bares world leaders' personal details
Monday November 29, 2010 06:39:15 PM,
Thousands of US diplomatic cables leaked by whistleblower site
WikiLeaks bares personal details of world leaders and what US
diplomats think of them in private, a media report said Monday.
According to the Washington Post, a memo describes Libyan leader
Moammar Gaddafi having an intense dislike of staying above the
first floor of hotels. The cables say that Gaddafi's fear of
flying creates logistical headaches for his staff, who make great
attempts to avoid long flights over water.
And Gaddafi is reportedly obsessively dependent on travelling with
a Ukrainian nurse described as a "voluptuous blonde" because she
alone "knows his routine".
The details on Gaddafi were included in a State Department cable
in September 2009 during the leader's visit to New York for the UN
In the cable, Gene A. Cretz, US ambassador to Tripoli, says:
"While it is tempting to dismiss his many eccentricities as signs
of instability, Qadhafi is a complicated individual who has
managed to stay in power for forty years through a skillful
balancing of interests and realpolitik methods."
This is one of the hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic
cables made available online and select media outlets in the US
and Europe by the website. Quotes from the more than 250,000
cables obtained by the WikiLeaks website were also circulating on
Frank and often private descriptions of world leaders include US
diplomats quoting sources to describe North Korean leader Kim Jong
Il as a "flabby old chap" and someone who had suffered "physical
and psychological trauma" as a result of his stroke.
French President Nicholas Sarkozy, in the view of US diplomats in
Paris, has a "thin-skinned and authoritarian personal style"
because of his tendency to rebuke his team and the French prime
An official at the US Embassy in Moscow wrote in 2008 about the
relationship between Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin that Medvedev "plays Robin to Putin's
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is "feckless, vain and
ineffective as a modern European leader", according to a US
official in Rome. Another cable remarked on Berlusconi's "frequent
late nights and penchant for partying hard".
American diplomats in Rome reported in 2009 on what their Italian
contacts described as an extraordinarily close relationship
between Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian prime minister, and Silvio
Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister and business magnate,
including "lavish gifts", lucrative energy contracts and a
"shadowy" Russian-speaking Italian go-between, said the New York
Times, one of the media organisations that had access to the
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is described in one cable from Kabul
as "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".
In 2007 Christopher W. Dell, the then US ambassador to Zimbabwe,
calls Robert Mugabe, the authoritarian ruler of the African
country, "a brilliant tactician" but mocked "his deep ignorance on
economic issues (coupled with the belief that his 18 doctorates
give him the authority to suspend the laws of economics)".
The US government has termed the unauthorised release of
classified documents "reckless" and "dangerous".
Top of the Page
Comment on this article
Indians good enough to take on the world?
The comparison between India and China as sporting nations is
inevitable after Delhi organised the Commonwealth Games and
Guangzhou the Asian Games within a month of each other. There is a
'consulted' with Egypt, Fatah before Gaza offensive
Israel consulted with Egypt and Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas' Fatah party prior to launching its offensive against Hamas
in the Gaza Strip at the end of 2008, classified US diplomatic
cables unveiled Sunday
cue from Nitish, Mayawati shifts focus to governance
Obviously taking a cue from the success story scripted by Nitish
Kumar in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has visibly
shifted her focus to the hard issue of governance
group challenges Deoband's authority to issue fatwas
In a strongly worded letter to the Darul Uloom Deoband, a Muslim
women's advocacy group has decried the frequent fatwas - religious
decrees issued by the Deoband seminary, and has
'Parent-to-child transmission of HIV high in India'
While India may have stemmed the AIDS epidemic "it miserably
failed in prevention of parent to child transmission of HIV", says
the AIDS Society of India (ASI), a professional body of doctors in
blow up ambulance, five killed
Five people, including two women and a child, were killed when
Maoists blew up the ambulance they were travelling in in Orissa's
Kandhamal district, police said Sunday. The landmine blast took