How bad is it? It appears that the most secret deliberations from not only our government but governments around the world is now fully open for inspection by anyone who wants to know.
Catastrophic is not too strong a word:
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 The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration's exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks posted the first installment of the archive on its Web site on Sunday.
The disclosure of the cables is sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and American ambassadors around the world have been contacting foreign officials in recent days to alert them to the expected disclosures.
Over the next few days, the US will be engaged in major league damage control as more and more revelations hit the press. The effect, as the Times story says, is unknown but could run the gamut from straining relations with other countries to internal strife being whipped up as a result of what some leader said to us.
Hold on to your hats. It's going to be very bumpy over the next few days.