Orwell, 9/11, Emmanuel Goldstein and WikiLeaks

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A strikingly good piece of investigative journalism from Associated Press finds that accusations about the damage done by WikiLeaks’ latest release are – yet again – wildly overstated and without any factual basis. These most recent warnings have centered on WikiLeaks’ exposure of diplomatic sources whom the released cables indicated should be "strictly protected." While unable to examine all of the names in the cables, AP focused on the ones "the State Department seemed to categorize as most risky." It found that many of them are "comfortable with their names in the open and no one fearing death."

In particular, many of these super-secret sources were "already dead, their names cited as sensitive in the context of long-resolved conflicts or situations" while "some have publicly written or testified at hearings about the supposedly confidential information they provided the U.S. government." Like the Pentagon before them, even the State Department – which has "been scouring the documents since last year to find examples where sources are exposed and inform them that they may be ‘outed’" – is unable to provide any substantiation for its shrill, public denunciations of WikiLeaks and its "dire" warnings about the "grave danger" caused by publication of these cables:

The total damage appears limited and the State Department has steadfastly refused to describe any situation in which they’ve felt a source’s life was in danger. They say a handful of people had to be relocated away from danger but won’t provide any details on those few cases.

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