• More than 250,000 dispatches reveal US foreign strategies
• Diplomats ordered to spy on allies as well as enemies
• Saudi king urged Washington to bomb Iran
Source: US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomatic crisis | US news | The Guardian
There is a difference between lying and being polite/diplomatic; also there is a difference between the public face of a country and the individual private beliefs and feelings of its citizens, even those employed by the diplomatic services.
Some diplomats (of ANY major nation with hundreds of embassies) are likely to have beliefs that are inconsistent with the foreign policy of the current administration. Professional diplomats should be able to conduct their public selves and the business of their nation according to the administration’s foreign policy even if it is not identical to their personal views. Much of diplomacy is facilitated by personal relationships. I would thus claim it is bad to switch out diplomatic staff with each turn of foreign policy, and that doing so should not be necessary so long as diplomats are permitted to have both public and private lives. This leak has damaged that separation between public and private. It is not that the USA as a country was lying — the diplomats were conveying the foreign policy message designed by the executive administration; it was that diplomats were not 100% behind the message they were conveying because the message was not their own.
RE: “Are we getting cooperation under false pretenses?”
False pretenses are very hard to nail down in the real world. For example, let us say that some think tank has determined that educating women would be a cost-efficient way to increase GDP in a third-world misogynistic nation and that the executive branch of government believes that increased GDP there is the only way to achieve lasting stability in the region. The project is pitched to the foreign nation as a way to have better, more valuable women to use and trade. However, in order to get funding, the project is pitched at home as a way to slowly empower women and erode the foreigners’ misogynistic ways. If the empowerment message gets back to the foreigners, the program will founder, the foreigners will become distrustful of future aid offers, and the foreign women will be beat more often to remind them of their place in society just for good measure.
Are the voters lied to because the educated women will have a higher trade value?
Are the foreigners lied to because their women might be empowered?
If the foreigners claim to like their misogynistic society, is it wrong to educate and empower their women?
:So many more questions:
Any one person may have definite yes-no answers for all of them, but I am sure that society at large would have trouble mustering a ratio of more than 65% on any single question. This is the gray area of reality and there are some things that are best left unsaid.