access such highly sensitive material. As he put it, the diplomats "had no sense that what the King of Saudi Arabia says in private could be read by a 22-year-old soldier in Baghdad."

Whether this free flow of diplomatic information within the U.S. government permanently damages U.S. relations with Europe is debatable. But Ruprecht Polenz, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union Party and chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German federal parliament, thinks that it will. As he put it, "The U.S. must now move to reassure allies that they can be trusted. Otherwise, partners might not continue being open with them."
There is also the question of the image that these leaked documents project about American power and resolve abroad. According to staff writers at the German dailyDer Spiegel -- which, along with The Guardian, France's Le Monde and The New York Times, is also releasing the documents this week -- the image that emerges from them is not one of an America that has "the world on a leash." 

Rather, you see a "superpower that can no longer be certain of its allies." (This is a reference to countries such as Pakistan.) "Often enough, the lesson . . . is that the Arab leaders use their friends in Washington to expand their own positions of power." Or, as a Guardian columnist put it somewhat starkly: "The impression is of the world's superpower roaming helpless in a world in which nobody behaves as bidden."

The leaked cables may also have some potentially significant policy implications. Take Israel. Alastair Campbell, a senior adviser to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, argues that the cables could open the way for a tougher stance against Tehran among Western governments. As he posts on his blog: "I was left with the impression that anyone in the US system pushing for a hardening of the policy position vis-a-vis Iran would be able to build a lot of support for such a move."

Julian Assange, WikileaksAnd, indeed, Israel, is said to be quite delighted with the content of the leaks. These disclosures "don't hurt Israel at all -- perhaps the opposite," Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser to ex-prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, told Israeli radio. "If there is something on the Iranian issue that, in my opinion, happens to help Israel, it is that these leaks show that Arab countries like Saudi Arabia are far more interested in Iran than they are in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Pakistan, on the other hand, is decidedly less delighted with the content of the cables. Former Pakistani spy chief Hameed Gul has seized on cables indicating a U.S. desire to block Pakistan's nuclear program. Speaking to the Guardian, he said: "This confirms that the Americans haven't given up their pursuit, to try to snatch Pakistan's nuclear capability." (Already, Washington's new ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, offered a semi-apology for the cables in a newspaper.)

But the reactions to the document dump in Europe and elsewhere were not uniformly alarmist. Silvio Berlusconi, for example, apparently came in for some of the harshest criticisms from American diplomats stationed in Italy, who described him as "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader." But upon reading these descriptions about himself, the Italian leader reportedly had "a good laugh."

Nor did the Brits appear to take the blunt disclosures about their government -- often negative -- terribly personally. There were secret cables covering everything ranging from Gordon Brown's perceived weakness and the coalition government's likely short-lived nature to "inappropriate behavior" by a member of the royal family and the sex life of one current government minister.But speaking to BBC Radio 4's "Today" program on Monday, former British Ambassador to Washington Sir Christopher Meyer called the leaks were far more embarrassing than damaging, as most of the facts were already widely known.

In this regard, perhaps the most trenchant commentary on the leaks so far came from the British Daily Telegraph's deputy editor, Benedict Brogan. For Brogan, the great lesson of all of this is that "occasional embarrassment is an occupational hazard in a 21st century marked by vast quantities of information circulating in all too accessible digital form." In other words, diplomacy in an information age is inherently prone to embarrassment.

You can say that again.

