Wikileaks and the Demise of the Diplomatic Cable

I think my Opinio Juris co-blogger Peter Spiro is probably right that one of the collateral consequences of Wikileaks is the demise, or anyway acceleration toward the demise, of the traditional diplomatic cable.

But this episode will surely make cables look less attractive still. It’s one thing to understand that your work will come to light 25 years hence, when you (and your interlocutors) will either be dead or retired, too old much to care; or else flattered to see your handiwork become the stuff of history. It’s another to have to worry about something being disclosed that might affect your ability to function in your next post (or whether you’ll get one at all).