On February 24, the Washington Post ran a prominent story on a "top-secret" State Department cable that warned of Pakistani safe-havens for militants that were allegedly putting the "US strategy in Afghanistan in jeopardy". The cable was so secret, the Post reported, the US Ambassador to Afghanistan "sent it through CIA channels rather than the usual State Department ones". Yet somehow, it still ended up on the pages of one of the biggest newspapers in the United States of America. While many might have assumed this was the work of WikiLeaks and their alleged source Bradley Manning, it wasn't.
How can the Department's report on human rights be reconciled with the complaint of the UN Special Rapporter on Human Rights and the International Red Cross that they cannot get access to Private Bradley Manning, detained over his alleged passing of documents to WikiLeaks?
Much has been reported about the details of the cables that were sent from US embassies around the world to the state department in Washington - the content ranging from the highly informative to what some ex-diplomats describe as little more than political gossip. But embarrassing as some of the revelations might be, the most politically damaging document did not come into state department - it was sent out.