It’s been over two years since the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks released a trove of once classified US State Department cables. According to the State Department’s former chief spokesman, the WikiLeaks episode had less of an adverse impact than originally feared at the time.
Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley, a former Assistant Secretary at the Department, offered his assessment of the cablegate during a recent seminar at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Overall, “the sky did not fall,” Crowley said. “But … in certain cases, in certain consequential countries, has it caused damage to national security? Absolutely!”
Two countries where the WikiLeaks cables created problems for US diplomacy are Pakistan and Afghanistan. WikiLeaks worsened US relations with Afghan President Karzai “once he got authoritative cables where he learned what [US Ambassador to Kabul Karl W.] Eikenberry was reporting back about him,” Crowley noted.
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Richard Weitz is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.