"Inside many a foreign service officer lurks a frustrated novelist," so says Alexis Madrigal, senior technology editor at TheAtlantic.com.
"While most of the state department cables engage in dry analysis of geopolitical issues, some are polished narrative gems crafted with an ear for dialogue and an eye to catching the attention of bureaucratic higher-ups," he writes.
It is in this vein that Madrigal has built Cablegate Roulette, an inherently random collection of previously-confidential dispatches between US diplomats and their international counterparts, in the spirit of sex-randomness linkup Chatroulette and story-fascination generator Guardian Roulette.
From missives about Qadhafi's Ukranian nurse to stories of skiing with Kazakhstani oligarchs, users are taken on a magical mystery tour through the once-secretive annals of diplomatic adventure. Go give it a whirl.
Madrigal explains the thinking:
"We recognize that there are serious geopolitical issues swirling around and through these cables. We address those elswewhere on the site.
"Here, we look at short stories that provide a unique and fascinating view into the lives, concerns, and tribulations of American diplomats and the people they monitor.
"They work like literature, drawing us into the world they describe. That world has long been kept from inspection, but now we can see this shadowy, powerful world as the diplomats themselves do."
Clever new ways of telling stories impress us here at the Guardian, so why not download the data - note, not the text – and make something interesting?