Contents of the United States diplomatic cables leak (analysis of individual leaders)

Contents of the United States diplomatic cables leak (analysis of individual leaders)


The United States diplomatic cables, leaked by WikiLeaks contained personal analyses of world leaders by U.S. ambassadors in their corresponding countries and officials of foreign governments.[1] These details proved quite embarrassing to both leaders as well as the U.S. officials who worked on the cables.[2][3]


  • Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, was called "paranoid" by diplomats. The diplomats stated that he is considered "an extremely weak man who did not listen to facts but was instead easily swayed by anyone who came to report even the most bizarre stories or plots against him".[4]


  • Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albania, was called "To pro american as needed" by the diplomats.[citation needed] After his offer to take more Gitmo prisoners American diplomats portrayed his offer as "gracious, but probably extravagant". "As always, the Albanians are willing to go the extra mile to assist with one of our key foreign policy priorities", a cable said.[citation needed]


  • Cristina Kirchner and Néstor Kirchner, current and former Presidents of Argentina, respectively, are described as "paranoid regarding power" and showing "ineptitude for foreign policy". Also it asks for information on the mental state and health of the current president of Argentina.[5]


  • Serge Sargsyan, President of Armenia, was noted in the letters from U.S. administration to Sargsyan condemning the Armenian arms shipments to Iran which killed American soldiers and his unreasonable denials of transfer or weapons.[citation needed]


  • Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, was described as "generally competent". Other text described him as a "control freak" and "a micro-manager obsessed with managing the media cycle rather than engaging in collaborative decision making". Diplomats also criticized Rudd's foreign-policy record.[6]




China, People's Republic of

  • Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, was described by Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso as "confident and relaxed" during their meetings in April 2009. This is in contrast to Wen Jiabao, Premier of the People's Republic of China, who was "very tired and seemed under a lot of pressure", attributed to the ongoing financial crisis.[13]
  • Xi Jinping, a senior leader in China and its presumed future president, is portrayed as an "extremely ambitious" person who is incorruptible and has chosen to survive by becoming "redder than reds". A source close to Xi has revealed that he is neither corrupt nor a fan of democracy. He appears uninterested in leisure pursuits preferred by many high-ranking officials. Women consider him boring, a trait he shares with his stern superior, Hu.[14]



  • Isaias Afwerki, President of Eritrea, was described by the U.S. Ambassador to Eritrea as a cruel "unhinged dictator" whose regime was "one bullet away from implosion". "This man is a lunatic", described the Djiboutian foreign minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssouf. A defected bodyguard remarked that Isaias was a recluse who spent his days painting and tinkering with gadgets and carpentry work. He appeared to make decisions in isolation with no discussion with his advisers. It was difficult to tell how Isaias would react each day and his moods changed constantly.[16]




  • Cables from the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince paint an exhaustive portrait of René Préval, President of Haiti. Preval is described as fearful of exile, passive, indifferent to his advisors, and at the same time prone to micro-management. There is "special intelligence" on his medical regimen and he is rumored to be drinking heavily. And he is skeptical of a U.N.-commissioned report being touted by the international community as a development template for Haiti.[19]



  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, was criticised by many Arab leaders. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed urged the U.S. not to appease Tehran and said, "Ahmadinejad is Hitler".
  • Mir-Hossein Mousavi, leader of the opposition, was described by diplomats as "living in a cave with his art for 20 years -- he knows nothing of Iranian politics or about Iranians today." They claim that he is a virtual unknown to most young Iranians, and most of the population "feel and think nothing" when they hear his name. And for that, they doubted that he would have garnered enough votes to be considered a serious threat by the conservative establishment. He was also described as being a member of the "flower power" in his college years, and was recreational user of Marijuana.[21]
  • Previously unreleased documents actually showed strong disapproval with the methods of the former Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in the years leading up to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, who is labeled as a "sensitive totalitarian" who "lacks understanding" and "how he plans to achieve his goals remain unclear" (in regards to establishing the Rastakhiz Party under a one-party system), which strongly contrasts with the official American position on him at the time. He was said to have "extreme Sensitivity to criticism and strong desire to receive overt evidence of public support". The former Prime Minister Amir Abbas Hoveida is labeled as the Shah's "Chief Dancer" whose "court is merely a facade", while the Security apparatus SAVAK, is called "poorly organized" (despite being founded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency[citation needed]) and "going as far as Isfahan to round up the innocent with the guilty".[22][23]



  • Brian Cowen is "unconcerned with his public image", according to the Ireland Wikileaks diplomatic cables.



