'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Legacy of Marla Ruzicka (Part 2) 

For my initial post on the subject of politically expedient NGOs and the WikiLeaks release, go here. A lingering issue has been the extent to which WikiLeaks endangered people in Afghanistan by releasing the records without checking with the Pentagon. This was a central assumption of six NGOs, Amnesty International, CIVIC, the Open Society Institute, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, the Kabul office of the International Crisis Group, and Reporters Without Borders, who criticized wikileaks for the release.

Turns out that WikiLeaks did offer to allow the Pentagon to identify the names of individuals who might have been at risk if their names were not edited out of the documents it subsequently released, as it is doing again now. Why is the Pentagon being so obstinate, when it has embraced previous requests by the mainstream media? Could it possibly be because the Pentagon wants to prosecute WikiLeaks for encouraging the theft of classified government documents, and any such prosecution would be impaired, perhaps, fatally so, by treating WikiLeaks the same as media organizations who have a constitutional right to release such records? In light of this, is there any chance that the six NGOs who sided with the Pentagon will now publicly repudiate their action? Didn't think so.

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