Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WikiLeaks Swept up and away (oh my!)

"The release of all the leaked embassy cables marks both the end of WikiLeaks and the beginning of an era

Sep 10th 2011 | NEW YORK | from the print edition

IF CYBERSPACE had air, it would be thick with recriminations. Thanks to a series of slips compounded by warring whistle-blowing egos, an entire trove of 251,000 purloined American diplomatic cables has been published online. The result may be fatal for WikiLeaks, as well as embarrassingly revealing governments’ misdeeds, mishaps, evasions and cover-ups. One cable has allegations that American troops executed an Iraqi family, including five small children, in 2006. (The government in Baghdad has reopened an investigation.) Another questions the long-term safety of China’s nuclear-power plans. In a third, a Bulgarian minister admits to misleading environmentalists about legislation on genetically modified crops.

Previously released cables also featured unvarnished opinions. But the new lot include the names of people who talked to American officials. In countries like China that could bring nasty consequences. Even the most ardent advocates of open government would not defend the publication (also in the cables) of the private phone numbers of foreign leaders, such as the Queen of the Netherlands (a note adds that she speaks English well). WikiLeaks had earlier worked with media allies who edited out such sensitive details, though relations have now soured." More at link above....