- The Washington Times - Monday, November 28, 2016

Over 500,000 U.S. diplomatic cables from 1979 have been released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

Not much has been heard from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange since his Internet access was cut off at Ecuador’s London embassy in mid-October, but he made up for lost time on Monday. Reporters around the world now have access to cables on everything from the Iranian revolution and Grenada’s coup to Saddam Hussein’s rise in Iraq.

“If any year could be said to be the ‘year zero’ of our modern era, 1979 is it,” Mr. Assange said in a statement posted on WikiLeaks.org. “In the Middle East, the Iranian revolution, the Saudi Islamic uprising and the Egypt-Israel Camp David Accords led not only to the present regional power dynamic but decisively changed the relationship between oil, militant Islam and the world.”

“The uprising at Mecca permanently shifted Saudi Arabia towards Wahhabism, leading to the transnational spread of Islamic fundamentalism and the US-Saudi destabilisation of Afghanistan,” he continued.

Mr. Assange has lived and worked inside Ecuador’s London embassy since June 2012.

He is avoiding a British court order to extradite him to Sweden for questioning on a sexual molestation case involving two female WikiLeaks supporters. He claims the charges are a political hit job aimed at discrediting his organization.

WikiLeaks latest release brings its total number of published U.S. diplomatic cables to 3.3 million. It also released over 20,000 stolen documents belonging to the Democratic National Convention, and another 50,000 from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta this summer.

Critics of the organization say it a vehicle for disseminating Russian propaganda, a charge Mr. Assange has consistently denied.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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