Clinton apologises for embarrassment to UK
Saturday 04 December 2010
Hillary Clinton apologised yesterday for the derogatory comments made by American diplomats about British political leaders and military forces in the leaked cables published by the WikiLeaks website.
The US Secretary of State has made a frantic round of calls to foreign governments over the last week to try to limit the international fall-out from the disclosures.
They have revealed American disdain for Britain's handling of the turbulent Helmand province in Afghanistan and passed on unflattering assessments of David Cameron and George Osborne.
"I personally want to convey to the government and the people of the United Kingdom both my deep respect and admiration for the extraordinary efforts and our regret if anything that was said by anyone suggested the contrary," she said.
While expressing her regret, she maintained that politicians, officials or advisers have to be able to speak to each other frankly and in confidence in order to govern effectively.
In Kabul, the leak of cables critical of the Afghan government and of President Hamid Karzai, who was described as weak and unfamiliar with nation-building, are a source of great anger and concern.
US diplomats fear the leaks may have caused irreparable damage to the Karzai regime, and have spent several days in a rearguard action trying to assure the Afghan government of its support and confidence.
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, answered online questions yesterday and declared Bradley Manning, the US soldier suspected of leaking 250,000 documents to him, as a hero. Mr Assange refused to divulge whether Mr Manning, who has been charged by the US Army with mishandling and leaking classified data, was the source but said: "If indeed ... Bradley Manning is behind some of our recent disclosures, then he is without doubt an unparalleled hero."
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...