The Long-Term Damage of Wikileaks

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Richard Haass:

The longer term damage may be more real. Foreign governments may think twice before sharing their secrets or even their candid judgments with American counterparts lest they read about them on the Internet. And American diplomats may be less less willing to commit their thoughts to paper. Such reticence will deprive policymakers of an important source of information and make decisonmaking more ad hoc and less systematic than it needs to be.

I've spoken with three ambassadors today already, and all of them said their governments were shocked by America's inability to keep its secrets secret. One ambassador said, jokingly (but only half-jokingly), "Do you think Putin would have let this happen?"

Putin would not have let this happen, which is why I'm glad I live in the U.S.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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