WASHINGTON, D.C., 2010-12-10 U.S. ambassadors and consular officials are thrilled by the leaks from Julian Assange's WikiLeaks.
In the past, their cables and reports from the field were rarely read by anyone in the State Department. Now they are being read by millions of people worldwide. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates are among the high level officials pouring over several years of their reports. Administration staff are summarizing them for President Obama.
"Finally, someone is reading my cables," said a U.S. ambassador who requested anonymity, which may be compromised if this site is hacked. "My English Lit degree and painstaking wordsmithing are now being appreciated not only in Washington but also in Beijing, Moscow and Brussels!"
Moreover, thanks to WikiLeaks, senior U.S. officials are learning important information for the first time.
"It's amazing what I have learned through WikiLeaks," said one senior State Department official. "I guess I should have been reading the cables all along. But it's been easy to catch up on the last several years intelligence thanks to WikiLeaks. It's been very efficient just to read the highlights. Previously, I got my foreign intelligence briefings by reading the [Washington] Post and the [New York] Times."
The Obama Administration and the Department of Defense have been warning federal employees not to read the leaks. Apparently, it is OK for the enemy to be better informed that US government employees!
Foreign affairs analysts said it was a relief to know that U.S. ambassadors were actually as aware of current events as their cables indicated they were.
"It is good to know that some people in the State Department know almost as much as businessmen and news organizations do about what's happening on the ground," said a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "That was a big surprise."