Yet much of the cable traffic appears to quash these notions. Indeed, one revelation from the trove of documents is that there just isn't that much back-room conspiring reflected in these embassy dispatches.
To be sure, Le Monde and other French publications have relished cables about President Nicolas Sarkozy.
According to the cables, the US sees him as “thin skinned, authoritarian” and "a pragmatist and an activist ... brilliant, impatient, undiplomatic, hard to predict, charming, innovative, and summit prone."
In 2006, while still interior minister, he chased his son’s pet rabbit around his office on the day he told US diplomats he was running for president (and six months before he told the French).
Dominique Moisi of the French Institute of International Relations points out that the French public has a similar view of Mr. Sarkozy as the US – and that “deciphering Sarkozy” has become an “obsession” here.
Likewise, Italian novelist and philosopher Umberto Eco argues that much of what the US embassy in Rome said about Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi is a retread of what the Italian press (the Italian press not owned by Mr. Berlusconi) has written about him.