Julian Assange and his little pals are at it again. NYT:
A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.
Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks posted 220 cables, some redacted to protect diplomatic sources, in the first installment of the archive on its Web site on Sunday.
The disclosure of the cables is sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.
Among the revelations so far: that we’ve been trying to stop Pakistan from building nukes, we’ve been talking to South Korea about reunification with the North, we’ve tried unsuccessfully to get other countries to take Gitmo detainees, China is conducting a cyberwar against the U.S., and a lot of other stuff that everybody knows already. Assange & Co. just dumped 250,000 of these cables out there, so who knows what else is in them. And for what? Allahpundit at Hot Air puts it best:
Wikileaks would have you believe that confidential government communications are so inherently anti-democratic that exposing them is virtually always in the public interest, no matter what collateral damage might result. No country in the world has ever followed that standard and no country ever will.
I’ve had my own issues with the State Department recently, but I don’t see what good any of this accomplishes. This Assange moron is just trying to embarrass America, and obviously he doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. If America’s so evil, why is this creep still breathing?
Jon Ward has an interesting note:
On Sunday, as the first diplomatic cables began to dribble out, Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia who has since left the organization, sent a public message to WikiLeaks on Twitter.
“Speaking as Wikipedia’s co-founder, I consider you enemies of the U.S. — not just the government, but the people,” Sanger wrote.
He added: “What you’ve been doing to us is breathtakingly irresponsible and can’t be excused with pieties of free speech and openness.”
Many more responses here.
The New York Times is participating in the dissemination of the stolen State Department cables that have been made available to it in one way or another via WikiLeaks. My friend Steve Hayward recalls that only last year the New York Times ostentatiously declined to publish or post any of the Climategate e-mails because they had been illegally obtained. Surely readers will recall Times reporter Andrew Revkin’s inspiring statement of principle: “The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.”
Interested readers may want to compare and contrast Revkin’s statement of principle with the editorial note posted by the Times on the WikiLeaks documents this afternoon. Today the Times cites the availability of the documents elsewhere and the pubic interest in their revelations as supporting their publication by the Times. Both factors applied in roughly equal measure to the Climategate emails.
Never let it be said that the New York Times doesn’t have standards. It has one of each.
P.P.S. More on the NYT’s horsecrap from James Delingpole.