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Wikileaks: It’s Not the Media’s Job to Play CYA for the State Department

Our elite media has been sloppy, lazy and corrupt for so long they have apparently forgotten what the purpose of a fourth estate actually is. Simon Jenkins:

US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment

The state department knew of the leak several months ago and had ample time to alert staff in sensitive locations. Its pre-emptive scaremongering over the weekend stupidly contrived to hint at material not in fact being published. Nor is the material classified top secret, being at a level that more than 3 million US government employees are cleared to see, and available on the defence department’s internal Siprnet. Such dissemination of “secrets” might be thought reckless, suggesting a diplomatic outreach that makes the British empire seem minuscule.

More than 3 million government employees had access to the Wikileaks cables. Man, that’s some super-secret operation right there. Good thing the State Department is putting information in them that could place people’s lives in danger – according to Lindsey Graham and “love pats” McCaskill, anyway.

Rather than calling for Wikileaks to be designated a “terrorist organization,” you’d think fiscal hawk Peter King would be worried about all the blank checks he’s been writing:

The money?wasting is staggering. Aid payments are never followed, never audited, never evaluated. The impression is of the world’s superpower roaming helpless in a world in which nobody behaves as bidden. Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, the United Nations, are all perpetually off script. Washington reacts like a wounded bear, its instincts imperial but its power projection unproductive.

Apparently it’s okay to shovel endless piles of US money to global thieves if it’s all for a good cause. The important thing is that nobody ever find out about it.

John Kampfner:

Perhaps the most curious aspect of the Wikileaks revelations is not that they have happened, but it took someone as mercurial as Mr Assange to be the conduit. Rather than throwing stones, newspapers should be asking themselves why they did not have the wherewithal to hold truth to power.

It’s sort of like the universe concocted the internet as an antidote to the concentration of power in the hands of a select few who were successfully operating vast, secret government operations secure from any kind of public scrutiny or oversight.

The fact that Wikileaks felt they had to distribute the documents to numerous media outlets to act as a check on one another is telling.

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Wikileaks: It’s Not the Media’s Job to Play CYA for the State Department

Our elite media has been sloppy, lazy and corrupt for so long they have apparently forgotten what the purpose of a fourth estate actually is.  Simon Jenkins:

US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment

The state department knew of the leak several months ago and had ample time to alert staff in sensitive locations. Its pre-emptive scaremongering over the weekend stupidly contrived to hint at material not in fact being published. Nor is the material classified top secret, being at a level that more than 3 million US government employees are cleared to see, and available on the defence department’s internal Siprnet. Such dissemination of “secrets” might be thought reckless, suggesting a diplomatic outreach that makes the British empire seem minuscule.

More than 3 million government employees had access to the Wikileaks cables.  Man, that’s some super-secret operation right there.  Good thing the State Department is putting information in them that could place people’s lives in danger – according to Lindsey Graham and “love pats” McCaskill, anyway.

Rather than calling for Wikileaks to be designated a “terrorist organization,” you’d think fiscal hawk Peter King would be worried about all the blank checks he’s been writing:

The money?wasting is staggering. Aid payments are never followed, never audited, never evaluated. The impression is of the world’s superpower roaming helpless in a world in which nobody behaves as bidden. Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, the United Nations, are all perpetually off script. Washington reacts like a wounded bear, its instincts imperial but its power projection unproductive.

Apparently it’s okay to shovel endless piles of US money to global thieves if it’s all for a good cause. The important thing is that nobody ever find out about it.

John Kampfner:

Perhaps the most curious aspect of the Wikileaks revelations is not that they have happened, but it took someone as mercurial as Mr Assange to be the conduit. Rather than throwing stones, newspapers should be asking themselves why they did not have the wherewithal to hold truth to power.

It’s sort of like the universe concocted the internet as an antidote to the concentration of power in the hands of a select few who were successfully operating vast, secret government operations secure from any kind of public scrutiny or oversight.

The fact that Wikileaks felt they had to distribute the documents to numerous media outlets to act as a check on one another is  telling.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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