The National Security Archive, based at George Washington University, has provided a guide explaining How to Decipher a State Department Cable:
“This guide … might come in handy as you peruse the 251,287 Department of State cables recently released by wikileaks (…)”
“At the Archive, we have lots of practice reading declassified government documents. Since we will be using this space to share with you some documents from our trove of government releases, we thought it would be useful to give you some tips on what to look for in these documents. Several of our experienced analysts have created a series of ‘cheat sheets’ for different types of agency records.”
The National Security Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act in the USA. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States.
The Archive has won lawsuits to bring into the public domain confidential materials on the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Iran-Contra Affair and other historical controversies.
It receives funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Institute.