WikiLeaks docs reveal U.S. diplomats insulting world leaders

Liz Goodwin

The White House has warned that the publication of 251,287 diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks will put lives at risk. One thing's for sure: The no-longer-secret documents will make future diplomatic dinners a bit awkward.

The Daily Mail rounds up some of the most cutting insults penned by U.S. diplomats in the document dump, which spans three years. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is described as "an emperor with no clothes" with a "thin-skinned and authoritarian personal style." Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is pegged as "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader" -- oh, and those "frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard" aren't helping his leadership style. German leader Angela Merkel is "risk aversive and rarely creative," and Russia's Dmitry Medvedev "plays Robin to Putin's Batman."

One document says that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is rarely seen without his "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse. And one cable describes Afghan Vice President Ahmed Zia Massoud carrying $52 million in cash when he arrived in Saudi Arabia -- a travel accessory that raised the attention of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Numerous world leaders have condemned the release of the documents. The presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan, through spokespeople, disputed claims in the documents. The British foreign office and the State Department have called the release dangerous.

We'll continue to cover the more substantive findings in the cables, like Saudi Arabia's king urging an attack on Iran, here at The Lookout.

Related post:

The Guardian gave State Dept. cables to the NY Times

(Photo of Berlusconi speaking at EICMA, an international motorcycle show, in November: AP)