Local News

Former ambassador: Leaked documents 'high treason'

Posted November 30, 2010 5:09 p.m. EST
Updated November 30, 2010 6:49 p.m. EST

— Raleigh lawyer Jim Cain, a former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, on Tuesday called the release of classified U.S. State Department documents treason.

More than 250,000 documents were published over the weekend by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks. Some of the documents included unflattering assessments of world leaders that embarrassed the administration of President Barack Obama.

Cain, who served as ambassador from 2005 until last year, said some messages he wrote were among the documents released. The documents related to Denmark's involvement in the war in Afghanistan and included his candid analysis of rising political leaders in the country, he said.

"The cables I wrote, they were written for the president, and they're to guide the president on his decision-making," he said. "If you disclose those publicly, it can do severe damage to our national security and is, in my opinion, high treason."

Cain said his job was largely about building relationships in Denmark to benefit the U.S., and he said he hopes Wikileaks won't compromise those relationships for current and future ambassadors.

Before being named ambassador, Cain served as president of the Carolina Hurricanes from 1999 to 2002, and he now works at the Kilpatrick Stockton law firm.