Added by James Morley on November 30, 2010
The most astonishing revelation to come out of the latest WikiLeaks documentation is not the content of the material, but the mode of State Department preparation and dissemination, argue journalists.
Simon Jenkins, at the Huffington Post, reports that the recently leaked documents did not carry a full top-secret classification, but rather had as their purpose to “promote debate” in a wide range of audiences in the field of foreign service.
The documents were, according to Jenkins, available to some 2-3 million authorised users of the State Department intranet. The network reportedly has a fairly unsophisticated coding system, and the materials were added to the network displaying names as well as sources.
In comparison, the media organisations that have been in possession of the materials for the past two months, “went to extraordinary lengths” to protect and edit the documents so openly distributed by the State Department; names were removed, sources concealed and risks to current operations censored. In addition, diplomatic agencies were consulted before releasing the documents that were also cross-checked between the media outlets and with WikiLeaks.
In short, they enforced precautions that the State Department failed to implement before releasing the material onto its own intranet.