WikiLeaks tome available on Amazon UK invites controversy; UPDATE: book is removed; SECOND UPDATE: author arrested

WikiLeaks documents expose US foreign policy conspiraciesEven though Amazon refuses to host WikiLeaks’ site, that doesn’t mean it has wiped itself free of everything tied to the whistleblowers. Amazon UK currently has an e-book available for Kindle purchase focusing on the fallout of Cablegate. It was believed earlier this morning that the document contained the entirety of the classified cables, but after further review, it appears that isn’t the case.

Author Heinz Duthel (also accountable for Julian Assange: The Whistleblower. Traitor or Hero? and Discovering Asian Women) is responsible for the addition to Amazon UK’s book store. It’s now available for the Kindle, and goes by the catchy title: Wikileaks documents expose US foreign policy conspiracies. All cables with tags from 1-5000 [DOES NOT CONTAIN TEXT OF CABLES].

We’re guessing Amazon added or required Duthel to add that last part in all caps, and there is now a message on the e-books page reading “This book contains commentary and analysis regarding recent WikiLeaks disclosures, not the original material disclosed via the WikiLeaks website.” However, media outlets were widely reporting the title without the end note this morning — and seeing as it originally states it does contain “all cables with tags from 1-5000,” it seems as if there’s been confusion as to the book’s actual content. That, or possibly some serious editing. Amazon’s taken a beating from the media this morning, and labeled a hypocrite for suspending the WikiLeaks site itself while hosting a book which, allegedly, contained the very same information. However it turns out the e-book may only be an examination of the dilemma.

Still, the description is inflammatory, and claims it reveals that “the US State Department and American diplomacy in general turn out to be a vast nest of spies.” But no direct text from the cables, aside to what was previously printed in The Guardian and The New York Times, appear to be included in the book.

The majority of the reviews are not kind, and generally critical of the online retailer’s decision to sell the book. It’s a familiar situation to Amazon, which last month found itself facing protest from customers for selling a guide for pedophiles. Amazon ultimately removed the book from its site.

Let’s also remember that Amazon is rumored to be targeted by Anonymous, the group protesting the banning of WikiLeaks and arrest of Julian Assange. The site may not want to attract their further wrath by removing the book, which puts the retailer in a difficult position.

Even if WikiLeaks documents expose US foreign policy conspiracies. All cables with tags from 1-5000 doesn’t not contain the infamous content itself, do you think Amazon is inviting controversy by selling the it?

It appears the author has pulled the book from the site himself. In an e-mail to PCMag, Amazon verified that it was not responsible for the book’s removal.

The author of the controversial book, Phillip Greaves, was arrested last week in Colorado on a Florida felony warrant after undercover detectives purchased the  book. He will now face obscenity charges in Florida. 


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