(CNSNews.com) – Sunday’s release by WikiLeaks of classified U.S. State Department cables provides a glimpse into the world where views are delivered directly and sometimes bluntly, far removed from bland diplomatic statements reserved for the cameras.
The controversial whistleblower Web site on Sunday released the first batch of what it says will eventually total 251,287 cables, originating from 274
Earlier in the day news outlets used in the past by WikiLeaks – the New York Times, the Guardian of
The cables reveal frank evaluations of a range of issues and political leaders, offered not just by American officials but also by their foreign interlocutors speaking on the assumption of confidentiality.
With that assumption now having been proven wrong, the diplomatic fallout is likely to be widespread, and lasting. Not only are
Pakistan's government, army and at least some of its people may react strongly, for instance, to learning that Saudi King Abdullah views President Asif Ali Zardari as “rotten” and the greatest obstacle to
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are two of the most important countries in the Islamic world, both with close security ties to the U.S.
Possibly more dangerous could be an unpredictable
-- Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed asked a
-- A Saudi envoy told a
-- King Abdullah, during a visit by then National Security Adviser Gen James Jones early this year, reportedly encouraged the use of covert ways to weaken the regime in
-- Kuwaiti Interior Minister Jaber Al-Khaled Al Sabah’s told a
Potentially damaging for the Obama administration’s engagement with the United Nations is a July 2009 request to
Sent under the name of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the “national HUMINT collection directive” was addressed to
Among the information sought was the view of U.N. member states – especially those on the Security Council – on everything from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s “management and decision-making style” to attempts by countries to block U.S. initiatives or “plans by developing countries to stymie criticism of their human rights records through procedural motions or influencing votes” at the U.N. Human Rights Council.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley last week decried the looming dump of the data, calling it “harmful to the
The White House in a statement Sunday condemned the release, saying that “such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals and people around the world who come to the
“By its very nature, field reporting to
“Nevertheless, these cables could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders, and when the substance of private conversations is printed on the front pages of newspapers across the world, it can deeply impact not only
WikiLeaks in July released more than 90,000 documents relating to the conflict in
A U.S. Army intelligence analyst based in
After the latest reports began appearing on Sunday, the Pentagon released a statement saying that following the earlier leaks over the summer, Defense Secretary Robert Gates had ordered two reviews of information and intelligence sharing.
As a result of steps put into place following those reviews, said spokesman Bryan Whitman, “it is now much more difficult for a determined actor to get access to and move information outside of authorized channels.”