On Monday, the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks
, in conjunction with several global media outlets, published a tract of more than 250,000 secret, internal
U.S. embassy cables.
The content of those cables
has the power to change outlooks, beliefs and opinions the world over.
And whether you think WikiLeaks' Julian Assange
is an Internet hero striving for transparency and truth or a dangerous hypocrite riding a wave of self-interested self-righteousness, we all have to appreciate the magnitude of the unfolding Cablegate events.
That said, it doesn't mean we can't see the funny side. In honor of the changing face of geopolitics, we've compiled the five funniest moments to come out of Cablegate.
It seems the Middle East's longest-standing, latex-faced loon isn't the double-hard son-of-a-gun his title might imply. Gaddafi hates flying
and will only travel very short distances by air. His fear of heights isn't confined to planes alone -- he also prefers to sleep on the ground floor of any building.
More amusingly, the Colonel is heavily reliant on a team of nurses and is accompanied everywhere he goes by a "voluptuous blond" Ukrainian nurse. He also has allegedly indulged in a fair bit of Botox -- which may explain why he looks like his face is melting.
Probably our favorite story to come out of the leaked cables so far is that of Hossein Ghanbarzadeh Vahedi
. An Iranian-born American, he was visiting relatives in Tehran when the Iranian authorities decided to confiscate his passport. He was trapped in Iran for months as the courts staunchly ignored his pleas.
Eventually, Vahedi did what any man would: He bought a horse, hired two guides and, in a daring 14-hour overnight escape, rode out of Iran across the country's north Caucus Mountains into Turkey. There, he caught a bus -- before arriving at the American consulate and asking for a hand. Mantastic.
Labor Minister Naughties
A Labor minister was described in one cable as "a hound dog around women"
and had to apologize to a female member of his staff after she made complaints of sexual harassment.
The cable described the unnamed, married minister as a bully who had manic-depressive tendencies and whose marriage was in trouble. Well, it's no wonder really, if he's carrying on like that.
Prince Sounding Off
Why Prince Andrew
has a job as "special trade envoy" in the first place was anyone's guess. His resume didn't seem perfect for a diplomatic role building trade relations
And seemingly his methods of diplomacy were a tad unconventional. He is said to have gone on a rant during which he labeled French business "corrupt," before saying, "The Americans don't understand geography. Never have. In the U.K., we have the best geography teachers in the world!"
So, if anyone is to come out of the Wikileaks scandal looking better -- it's British geography teachers. Hooray!
Vlad and Silvio's Bromance
One cable talked about a burgeoning friendship between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Emperor President Silvio Berlusconi
According to the cable, Berlusconi admires Putin's masculine image
, and the two furnish each other with lavish gifts all the time.
It also says that Berlusconi's busy schedule of late-night partying leaves him without sufficient energy to be an effective leader. Well, duh.