WikiLeaks launches Web War III

Well, that certainly got everyone's attention.

As , Wikileaks and its controversial spokesmodel Julian Assange released on the Web this week, kicking off Cablegate and causing a crisis in international relations not seen since the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the opening shot of World War I.

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It will probably take months to tease out all the nuggets buried in those documents, none classified Top Secret but many of which contain candid, juicy tidbits about foreign leaders and their governments not intended for public consumption. Recovering from the damage caused by the release of this information will take much longer, if it happens at all.

Imagine every unkind thing you've thought or said about everyone you've ever met exposed to the very people you said or thought them about. That would empty your Facebook friends list in a hurry. Now imagine some of those friends having nuclear weapons. In a word: Ka-boom.

The New York Times -- not from WikiLeaks but from the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, which shared the docs as part of a collaborative agreement to parse out the impact of the revelations. Reuters and other news organizations have also been since their official release. Some of the choicer bits: