WikiLeaks Forcing US Embassy Shake Up

Authors of most embarrassing jibes face removal
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2010 1:20 AM CST
WikiLeaks Forcing US Embassy Shake Up
Oops. US Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz said in a cable revealed by WikiLeaks that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi never travels without his "voluptuous blond" nurse.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

US embassies, military bases and intelligence operations around the globe are undergoing major personnel reshufflings in the wake of WikiLeaks revelations. The Pentagon, CIA and State Department are identifying staffers whose comments have been most embarrassing in sensitive regions and are preparing to yank them from posts. One target will likely be US ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz, who remarked in a cable that Moammar Khadafy never travels without his "voluptuous blond" nurse. "We're going to have to pull out some of our best people—the diplomats who were the most thoughtful in their analysis—because they dared to report back the truth," a source tells the Independent.

Officials from France, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela have already expressed outrage over some of the memos. Some nations will likely soon demand the ouster of envoys whose comments were offensive. "We think it's only a matter of time," said a State Department official. Meanwhile, day-to-day work has become far more difficult in the wake of the leaks. "In the short run, we're almost out of business," a senior US diplomat told Reuters, saying it could take 5 years to rebuild trust. "It is really, really bad. Nobody wants to talk to us. They are already asking, 'Are you going to write about this?'" (More Julian Assange stories.)

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