Types of documents

Breakdown by type

How leaks could undercut diplomacy

The cache of secret State Department cables exposes the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy in Washington and around the world. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the leak erodes trust among nations, but she is "confident" that U.S. partnerships would withstand the challenges posed by the revelations. Here is a look at statements made about selected countries and leaders.

middle east

A breakdown of the 251,287 diplomatic cables

The documents date to 1966, though most were written in the past few years and some as recently as February. A look at the cables sent by the State Department and U.S. diplomatic missions, based on WikiLeaks' analysis.

Where the cables came from
Country of Origin
Which countries they mentioned

Top 10 countries mentioned in the cables, by number of mentions

What they talked about

Top 10 topics discussed in the cables, by number of mentions


Anatomy of the leak

How WikiLeaks released the confidential documents into the public domain:


WikiLeaks provided four foreign news organizations with access to tens of thousands of secret State Department cables. The cache was allegedly given to them by a U.S. Army private. While the New York Times was given access to previous troves, WikiLeaks snubs the paper this go around, possibly over an unflattering profile of founder Julian Assange.


Britain's Guardian newspaper quietly passed the Times the raw material. The Times agreed to coordinate
the release of its stories
about the cables with
the Guardian and the three
other news organizations.


The five news organizations
began publishing articles based on the
trove of documents.

For the general public, WikiLeaks published some 20 cables on its site, in the first of what will be many releases over several months. By Tuesday, WikiLeaks had released 294 cables, just 0.1% of the total number of documents.

Note: Map shows cables sent by State Department and U.S. diplomatic missions. SOURCES: WikiLeaks, staff reports. GRAPHIC: William Branigin, Mary Kate Cannistra, Kat Downs, Alicia Parlapiano, Laura Stanton, Bill Webster and Karen Yourish / The Washington Post - Nov. 30, 2010.

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