Wikileaks: Secrets & Lies

Produced by Oxford Film and Television, Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies is Bafta winner Patrick Forbes' seventy-six-minute documentary of the Wikileaks affair as told by the people involved: personal, moving and frequently hot tempered, it documents history in the making and establishes a new frontier for technology and journalism.
A definitive factual account of the Wikileaks affair, the film features the first major television interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Newswise — Stephen B. Wicker, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University, conducts research in wireless information networks and how regulation can affect privacy and speech rights. Wicker comments on the recent WikiLeaks releases, how those releases connect to SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), and the need to balance Internet freedom.
Wicker says:
"WikiLeaks began to release e-mail correspondence last week that had been taken from Stratfor, a global analysis firm that provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations. The e-mails include details of various attacks on WikiLeaks, which have included freezing assets, delisting the WikiLeaks site from the Internet domain name service and terminating access to credit card donation services.
"The United States Congress proposed to use virtually identical techniques against purveyors of pirated goods in the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills, including blocking access to websites in other countries through IP blocking and manipulation of the Domain Name System.
"In both cases the government and corporate media have sought to interfere with the workings of the Internet. The rationales – maintaining the secrecy of sensitive information and protection of copyrighted materials – have merit, but both must be balanced against the freedom of expression provided by the Internet.
Internet access is readily connected to fundamental human goods that most would associate with human rights: the quest for truth, the ability to test one’s arguments in an open forum, and the self-realization that comes from participating in a great, ongoing conversation. Given the uniqueness of the Internet and the disadvantage entailed from not having access – there is even a name for it: the 'digital divide' – one can argue that access to the Internet is itself a human right.
"When the functionality of the Internet is inhibited to prevent the public from obtaining information that would simply embarrass the government – remember the Pentagon Papers – or a particular corporation, this is clearly a bad sign for a democratic nation. Some degree of openness is a good thing. The Internet is our universal library, and the public needs open and unfettered access in order to determine who is telling the truth.
"On the other hand, some revelations can endanger public servants, while convincing others not to take risks that may be for the good of the country. The question of how to balance copyright and the need for secrecy against free expression is a conversation that the public needs and wants to have in an open forum. The recent response to SOPA and PIPA were clarion calls to the corporate media and the government. They need to listen."

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
Hide header UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 001467 SIPDIS STATE FOR EUR/NCE/BILL SILKWORTH, EB/JACK BOBO USDA PASS FAS/AUDREY TALLEY USDC PASS ITA/HILL SOFIA FOR AGRICULTURAL ATTACHE E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: EAGR [Agriculture and Forestry], ECON [Economic Conditions], TBIO [Biological and Medical Science], RO [Romania], trade relations SUBJECT: CODEX ALIMENTARIUS COMMISSION (CAC) SESSION: ROMANIAN RESPONSES TO USG CONCERNS REGARDING NEXT SESSION REF: State 113408 ¶1. FAS Bucharest passed Reftel demarche to the following government officials in the Romanian Veterinary and Food Safety National Authority (VFSNA): Dr. Liviu Rusu, General Director of the General Food Safety Directorate; Monica Neagu, Director, Division for Standards, Marks and Food Quality, National Codex Contact Point; Dr. Paul Piscoi, Director, Hygiene and Public Health Directorate. ¶2. GOR officials submitted comments to a number of USG concerns as follows: -- Rules-based decision making/geographic indicators (e.g., parmesan cheese): VFSNA considers that all issues related to commercial brands/geographic indicators and other intellectual property should be debated within WHO (World Health Organization) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) meetings. New work to elaborate a codex standard for parmesan cheese is justified to the extent to which it would eliminate trade barriers and/or for consumer safety considerations. In accordance with the requirements laid down by CAC Procedural Manual fourteenth edition, the proposal to develop a Codex standard should be accompanied by a Project comprising the justification, the purpose and the objectives. In VFSNA's opinion, it is advisable that, considering the latest technological and scientific developments, the Codex standard for "Extra Hard Granting Cheese" adopted in 1978 (Stand C-35-1978) to be considered for updating. -- New work on animal feeding: Romania is currently adopting guides of practice for animal feeding. In order to be able to accurately assess the recently adopted Codex Code of Practice on Good Animal Feeding, VFSNA supports the view of the United States that undertaking new work at this time is not appropriate and member countries should be allowed more time to investigate their current situation relative to the Code of Practice. -- Antimicrobial resistance: Romania believes that the appropriateness of the United States proposal on the formation of a working group comprised of delegates from Codex Committee on Food Hygiene and Codex Committee on Residues from Veterinary Drugs should be discussed with the World Animal Health Organization (OIE). -- FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)/WHO Project and Trust Fund for Enhanced Participation in Codex: VFSNA also considers that, rather than simply using economic criteria, other considerations should be taken into account to support those countries that would most benefit from participation in Codex. The United States' initiative to organize workshops prior to the working sessions is beneficial in explaining what is expected of delegates, what are the Codex mechanisms, as well as in structuring common opinions over different items on the agenda. -- Cadmium: Romania also supports adoption of the maximum levels for cadmium in wheat grain; potato; stem and root vegetables; leafy vegetables; and other vegetables, as per the proposed Codex standard, as these are also in accordance with the domestic legislation. Romania adopted as maximum levels for cadmium of 0.2 mg/kg in polished rice, respectively 1 mg/kg for marine bivalve mollusks and in cephalopods (without viscera), in the process of adopting national standards to the EU requirements. Romania's official position is that maximum levels for cadmium in polished rice should be set up should take into consideration the specific production and processing conditions of each country, as well as the extent to which each country plays a part in international trade. Discussions on a possible acceptance of maximum levels for cadmium set up higher that the current provisions should be based on a complex risk assessment conducted by independent bodies and in consultation with WHO and UNICEF regarding special rice-based food for infants, as well as with world consumer protection NGOs. -- Aflatoxin in tree nuts: Romania supports the United States' stance on brazil nuts. For setting the maximum aflatoxins level in unprocessed almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios, the admissible limit for human consumption should be taken into consideration, based on science-based independent research work. -- Possible U.S. candidate for Vice Chair of Codex: Romania's representative to CAC meeting welcomes the opportunity to consult with the U.S. delegation prior to the session. Items raised by the United States in Reftel talking points are of interest to Romania. ¶3. Ms. Monica Neagu, National Codex Contact Point, will represent Romania at the upcoming session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Delare

