Contrary to the arrogant dismissals of "we already knew that" and "nothing new here" dominating the mainstream media, the State Department cables contain a treasure trove of previously unknown information for the public. To provide only the briefest survey:
- Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton authorized an illegal data collection program on UN officials and other people of national importance at the behest of the CIA. The campaign targeted information such as credit card numbers, frequent flyer accounts and biometric information (one wonders how diplomats planned to swab Ban Ki-Moon).
- US and Yemeni leaders lied to their respective populations about the US bombing targets within Yemen.
- The US has been interfering in Spain's judicial process, attempting to get the Spanish government to drop a case of a cameraman killed in a US attack on journalists in Baghdad in 2003, and also investigations into US-directed torture and rendition programs.
- The US is flying spy missions to Lebanon from a United Kingdom base in Cyprus, over the UK's objections that they didn't want to be an unwitting accomplice to torture and rendition.