Former WikiLeaks partners condemn document release

WASHINGTON Fri Sep 2, 2011 11:33am EDT

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves the High Court in London July 13, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves the High Court in London July 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five prominent news organizations which collaborated with WikiLeaks have condemned the website and its founder Julian Assange for making public uncensored copies of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables.

The Guardian of London, the New York Times, Der Spiegel magazine, Spain's El Pais and France's Le Monde issued a joint statement on Friday deploring WikiLeaks' decision to publish "unredacted State Department cables, which may put sources at risk."

In a message posted on its Twitter feed, which Assange is believed personally to control, WikiLeaks confirmed on Friday it had released "251,287 US embassy cables in searchable format."

Earlier this week, WikiLeaks issued a lengthy statement accusing a Guardian journalist and a former WikiLeaks spokesman of having "negligently" disclosed top secret passwords to a copy of the cable database which had been floating, unnoticed, around the Internet for months.

For its part, the Guardian said that it "utterly rejects any suggestion that it is responsible for the release of the unedited cables."

New York Times editor Bill Keller told Reuters: "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. ... It's sad that -- whether out of a craving for attention, or an absolutist doctrine of 'transparency,' or some more malign motive, I can't judge -- WikiLeaks has decided on this irresponsible course."

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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Comments (6)
Slammy wrote:
Yay, Freedom of Information at its best! Obama wanted more transparency in government, he got it! I do hope nobody gets in trouble or hurt because of this but hiding things makes people paranoid. From reading some of these cables this paranoia might be justified.

It seems like the Arab revolution was ignited at least in part by what the people read about their government and how corrupt they really were/are. No one said freedom was always pretty.

Sep 02, 2011 12:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wc4sky wrote:
So, it is not OK for govt to have secrets, and tell us what we should know,
but is is OK if ‘News Agencies’ tell us what we should know.’

Sep 02, 2011 12:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Papaw wrote:
Another case of not my fault, we just used the info when we benefited from it. The NY Times is never at fault even when its reporters write fiction for face. The last paper I would believe is the Times. They don’t care about facts or the damage it will do, they will be first, if possible, even without the facts. They will make them up as they go along and if caught it will be “Not my fault.”,

Sep 02, 2011 12:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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