Well, it sounds like this might be particularly bad news for the United States. The CBC is reporting that WikiLeaks is on the verge of another round of leaks “that could result in the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from foreign postings“. The US seems to have scrambled diplomats to try to head off the fallout. The new leak is reported to centre on diplomatic files.
The U.S. government has notified Ottawa that the WikiLeaks website is preparing to release sensitive U.S. diplomatic files that could damage U.S. relations with allies around the world.
U.S. officials say the documents may contain accounts of compromising conversations with political dissidents and friendly politicians and could result in the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from foreign postings.
A Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said the U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, has phoned Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon to inform him of the matter.
Melissa Lantsman said the Canadian Embassy in Washington is “currently engaging” with the U.S. State Department on the matter.
A State Department spokesman said Wednesday the release of confidential communications about foreign governments probably will erode trust in the United States as a diplomatic partner.
U.S. diplomatic outposts around the world have begun notifying other governments that WikiLeaks may release the documents in the next few days.
Fasten your seat belts ladies and gentlemen.
Not sure if they are just trying lower expectations or if they are really this worried but this quote from State seems to be pretty grim:
“These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. “They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world.”
Also it looks like Obama won’t be able to just be able to point to the previous clods (making my earlier tag pretty prescient):
Many of the cables are believed to date from the start of U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, meaning that the White House will not be able to distance itself from any disclosures.
One concern, for example, is that the documents may reveal the kinds of pressure the U.S. administration has put on various countries to accept the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been cleared for release but are unwelcome in their home countries.
The Globe notes that it may include conversations with regard to the repatriation of Canadian Omar Khadr. Khadr is one of the most egregious stories from Guantanamo. I had been meaning to post here on his case for the last while but had been a bit snowed under to do it justice. Depending on what the cables say this could be of particular embrarassment to the current, if not the previous, Canadian government. I will get something up here on Khadr on the weekend and the implications of this story for that story.