NAIROBI, Kenya — U.S. cables made public by WikiLeaks show that the United States warned Kenya two years ago not to launch an offensive in southern Somalia against al Qaida-allied al Shabab rebels, but a U.S. official also offered to check on the "feasibility" of a U.S. review of the plans.
Kenya went ahead with an invasion a month ago, saying it was a response to a recent series of kidnappings near the border between the two countries. But the existence of the cables undercuts Kenya's claim that the move had not been long planned.
The cables paint a contradictory picture of whether the United States encouraged Kenya's invasion of its neighbor.
Taken as a whole, they seem to lend credence to Washington's claims that it had neither encouraged nor supported the invasion. But one particularly lively cable depicts a senior U.S. official asking Kenya's foreign minister if Kenyan troops shouldn't consider trying to take Kismayo, the Shabab stronghold seaport, on their own or with the help of Somali militias, and promising the review of the plans by an American team. The tactics described in that cable match the plan Kenya appears to be trying to execute.
While reliable independent information from the ground is scarce, the Kenyan offensive appears to have stalled one month in. The military has cited heavy rains and mud for slowing its movements, but Rashid Abdi, a Nairobi-based Somali analyst at the International Crisis Group, says that the military is hesitating to proceed into Shabab territory because the Islamist group is refusing to engage the Kenyan troops openly.
"The Kenyans were hoping to fight on their terms. Al Shabab has now turned the equation," said Abdi.
Kenya could be trying to buy time in hopes of more outside assistance. Kenya has called for a blockade of Kismayo from the sea, and on Wednesday it hosted Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Somali counterpart, Sharif Ahmed, to shore up regional backing of its military campaign.
A bogged-down campaign is one of the reasons U.S. officials cited, according to the cables, for opposing a Kenyan operation.
According to a cable dated Feb. 2, 2010, Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, provided Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula with a variety of reasons that the U.S. believed a proposed Kenyan incursion could backfire during a Jan. 30, 2010, meeting in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Kenyan officials had been aggressively pitching the idea over several months, the cables show, asking U.S. officials to back their plan to create a semi-autonomous buffer zone on Kenya's border with Somalia. The Kenyans vowed that not "a single Kenyan boot" would enter Somalia and that the entire operation would be conducted by Kenyan-trained Somali troops.
Carson, however, warned that the operation would be more complicated and expensive than expected. He also said such an invasion might spark conflict between Somalia's combustible clan and sub-clan networks and weaken the authority of the central government in Mogadishu.
Carson also questioned Kenya's resolve in the case of defeat or setback and wondered if its leaders were prepared to deal with discontent back home if the war turned sour.
The cable said Carson "concluded by suggesting that there shold (sic) be more conventional and convenient ways to accomplish the same end. Could, for example, the trained Somalis help Kenya to re-take Kismayo?"
According to the cable, the National Security Council's senior director for African affairs, Michelle Gavin, then expressed the United States' willingness to brainstorm other strategies with Kenya.
The Kenyan delegation, which included Kenya's minister of defense, the head of its intelligence service and the chief of its armed forces, continued to press the Americans passionately for support, with Wetangula summing up their arguments by pleading, "I may not have been as convincing as I should have been," but "the threat is real," according to the cable.
Carson ended the meeting by promising to "look into the feasibility" of sending a U.S. team to Kenya to review the plan's technical details, but he told the Kenyans that he "still maintained deep reservations" about it, the cable said.
