This cartoon by Peter Brookes from The Times relates to the leaking to the Guardian and other international media by WikiLeaks of more than 250,000 classified cables from US embassies, many sent as recently as February this year. Read more >>
Uncle Sam is on what appears to be a stage lecturing a large audience. His trousers (and pants) are around his ankles. In fact, he has just been debagged by the WikiLeaks figure who can be seen running off, laughing wildly.
The debagging of Uncle Sam is clearly a metaphor for the embarassing (and exposed) position the US finds itself in following the leaks. (In fact, the Guardian talks about the US world view being laid bare.) Another expression which springs to mind is to be caught with your pants down, which means to find yourself in an embarassing situation you are not prepared for.
TROUSERS VERSUS PANTS
It is often said that Britain and America are two nations divided by a common language. One of the most common areas of confusion concerns the words used for clothing. For example, American pants are British trousers. Pants in the UK (US shorts) are underpants and worn under trousers. Still confused? Read BBC's h2g2's entertaining article on trousers versus pants.