Wikileaks Are Like A Box Of Chocolate

You never know what you’re going to get. While the Wikileaks controversy has focused mostly on the national security issues, the leaks have found their way into civil litigation. And the case reads like the Maltese Falcon. It seems that Odyssey Marine Exploration, a treasure hunting company based in Florida, is engaged in litigation with the country of Spain over the ownership of $500 million in gold and silver coins it recovered from a Spanish ship that had sunk off the coast of Portugal. In the case, which is pending in a Florida federal court, the United States Justice Department filed a “disinterested” brief supporting the Spanish government. But, according to Odyssey, some leaked cables indicate that the US may not have been all that disinterested. Spain is holding a painting that a US family claims was sold under duress to escape Nazi Germany. And according to Odyssey, the cables indicate that there was a painting for coin deal afoot here. An attorney for the Spanish government disputes the claim (not clear if he said “no way Jose”). But Odyssey wants the brief stricken. Too bad Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet aren’t around to make the movie about this.