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by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
journalism, wikileaks

Why Are US Publications Downplaying The Significance Of Some Of Wikileaks' Leaks?

from the they-know-which-side-their-bread-is-buttered-on dept

We still can't quite figure out why the story of US contractors in Afghanistan pimping little boys to law enforcement officials doesn't seem to get nearly the sort of attention in the press that Wikileaks itself gets, even though Wikileaks is what revealed the actions by Dyncorp. In fact, some are noticing that the US press seems to be downplaying many of the revelations in the diplomatic cables that have been released so far. Karl Bode points us to an interesting report that highlights how a bunch of big name publications have tried to play down the leaks, listing out stories in Time, the NY Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post and elsewhere that all say the leaks have really only shown that US diplomats are effective at their jobs.

But then it lists out a whole bunch of things that have been found in the leaks so far (and, remember, less than 1% of the cables have actually been released), that all seem like pretty big stories, that haven't received much attention at all. Many of them do get one or two stories, and that's it. This includes multiple stories of US officials basically working to obstruct foreign governments from responding to various misdeeds by representatives of the US. There are also numerous examples of US officials disobeying agreements with other countries and believing bad intelligence. But, for whatever reason, that's just not as interesting as the story of the organization that helped reveal that information?

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  1. identicon
    Freak, 21 Dec 2010 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    We are actually pretty damn certain they're true.

    Several reasons:

    1) Of the cables released thus far, they match up with real, known, public events perfectly. Fabricating so many documents and managing to get everything right would be incredibly difficult. 1800 docs so far.
    2) Some documents have been previously leaked to various sources, some of which remained undisclosed. They match the documents leaked by wikileaks.
    3) Some people who have access to classified documents have actually come out and said "Yes, these documents are in the system as leaked, AFAIK".
    4) These documents contain a lot of stuff we already know that was not public. They do not contradict anything we know.
    5) The five major news sources which are helping wikileaks with vetting these cables haven't said anything about them being false, and they (should) be doing everything they can to verify them. And falsify them.
    6) Under the FOIA, knowing the name of the documents, and what information they contain, journalists, (and people in general, really), can ask the gov't for the documents directly and verify that they are the same documents found in the leak.
    7) To fool Bradley Manning, they would have had to give him a job which entirely dealt only with dealing with faked documents. Only passing fake documents to superiors, of which the information isn't true. Talk about pointless. Hiring more people to work on a fake system won't do anything about real leaks.
    8)Of the events we did not previously know about, or were masked, we are now able to collect information, knowing how and where, to verify the claims made by the leaked documents. So far, it's matched up perfectly.

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