Diplomats must engage in frank discussions with their colleagues, and they must be assured that these discussions will remain private. Honest dialogue - within governments and between them - is part of the basic bargain of international relations; we couldn’t maintain peace, security, and international stability without it. I’m sure that Pakistan’s ambassadors to the United States would say the same thing.
US diplomats [also] meet with local human rights workers, journalists, religious leaders, and others outside the government who offer their own candid insights. These conversations depend on trust and confidence as well. If an anti-corruption activist shares information about official misconduct, or a social worker passes along documentation of sexual violence, revealing that person’s identity could have serious repercussions: imprisonment, torture, even death ... An act intended to provoke the powerful may instead imperil the powerless.
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