Something hit me when I was thinking about the various stories of people distancing themselves from Wikileaks:
People are going to suffer because of this and Wikileaks knows it — as does NYT editor Bill Keller, who made sure to tell Reuters that he’s always held the group at “arm’s length” even as the paper was running massive splashy “new Wikileaks cables released!” features.
Did he, why yes he did:
“Our previous dealings with WikiLeaks were on the clear basis that we would only publish cables which had been subjected to a thorough editing and clearance process … Today’s decision to publish by Julian Assange was his, and his alone,” the Guardian, New York Times, Der Spiegel, El Pais and Le Monde said in a joint statement.
In an email to Reuters, New York Times executive editor Bill Keller said: “We’ve never kidded ourselves that we had any control over the behavior of WikiLeaks, and we have taken pains to keep the relationship arm’s-length.”
In fact not only did he but a bunch of papers who routinely publish stuff hitting the US government backed off big time over this. As did reporters without borders:
Reporters Without Borders announced late Thursday it was suspending a WikiLeaks “mirror site” because of concerns over potential risks to sources.
In an editorial, it wrote that on launching the mirror site late last year, Reporters Without Borders “said it defended ‘the free flow of information online and the principle of the protection of sources, without which investigative journalism cannot exist.’
Blogs like Harry’s place note the “disillusionment” of James Ball:
There was a striking piece in yesterday’s Guardian by James Ball, who spent some time as a staffer for Wikileaks. Although initially a supporter, he was quickly disillusioned.
Belmont club has a clue as to the oddity here:
The fact that the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Der Spiegel, and Le Monde now condemn Wikileaks is tantamount to a confession the true character of their “partner”. Why did they believe Wikileaks was a crusading source if they do not believe it now? If in fact they believe the opposite now?
A cynical person might conclude they’ve issued a joint statement distancing themselves from Julian Assange, not from sudden qualms of conscience about revealing confidential intelligence sources and methods, exposing informers to enemy reprisal or ruining confidences, but because their lawyers have alerted them to the possibility of real financial and criminal liability.
Yeah financial liability is likely the big thing although they are painting it as if they are shocked SHOCKED that Wikileaks would be endangering lives….
…Which leads to my question:
How is it that dissidents are in danger if they being aided by the US? Hasn’t the left always told us that the US is always on the wrong side, constantly supporting oppressors instead of the peaceful and just. If that’s the case why is anyone worried? Obviously if these “dissidents” were operating in government unfriendly to the US then those governments must be peaceful and just and CERTAINLY not the types to slaughter them right?
Of course if we ARE in fact on the side of freedom, opposing repressive governments and dissidents are in danger due to leaks; then the left is backing off because they’ve actually always known that we’ve been on the side on the angels, always understood their pronouncements of imperialism and colonialism have been self-serving BS and simply want to decrease the amount of blood on their hands.
Kinda makes you think doesn’t it?