The Obama administration has been left red-faced by disclosures made by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks pertaining to French president Nicholas Sarkozy that describes him as an “emperor without clothes”, Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as ‘Hitler’ and Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin as an “Alpha Dog”.
The disclosures also reveal a strong criticism of Britain’s military operations in Afghanistan while attacking both then British opposition leader David Cameron and prime minister Gordon Brown and highlighting American requests for specific intelligence on individual MPs. Besides, links between the Russian government and organized crime and the deep concern in Washington and London over the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme were also revealed.
President Barack Obama has himself revealed in a cable as having “no feelings for Europe” and preferring to “look East rather than West”, according to the Daily Mail, which is set to put strain on the special relationshio that the US shares with leaders of the world.
The cables also reveal experts informing about repeated private calls from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program and 'cut off the head of the snake' risking destabilization of the Middle East.
The other revelations are:
-- The U.S. has offered Obama visits and other enticements to other governments if they took detainees from the terrorist prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (which remains open).
-- The U.S. has tried -- unsuccessfully -- to remove enriched uranium from Pakistan, lest it fall into the hands of terrorists seeking nuclear weapons.
-- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, have asked aides to do low-level spying on delegates to the United Nations.
-- The president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, agreed to say that U.S. missile strikes on local al Qaeda operatives came from within Yemen.
-- German Prime Minister Merkel -- who is slated to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama next year -- is risk averse and rarely creative, says one diplomat.
-- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has become a mouthpiece for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, following lavish gifts given to Berlusconi.
-- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev -- with whom Obama signed an arms cut deal now pending in the U.S. Senate -- plays Robin to Putin's Batman.
Meanwhile in a statement, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs condemned the WikiLeaks release, and sought to put the diplomatic cables into context. By its very nature, field reporting to Washington is candid and often incomplete information, Gibbs said. It is not an expression of policy, nor does it always shape final policy decisions.
Gibbs said it is not a good thing for candid private discussions with world leaders to be published in the newspapers: It can deeply impact not only US foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world.
“To be clear -- such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government. These documents also may include named individuals who in many cases live and work under oppressive regimes and who are trying to create more open and free societies,” he said.