The quality and candor of the cables is impressive:

The British scholar Timothy Garton Ash concurs, writing in the Guardian, "My personal opinion of the State Department has gone up several notches. [W]hat we find here is often first-rate." It is also often well wrought. The account of a wedding in Dagestan filed by William Burns, now the No. 3 person at the State Department, is as Garton Ash writes straight out of Evelyn Waugh. When foreigners encounter U.S. diplomats and listen to their bland recitation of policy, they would do well to keep in mind that behind the facade lie some very clever minds.

And as Fareed notes, it's not as if we discovered the US government pursuing policies at odds with its public statements. These are not the Pentagon Papers.

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