secret State Department U.S. diplomacy unveiling by wikileaks

Infokito - A vast trove of secret State Department cables obtained by the Web site WikiLeaks has exposed the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy, as well as bluntly candid assessments by American diplomats, according to news organizations granted advance access to the more than 250,000 confidential documents.

The documents suggest U.S. diplomats were ordered to engage in low-level spying by obtaining foreign diplomats' personal information, such as frequent-flier and credit card numbers, presumably to better track their movements.

The cables also expose the sensitive diplomacy involved in winning sanctions against Iran; U.S. officials' attempts to remove highly enriched uranium from Pakistan; and new information on how North Korea is believed to have aided Tehran's weaponry program, giving it advanced missiles that could allow it to strike Moscow and major Western European cities.

Many of the insights gleaned from the documents are not surprising by themselves. Newspapers, for instance, have long reported that Arab nations are privately much more concerned about Iran's nuclear program than they admit publicly, and the cables document such concerns.

Still, such analysis rarely has the imprimatur of a U.S. government document, and the cables quote Arab officials by name expressing concerns they have not expressed in public. (

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