The cable noted this was the third time Wetangula had made a personal pitch to Carson to support the plans, which would involve 2,000 Kenyan-trained Somali troops in an offensive. The end goal was to create a new semi-autonomous administration in Jubaland, the southern region of Somalia. Kenyan officials argued that Kenya's poorly secured border with Somalia was a major national security threat.
Since Kenya's invasion last month, U.S. officials have denied that the U.S. was involved in planning Kenya's offensive or was providing assistance — a position that appears to be backed by the deep skepticism the cables show U.S. officials had for the plan.
"I don't think it points to an American plot," said Roger Middleton, an analyst in London for Chatham House, Britain's premier foreign policy think tank. "For me the cables make the case a bit stronger that Kenya went on this on its own."
But Middleton also said that the United States, Britain and France now have a "begrudging acceptance" of the invasion and are likely to be providing intelligence and other covert forms of support now that the operation is underway.
"In the short term, people would be happy if Kenya succeeds and takes Kismayo. But I haven't seen a plan of what comes next. And that's the real worry," Middleton said.
The diplomatic cables show that, at the beginning of last year, Washington shared those concerns.
Kenya tried repeatedly to persuade Washington to ease its opposition to its Jubaland project. In addition to Wetangula's pitches to Carson, senior Kenyan officials pitched a number of U.S. representatives around the same time: Karl Wycoff, the deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, on Dec. 8, 2009; Alexander Vershbow, the assistant secretary of defense, on Jan. 26, 2010; and Daniel Benjamin, the ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism, on Jan. 29. All U.S. officials told Kenya that the U.S. had strong reservations about the plan, according to the cables.
The British government also was pessimistic of the plan, according to a Jan. 15, 2010, cable from the U.S. Embassy in London.
Opposition also came from Uganda, according to another cable, which said that on Jan. 31, 2010, in Addis Ababa, Ugandan President Museveni questioned Kenya's ability to wage unconventional war in Somalia, criticizing Kenya's military as a career army and asking rhetorically, "Is Kenya used to fighting like this?" Museveni also questioned the ideological commitment of Kenya's proxy Somali militias.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi offered only qualified support and said he shared U.S. concerns. "We are not enthusiastic, but we are hoping for success," he told U.S. officials on that same day, according to a separate cable.
The foreign minister of Djibouti, a small country to the north of Somalia that hosts a major U.S. military base, told the U.S. he feared Kenya's invasion could produce the same ill consequences as the U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion in 2006, which prompted Shabab to launch its insurgency in southern Somalia.
The concerted rebuff had one notable exception, however: China. A February 2010 diplomatic cable from the U.S.'s Nairobi embassy says that in January, as Kenya was feverishly pitching its Western and regional allies for support, the Chinese government gave Kenya weapons, ammunition and uniforms for use by the Somali force that Kenya was training for the task.
The Kenyan military denied support from the Chinese in its current operations. "If there is under-the-table support, I am not aware," said Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir, the Kenyan military spokesman.
Chirchir also denied that China gave military support to Kenya's trained Somali militias two years ago. He would not directly respond to how Kenya's current military offensive is related to the Jubaland project as laid out in the Wikileaks cables.
"There is no such thing as the Jubaland initiative," Chirchir said. "We attacked because our tourism industry was attacked."

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