251,287 cables indexed

FAQ

Cabledrum

Can I look up a Reference ID?

How can I search for more than three tags?

"Your search returned more than 5000 results." What can I do?

How can I edit my query without filling the entire form again?

Can I bookmark a result list?

Which data source is used on cabledrum?

Cablegate

What are redacted cables?

What's the difference between "modified" and "redacted"?

Why do some origins have no routing indicator?

Are there Routing Indicators that are not listed in the "Allied Routing Indicator Book"?

Why are some longer tags missing on cabledrum?

Cable Basics

What are TAGS?

What are Routing Indicators?

Cabledrum

Q: Can I look up a Reference ID?
A: Yes. Just enter the ID in the "search text" field. Leave all other options blank.
Q: How can I search for more than three tags?
A: You can enter as many tags as needed in the "search text" field.
Q: "Your search returned more than 5000 results." What can I do?
A: If you get too much results, narrow your search with specific details (e.g. origin and/or creation date).
On full text queries you also might try to search the subject lines only instead of the the entire cables.
Q: How can I edit my query without filling the entire form again?
A: Simply use your browser's back button. It works with most browsers.
Q: Can I bookmark a result list?
A: Yes. Click the "Permalink" button below the result list before bookmarking it.
Q: Which data source is used on cabledrum?
A: The data shown on cabledrum originate from the cablegate release cablegate-201108300212.7z, published by WikiLeaks on 01 September 2011. Additionally, the original data source from z.gpg
(aka cables.csv) is utilized to show the unredacted cables.

Cablegate

Q: What are redacted cables?
A: During the publication of the Cablegate files, WikiLeaks cooperated with several media organisations. These media partners agreed to redact the material in order to protect individuals who are "at risk of either persecution or prosecution resulting in death or serious injury, or arbitrary incarceration." It was further agreed to renounce any other redactions and particularly not to redact "individuals identities, regardless the jurisdiction, who have the opportunity to defend themselves either through an impartial legal process or through their political or financial power." Sadly, this process was misused by several media partners for redactions that have nothing to do with the protection of endangered individuals.
(See details here.)

On cabledrum all cables are available both redacted and unredacted. The comparison view shows all differences between the unredacted source and the latest released version.

Q: What's the difference between "modified" and "redacted"?
A:
modified modified indicates cables that are diffent from the unredacted source in any way. These modifications are largely negligible (e.g. formatting). This applies to 4,136 cables.
redacted redacted indicates significant differences, e.g. deletions or disguised text. 1,873 cables are affected.
Q: Why do some origins have no routing indicator?
A: Particular origins actually have no routing indicators and are not listed in the "Allied Routing Indicator Book". This concerns the embassies Tehran and Mogadishu, the Mission to the EU in Brussels (shares the routing indicator RUEHBS of the Embassy Brussels) and several consulates.
Q: Are there Routing Indicators that are not listed in the "Allied Routing Indicator Book"?
A: Yes, the Embassy Muscat (RUEHMS) and the consulates in Johannesburg (RUEHJO) and Chennai (RUEHCG) are missing. Also some Plain Language Addresses are misspelled or indexed wrongly (e.g. AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO instead of AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS for RUEHPL).
Q: Why are some longer tags missing on cabledrum?
A: In a few cables two or more tags are compound by mistake, e.g. PHUMPREL instead of PHUM and PREL (and in fact KFRDCVISCMGTCASCKOCIASECPHUMSMIGEG is not a valid tag). While these tags are split in our index, they can still be found using the full text search.

Cable Basics

Q: What are TAGS?
A: In this context TAGS stands for Traffic Analysis by Geography and Subject. Tags are used to describe and categorize the content of cables. Basically there are four categories of tags:

  • Subject Tags identify general subject content. They are categorized in nine subtypes (like "Economic Affairs" or "Technology and Science").
    Samples:
    PTERTerrorists and Terrorism (Subtype: Political Affairs)
    ETTCTrade and Technology Controls (Subtype: Economic Affairs)
    MASSMilitary Assistance and Sales (Subtype: Military and Defense Affairs)

  • Geo-Political Tags identify a country or region. They use a two-letter-code which is mainly different from ISO code.
    Samples:
    ESEl Salvador
    SPSpain
    ZSSouthern Europe (Cyprus, Greece, Turkey)

  • Program Tags ("K-Tags") are used in conjunction with Subject and Geo-Political Tags to group documents based solely upon program or office requirements. Program Tags consists of four letters, beginning with "K".
    Samples:
    KCRMCriminal Activity
    KMDRMedia Reaction Reporting

  • Organizations Tags contains titles or acronyms of organizations, e.g. NATO or OSCE.

All tags and their usage are defined by the U.S. State Department and completely described in the TAGS Terms Handbook.

Additionally there are Personal Tags, intended to contain personal names. Since these tags are not defined by the State Department, they are used "freestyle" and often simply contains misspellings. (About 15 percent of the cables have personal tags.)

By definition every cable must have at least one subject tag. On average each cable has five tags. Since the cables are partially incomplete, some cables (about 5%) have no tags.

Complete listings of all tags used in the Cablegate files can be found here. Also you can look up each tag and its meaning in our glossary.

Q: What are Routing Indicators?
A: Routing Indicators (RI) are unique identifiers for stations within the telegraphic network, like phone numbers or e-mail addresses. Routing indicators are used in diplomatic cables, but primarily for communication within military structures.

Routing indicators consist of four to seven letters. The first letter is always "R". The second letter identifies the nation (e.g. "U" for the United States, "C" for Canada, "B" for United Kingdom). Nearly all routing indicators of Cablegate origins begin with "RUEH".

Each station also has a (more or less) humanly readable Plain Language Address (PLA).

Samples:

RIPLA
RUEHCDEPT OF STATE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHCPAMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN
RUEHSO AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
RUEHTROAMEMBASSY TRIPOLI

Each cable header contains the routing indicator of origin preceded by "DE" and its plain language address preceded by "FM", e.g.:

VZCZCXYZ0028
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHCP #0973 2000908
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 190908Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2589
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0481
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PRIORITY 3745
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 2119
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA PRIORITY 0048
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 5368
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 2519
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 8729
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 5695
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0453
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

The complete list of routing indicators and plain language addresses is published regularly in the Allied Routing Indicator Book (ACP 117).

You can look up all routing indicators in our glossary.