Opinion Brief

Has WikiLeaks finally leaked too much?

The whistleblower website says people have a right to know how the U.S. conducts international relations, but some wonder if its unveiling of 250,000 diplomatic cables is a leak too far

WikiLeaks has struck again. This time, the whistleblower organization has disclosed the contents of over 250,000 diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies, making the full cache of information available to a few select newspapers, including The New York Times. The treasure trove of revelations — including sensitive information about American relations with Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan — has left the U.S. government fuming. (See the 10 biggest revelations.) A statement from the White House said, in part: "We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information." Is WikiLeaks endangering people's lives, or just their reputations? (Watch a Fox News discussion about WikiLeaks and global security)

Shame on WikiLeaks... Journalists break sensitive stories all the time, says Blake Hounshell at Foreign Policy. "That's our job." But leaking a quarter million of them all at once seems more like "information vandalism" than journalism. WikiLeaks' argument that the public deserves to know what the U.S. government is up to is unconvincing. It released these cables because it could. I call that "grotesque and irresponsible." "Has WikiLeaks finally gone too far?" 

...and shame on their media enablers: It was just as irresponsible of The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel to publish them, says Max Boot at Commentary. These supposedly respectable media organizations are seemingly happy to work "hand in glove with a sleazy website" to disrupt policymakers with the best intentions for the U.S. "The conduct of all concerned is reprehensible and beneath contempt.""Journalism that knows no shame"

These leaks will only endanger our diplomats: What did WikiLeaks hope to achieve here, asks Pejman Yousefzadeh at Chequerboard. "This leak will do nothing to make governments and corporations more ethical." Instead, it will hamper their ability to make well-informed decisions on foreign policy. As a result they will "fail more often, costing valuable resources, undermining worthy diplomatic goals, and even leading to the loss of innocent lives." "On WikiLeaks, and the release of diplomatic cables"

There's nothing here to get worked up about: Get off your high horses, says Benedict Brogan at The Daily Telegraph. These revelations are "a collection of little substance that will do nothing to reshape geo-politics." Sure, it's embarrassing for diplomats. But they should realize "occasional embarrassment is an occupational hazard in a 21st century marked by vast quantities of information circulating in all too accessible digital form.""WikiLeaks is embarrassing but not serious"

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