Leaks: Raw US diplomacy

A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provide...

A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats. Some of the cables, made available to news organizations, reveal the Obama administration_s exchanges over crises and conflicts.

The disclosure of the cables send shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and strained relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict. In the world of diplomacy, known for its ambiguity and opacity, the outcome may be more ambiguous, closing doors to United States diplomats, turning candor to reticence and leaving many people leery of baring their souls and secrets to American officials.

The outstandimg risk from now on is trust, everyone will terribly mistrust each other.  And the world will become increasingly critical of Washington_s handling of the secret material, calling the disclosures the latest blow in the deterioration of the United States_ image as the world_s leading power and questioning how the documents could have been so easily leaked.

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