Leaked cables spout dialogue at UK

By Gary Hermann

One university professor has had a career of sending the same type of cables that WikiLeaks released Sunday.

Carey Cavanaugh, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce director ambassador, sent thousands of U.S. Embassy cables in his diplomatic career.

WikiLeaks has now obtained a collection of embassy cables and is releasing them to newspapers including The New York Times.

Accordng to the WikiLeaks website, WikiLeaks began releasing the cables on Sunday, publishing 251,287 leaked United States Embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The website said the documents give people around the world an unprecedented insight into U.S. government foreign activities.

“Sadly, this is an act of treason by an individual who was entrusted with the secrets of the United States,” Cavanaugh said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs have both spoken out about the leaked cables this week, although WikiLeaks will not release any cables it feels threaten national security.

By Gary Hermann

“The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of February this year, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the cables are classified Secret,” according to the WikiLeaks website.

“What they show,” Cavanaugh said, “is, in fact, a very forceful and diplomatic engagement by the United States to advance American interest.”

Cavanaugh said there is “not much” the United States can do as these leaks become public.

Most of the cables that have been released are more recent and from the past three years, Cavanaugh said. In that time Cavanaugh has been at UK and out of diplomatic relations.

“I don’t think there is any problem from my side,” Cavanaugh said.

With the staggered release of the cables, “It may embarrass, not individuals in our government, (but) it will embarrass people in foreign governments that are discussed in the cables,” Cavanaugh said.

Cavanaugh said many of these cables would have become public sometime in the future.

“What you don’t normally need is the ability to see them at the time they are happening,” Cavanaugh. “They can be hurtful and damaging.”

At the Patterson School, students are trained to write in a way similar to the cables, but the students often don’t have recent examples of what is expected in diplomatic writing, said Cavanaugh.

“Students and the American people will end up getting from this a unique insight into diplomacy,” Cavanaugh said. “Often people don’t understand the depth and quality of American diplomatic practice. What you see on TV or read about in newspapers is the superficial part.”