In many cases the value of the Wikileaks cable releases is not that they inform us of anything that we did not suspect before but that they add confirmation to reports that had already been made but not confirmed. Just as an aside I find it a bit weird that there should be so much concern about revelation of classified information. It would be interesting to do research on what percentage of news reports are already based upon classified information from anonymous sources or officials who cannot be identified because they are not supposed to be saying anything to the press. The press in effect is fed a daily diet of leaks of classified information. Such leaks may be tacitly or explicitly authorized and often are used to advance the agenda of those doing the leaking. No one gets excited or suggests that the sources should be identified and charged!
The cables that concern Yemen show that the Yemeni government allowed secret U.S. air strikes against suspect Al Qaeda militant positions. At the time the Yemeni President Ali Saleh said that the raids were carried out by the Yemeni military. But in fact they were mounted by the U.S. Saleh claimed responsibility for two U.S. raids in 2009. After the second attack on 24 December 2009 Saleh told then head of U.S. Central Command David Petraeus: "We'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours."
The US ambassador to Yemen Stephen Seche reported:"Yemen insisted it must 'maintain the status quo' regarding the official denial of US involvement." He also quotes Mr Saleh as saying that he wanted operations to continue "non-stop until we eradicate this disease". Perhaps Saleh's latter statement was deliberately phrased so as to please the United States. At other times he seems more interested in tackling his separatist problems that dealing any death blow to Islamic militants.
Some files released indicate that General Petraeus flew to the Yemeni capital to inform Saleh that the U.S. would also allow its ground forces to be deployed in Yemen on counter terrorism missions. According to the documents Saleh rejected the offer even though he told Obama's national security adviser in Sept. 2009 that he would allow full access. What seems to be actually the case is that there are some special forces operating in the country but clandestinely. Saleh was quoted after meeting with Brennan the security adviser:"I have given you an open door on terrorism,"
The cables also quote U.S. security officials who met with Saleh describing him as petulant and bizarre. After one meeting with Brennan the U.S. ambassador said that Saleh had showed himself ""in vintage form"" being at one point disdainful and dismissive and at another conciliatory and congenial. Whatever his personal foibles Saleh has managed to survive for a long time in a country beset with problems and no doubt political intrigue.