Nicholas Kralev is an author and expert on diplomacy, world affairs and global travel. He hosts the weekly program “Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.”

Kralev interviewed P.J. Crowley on a retired Air Force colonel and National Security Council spokesman in the Clinton White House. Crowley now teaches at George Washington University.

On Kralev’s program, Crowley talks about how the media covers diplomacy. They also talked about the Arab Spring as a case study of the effectiveness of U.S. diplomacy. Crowley discusses the Obama administration’s pursuit of an “aiding the enemy” charge against Army Private Bradley Manning and former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is also charged with releasing classified information.

Does the media do a good job of covering diplomacy, as opposed to foreign news? “Yes,” Crowley says. “It’s not just American media. The daily press briefings at State Department and the White House briefing have a core domestic audience and an international audience. What the U.S. says matters. It is a key voice in the world. Global media, including domestic media, is a key channel to how the U.S. communicates.”

Crowley was the administration’s main spokesman on the WikiLeaks cables’ release in the fall of 2010, which he repeatedly condemned. In March 2011, he stepped down after publicly expressing a personal opinion. “I said the treatment was counterproductive, because it was undermining what otherwise is a very important prosecution,” he recalls.

This dialogue is an object lesson about how diplomacy depends fundamentally on candor, not primarily on confidentiality.

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