The latest document dump from Wikileaks is the largest yet — a quarter of a million diplomatic cables from the U.S. State Department have been released to a few news organizations. They give the unvarnished reports by US diplomats on their dealings with foreign governments, and what foreign leaders say behind closed doors.
The New York Times was one of the recipients and has begun to roll-out their stories based on the documents today. Each story includes nuggets that on a regular day would probably be enough to lead the front page of the newspaper. For example, the Obama administration offered Slovenia a meeting with the president in exchange for taking a prisoner from Guantanamo Bay, or a report on a close and lucrative relationship between Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Or, for example, this story about various Arab nations urging the US to stop Iran’s nuclear program. The NYT is also posting copies of original documents, such this report from the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh.
More stories will be emerging around the world in the coming days. One interesting question is how will this change the conduct of U.S. diplomacy and whether it will make the State Dept. less likely to share information with the military.