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The Conversation: Was the latest WikiLeaks release necessary?

November 29, 2010 |  2:04 pm


As the Obama camp plays damage control, journalists are asking: Was the latest WikiLeaks release necessary?

Anne Applebaum asks, What was the point? From Slate:

"This stuff is awkward and embarrassing, but it doesn't fundamentally change very much. How about a leak of Chinese diplomatic documents? Or Russian military cables? How about some stuff we don't actually know, like Iranian discussion of Iranian nuclear weapons, or North Korean plans for invasion of South Korea? If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is serious about his pursuit of "Internet openness" — and if his goal isn't, in fact, embarrassing the United States — that's where he'll look next. Somehow, I won't be surprised if he doesn't."

MP Nunan writes this one off as the political edition of “Gossip Girl.” From the Huffington Post:

"What was the most compelling aspect of WikiLeaks' release of 220 U.S. diplomatic cables -- the latest move by the online whistle-blower to, well, whistle-blow about anything it can get its hands on? Because hey -- information wants to be free, national security and diplomacy be damned?


It was that in global politics, the U.S. plays the part of the "Gossip Girl" alpha female -- and that high school never really ends."

The Week  aggregates additional thoughts:

"Shame on WikiLeaks [...] and shame on their media enablers [...] These leaks will only endanger our diplomats [...] There's nothing here to get worked up about."


Julian Assange Still, the public supports WikiLeaks' Julian Assange; at least that’s what the Nation found in its "30 Media Heroes" readers' ballot. Assange came in at No. 23.






-- Alexandra Le Tellier



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Top photo: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton makes a statement on the WikiLeaks document release Monday at the State Department in Washington. Credit: Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Bottom photo: A photo taken on Nov. 4 shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange attending a news conference at the Geneva Press Club in Geneva. Credit: Fabrice Coffrini /AFP/Getty Images

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