  • A U.S. Embassy in Rome report stated that Senate Defense Committee President Giampiero Cantoni said that Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, "fainted three times in public in recent years and that his medical tests have come back a complete mess." After describing a "political environment dominated by conspiracy theories", the report concludes that "sex scandals, criminal investigations, family problems and financial concerns appear to be weighing heavily on Berlusconi's personal and political health, as well as on his decision-making ability." [26]



  • Muammar al-Gaddafi, the de facto leader of Libya, allegedly has a fear of flying over water and he no longer relies on his all-female bodyguard force, only taking one to the U.N. during 2010. Gene Cretz, U.S. Ambassador to Libya, noted that Gaddafi never travels without his "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse, with whom some claim he is romantically linked. When her visa was not approved in time for Gaddafi's trip to the U.N., he had her privately flown to him afterward. The nurse is identified as Galyna Kolotnytska.[28][29]



  • In a diplomatic cable, dated 6 July 2009, Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 2002 to 2010, is described as a "cunning politician", although 'at first, he was dismissed as a lightweight "Harry Potter" look-alike, but he has consistently and skillfully delivered Cabinet support for U.S. policy objectives while balancing fragile parliamentary majorities.' It is also said that his last cabinet was "held together more by fear of early elections than any unity of vision."[32]
  • In that same diplomatic cable, Geert Wilders, Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands, is called a "golden-pompadoured maverick", who is "no friend of the U.S.: he opposes Dutch military involvement in Afghanistan; he believes development assistance is money wasted; he opposes NATO missions outside "allied" territory; he is against most EU initiatives; and, most troubling, he forments [sic] fear and hatred of immigrants.", also saying that his "anti-Islam, nationalist Freedom Party remains a thorn in the coalition's side."[32]

New Zealand

North Korea

  • Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, was portrayed to diplomats by a source as a "'flabby old chap' and someone who had suffered 'physical and psychological trauma' as a result of his stroke". Chinese diplomats consider Kim irascible and unpredictable, mentioning they do not "like" North Korea, but "they are a neighbour". Kim has a reputation among Chinese diplomats as being "quite a good drinker".[34] One Shanghai source says that he "has a long history of recreational drug use that has resulted in frequent bouts of epilepsy and contributed to his poor health overall".[35]


  • Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan, was called "dirty but not dangerous" by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, in contrast to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif who was described as "dangerous but not dirty -- this is Pakistan". Saudi King Abdullah was critical of Zardari, stating that "when the head is rotten... it affects the whole body".[citation needed]


  • Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia, wields less power than his "alpha dog" image[36] in the media portrays. He is alleged to bribe Kremlin figures, or else many of his edicts are not implemented. American diplomats have raised concerns over personal corruption, calling Putin's Russia a "mafia state". The Swiss oil-trading company Gunvor is "rumored to be one of Putin's sources of undisclosed wealth", allegedly "bringing its owners billions of dollars in profit".[37] Diplomats have also discussed Putin's very close relationship with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and "the pair enjoyed such a close relationship that they shared a 'direct line'". It is suspected that Berlusconi personal relationship with Putin influenced the sale of part of Russian state-owned Gazprom's oil subsidiary Gazpromneft to Italian Eni.[37] At the April 4, 2008, NATO-Russia Council Summit in Bucharest, Romania Putin "implicitly challenged" the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
  • Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, was described as "pale" and "indecisive",[36] playing "Robin to Putin's Batman".[38]

Saudi Arabia

  • King Abdullah was stated by diplomats as "'tending to express himself tersely' because of his lifelong struggle with a 'speech impediment', but added that he is a 'wry and forthright interlocutor.'"[39]

Sri Lanka



  • Carl Bildt, Swedish minister of foreign affairs, was described as a "Medium size dog with big dog attitude".[43]


  • Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, former Tunisian president, was described as "deserving credit for continuing the progressive policies of President Bourguiba", however "he and his regime have lost touch with the Tunisian people." It is said the Tunisian leader doesn't accept domestic or international criticism. US cables also described "high-level corruption, a sclerotic regime, and deep hatred of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali's wife and her family." [44]


  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish prime minister, was described as a "perfectionist workaholic who sincerely cares for the well-being of those around him".[45] He was also described by U.S. diplomats as having "little understanding of politics beyond Ankara" and as surrounding himself with an "iron ring of sycophantic (but contemptuous) advisors". He is said to be "isolated", and that his MPs and Ministers feel "fearful of Erdogan's wrath".[46] Diplomats state that "he relies on his charisma, instincts, and the filterings of advisors who pull conspiracy theories off the web or are lost in neo-Ottoman Islamist fantasies".[45] Erdogan responded strongly to the claims, threatening a lawsuit. He rejects the allegations of having "eight secret accounts in Swiss banks", stating that the people responsible for the 'slander' will "be crushed under these claims, will be finished and will disappear".[47]


  • Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, President of Turkmenistan, was described as "vain, fastidious, vindictive, a micro-manager, and a bit of an Ahal Teke 'nationalist.'" Further, it is said that he does not like people who are smarter than him, and since he's not a very bright guy, he is suspicious of a lot of people. The American diplomat also commented that Berdymukhammedov has a Russian mistress.[48]


United Kingdom

  • Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was evaluated by the cables as having an "abysmal track record" which caused him to go from political "disaster to disaster." [50]



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  15. ^ Copy of diplomatic cable dated 19 May 2009 (9 December 2010). "US Embassy Cables: Mubarak: Egypt's President-for-Life". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 December 2010. 
  16. ^ Tisdall, Simon (8 December 2010). "WikiLeaks Cables: Eritrean Poverty and Patriotism under 'Unhinged Dictator' — US Ambassador Portrays Isaias Afwerki as Part Menace, Part Weirdo – and Tastes 'Aptly Named' Sewa at Lunch with Minister". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
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  23. ^ "Iranian Resurgence Party Created by Shah". Wikileaks. 4 March 1975. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  24. ^ Richter, Paul (29 November 2010). "Wikileaks' Release of Secret U.S. Cables Sends Tremor through Diplomatic Community". Los Angeles Times.,0,2557036.story. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  25. ^ Saudi King Abdullah and Senior Princes On SaudiWikiLeaks cable:08RIYADH649. WikiLeaks. 20 April 2008. Archived from the original on 3 January 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  26. ^ "US embassy cables: Italian MP named as Berlusconi's bagman by US". London: The Guardian. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  27. ^ Beauttah Omanga (4 March 2010). "Wikileaks: VP a self-interested opportunist". The Standard. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  28. ^ Mclean, Alan (28 November 2010). "WikiLeaks Archive — A Selection from the Cache of Diplomatic Dispatches — Interactive Feature". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
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  30. ^[dead link] Zahiid, Syed Jaymal (14 December 2010). "WikiLeaks Can Be Double-Edge Sword for Najib". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
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  32. ^ a b Copy of diplomatic cable dated 6 July 2009 (15 December 2010). "US Embassy Cables: Barack Obama's Briefing on Dutch Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  33. ^ Young, Audrey (13 December 2010). "WikiLeaks: US Preferred National". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  34. ^ (registration required) Sanger, David E. (29 November 2010). "Leaked Cables Depict a World Guessing About North Korea". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
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  44. ^ Black, Ian (7 December 2010). "WikiLeaks Cables: Tunisia Blocks Site Reporting 'Hatred' of First Lady — US Embassy Warns Tunisian Anger over Corruption and Unemployment, as Well as 'Intense Dislike' for President's Wife, Threaten Country's Stability". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
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  48. ^ "Cable Viewer". December 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  49. ^ Klußmann, Uwe (2 December 2010). "US-Probleme in der Ukraine — Fatales Spiel mit Falschen Freunden" (in German language). Der Spiegel. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  50. ^ Watt, Nicholas (2 December 2010). "WikiLeaks Cables: Gordon Brown an 'Abysmal' Prime Minister". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2010.

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