By now, you've heard of the WikiLeaks scandal. If you've been avoiding cable news, the Internet, newspapers, talk radio, and work at home alone, here's the nutshell:
The "whistle-blowing" Internet site WikiLeaks obtained a vast trove of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables and military dispatches, probably stolen by a U.S. Army private who is now under arrest. WikiLeaks is releasing the documents in batches to global news organizations. On Sunday, a bunch of outlets published the latest batch—250,000 previously secret diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies and consulates across the globe.
Sure, there's tons of intriguing information about the diplomatic efforts to contain Iran, North Korea and other global baddies.
There's also juicy gossip about world leaders.
Here are five of the funniest, juiciest, and most salacious WikiLeaks revelations about the folks who run the world (in no particular order):
- The stories about Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, the world's longest-serving non-royal head of state, may be worth the breach of secrecy and protocol alone. According to a cable from the American ambassador to Libya, Gene A. Cretz, Gaddafi "reportedly cannot travel without his senior Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska. He also appears to have an intense dislike or fear of staying on upper floors, reportedly prefers not to fly over water, and seems to enjoy horse racing and flamenco dancing. His recent travel may also suggest a diminished dependence on his legendary female guard force, as only one woman bodyguard accompanied him to New York." That senior Ukrainian nurse is a 38-year-old "voluptuous blond" with whom the "Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution" is rumored to have a romantic relationship, according to Our Man in Tripoli.
- U.S. diplomats quoted sources saying North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Il is a "flabby old chap" who suffered "physical and psychological trauma" following his stroke.
- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is "feckless, vain and ineffective as a modern European leader," and his "frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest," according to a U.S. diplomat in Rome. Berlusconi has laughed off the remarks.
- Afghanistan's former vice president, Ahmad Zia Massoud, arrived in the United Arab Emirates in 2009 with $52 million in cold, hard, cash. He was allowed to keep the money, and no one questioned its origin or destination.
- The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan loves to boogie in trendy nightclubs. A U.S. Embassy employee in Astana, the Kazakh capital, observed Prime Minister Massimov on March 7, 2008, enter the trendy Chocolat nightclub with his entourage. Massimov eschewed the dance floor and mounted the boite's stage, where he danced "animatedly" in full view of all patrons. After his retinue tired, Massimov stayed up and danced solo for about 20 minutes.