NAIROBI, Kenya -- Throughout his time in Kenya, U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger has been known for his expansive and delighted presence at any number of cultural events and festivals, especially those that featured dancing, and his fondness for vanilla lattes from the local Starbucks equivalent, Java House, just a stone's throw from his office. However, he has also been known for his blunt assessment of the country's government and political elites, particularly in the aftermath of the country's 2007 post-election violence.
Ranneberger's departure from Nairobi has been expected for months. Now, the very Kenyan politicians Ranneberger has long targeted are likely to be eager to hasten his exit, after some 1,400 diplomatic cables originating from his office were included by Wikileaks in the organization's latest release of confidential U.S. government documents.
According to initial reporting on the Wikileaks publications, almost every single sentence in the embassy reports set to be made public is disdainful of the government of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. But although the documents will be embarrassing, and possibly damaging to Ranneberger's legacy, they are not likely to yield any revelatory information. Even as Wikileaks was making headlines worldwide, Ranneberger made the front page of the leading Kenyan newspaper, the Daily Nation, by calling for the resignation of the country's chief justice and attorney general, calling their continued presence in government a threat to the future stability of Kenya's development.