The news-free content of the leaked documents points to this being more about
Julian Assange‘s vanity and finances than his politics.
Worse, the video was released to coincide with a fundraising appeal (the organization had only collected $370,000 of their estimated $600,000 operating budget), strongly suggesting the group was creating controversy merely to profit from it.
The newest release, the so-called “Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010,” is a document dump of over 91,000 classified military documents from our war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The UK’s Guardian, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and the New York Times have had teams of reporters pouring over embargoed copies of the files for weeks. Sadly, what they found offers very little in the way of news, revelations, or even entertainment.
Imagine walking down to your local police department’s archives and printing out 91,000 pages of reports. The vast majority would be mundane. Traffic stops, property crime reports, accidents, and yes, on much more infrequent occasions, even violent crimes. You’d also find really exciting stuff, like how much the department spends on printer ink, toilet paper, handcuff keys, and uniform allowances. What WikiLeaks has reported, for the most part, seems to be of this nature.
This is not to completely discount the document dump. As reporters and investigators continue to search their way through the tens of thousands of files, they have hit upon interesting nuggets here and there. Readers may be nodding along, saying to themselves: “I thought so.” But if you are someone that has followed the war through the blogs and reporters that cover this isolated beat, you won’t find anything exciting.
Pakistan’s intelligence service is playing both sides?
- How The WikiLeaks Story Got Published (huffingtonpost.com)
- “The WikiLeaks documents may not be as harmless as they first seemed: The Times of London discovered…” (ihatethismess.tumblr.com)
- Twitter / WikiLeaks: WikiLeaks will NOT be abandoned … (dccrowley.posterous.com)
- WikiLeaks: We don’t know source of leaked data (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- WikiLeaks will get you WikiMurdered (redstate.com)
- WikiLeaks Counters Government’s ‘Religion of Secrecy’ (Video) (littlealexinwonderland.wordpress.com)
- The WikiLeaks Paradox: Is radical transparency compatible with total anonymity? (slate.com)
- WikiLeaks and The New York Times: Why Size Matters (dailyfinance.com)
- WikiLeaks document release endangers Afghan lives – Report (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- “Julian Assange: Evidence of War Crimes in Afghan War Logs” and related posts (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Reporter’s View: How The WikiLeaks Story Developed (npr.org)
- TIME’s Q&A With WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange (huffingtonpost.com)
- Open Thread: WikiLeaks Releases Names of Hundreds of Afghan Informants (newsbusters.org)