Another document release by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing government secrets, has caused a stir in the diplomatic community. The organization released diplomatic papers and cables that expose internal conflict and debate on the international stage.
Many of the documents dealt with the country of Iran and its potential nuclear threat. In the documents, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah reportedly told the U.S. to "cut off the head of the snake," meaning Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the leaks an organized effort by the U.S. to create trouble between Iran and its Arab neighbors.
Other cables in the leaked documents cast heads of state such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in less-than-flattering light. Some American diplomats fear that as a result of the leak, other countries will be afraid to trust the U.S. in secret negotiations. However, spokespeople from several countries have come forward and said that the leaks will not damage their relationships with the U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton denounced the leak but said that much of the information contained in the documents was simply normal "give and take" that occurs when countries engage in diplomacy.
"I'm a combative person. So, I like crushing bastards. It is personally, deeply satisfying to me." - Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks
"Let's be clear: This disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity." - U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
"There is a gap between what leaders say in closed meetings and what is said publicly, especially in our region." - Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
1. What is diplomacy?
2. What is a "document leak?"
3. Where is Iran? Why is much of the world concerned with it?
1. Do you think WikiLeaks did something illegal by posting these documents? Why or why not?
2. How might the release of these documents endanger U.S. diplomacy? Is there any way that secret records of discussions between diplomats can be documented completely risk-free?
3. Most people wouldn't have known about this document leak if newspapers hadn’t reported on it and its contents. Do you think the newspapers who reported on it did the right thing? Why or why not?