Wikileaks Diplomatic Cables

The Wikileaks release of a huge trove of diplomatic cables on Sunday, November 28, 2010 caused a great stirring of media interest and political activity. The revelations of backroom dealing and unflattering personal commentary at high levels of international communication have been the subject of great concern. The US State Department went into damage control mode, with calls to colleagues all around the world.

As Kirsten Neiling, who hosts an Egg in Argentina put it, "I wonder what will the EGGs show now with the Wikileaks. I believe the world will never be the same after this. The changes are upon us at full scale and at a high speed."

We don't have an exact time for the release, but Kirsten noted that the cables were first provided to European newspapers: The Guardian, Le Monde, El Mundo, Der Spiegel. The material went also to the New York times, and Wikileaks indicates there will be much more to come. In any case, the first materials were published on the 28th, probably in morning editions. Apparently, there was knowledge within the State Department prior to the publication, as indicated by descriptions of negotiations and pressure to mitigate harms to people in sensitive positions.

The GCP event was set for 8 hours beginning at 07:00 UTC, to cover the first publication in Europe as well as the major early reactions in the US. The results show Chisquare of 29085.274 on 28800 df, for p = 0.118 and Z = 1.188.

Diplomatic Cables

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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