29 November 2010

Dear American Diplomatic Corp Members:

In light of the recent unveiling of your confidential cables and memos back and forth, allow me a moment to remind you of something every person should learn at a very early age: NEVER put in writing something you would be embarrassed to say out loud to the person about whom you are writing.

It is probably poor form to write that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi "appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of [Russian Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin"; or repeat that a Chinese official thinks that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is “quite a good drinker”; or say of Ahmed Karzai, the half brother of the Afghan president, that "he is widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker.”

You never know when something like that might end up in The New York Times.

No comments: