Sunday, November 28, 2010

The New York Times: out of 250,000 Wikileaks cables it's only going to publish 100 on its website, and even then some will be edited

Because they're responsible, and they've vetted it with the White House. And they've also, gladly no doubt, shared their "advice" about which ones to publish and which ones not publish with foreign news organizations. This advice comes both from the New York Times itself, which diligently started self censoring, and from the White House. I'm sure that foreign news organizations really appreciate that, you know, the thought, the courtesy, of getting unsolicited advice from a paper with close ties to the U.S. government about which U.S. government cables to print and which ones not to.

Article A Note to Readers: The Decision to Publish Diplomatic Documents

"The documents — some 250,000 individual cables, the daily traffic between the State Department and more than 270 American diplomatic outposts around the world — were made available to The Times by a source who insisted on anonymity.


Reporting Classified Information

About 11,000 of the cables are marked “secret.” An additional 9,000 or so carry the label “noforn,” meaning the information is not to be shared with representatives of other countries, and 4,000 are marked “secret/noforn.” The rest are either marked with the less restrictive label “confidential” or are unclassified. Most were not intended for public view, at least in the near term.

The Times has taken care to exclude, in its articles and in supplementary material, in print and online, information that would endanger confidential informants or compromise national security. The Times’s redactions were shared with other news organizations and communicated to WikiLeaks, in the hope that they would similarly edit the documents they planned to post online.

After its own redactions, The Times sent Obama administration officials the cables it planned to post and invited them to challenge publication of any information that, in the official view, would harm the national interest. After reviewing the cables, the officials — while making clear they condemn the publication of secret material — suggested additional redactions. The Times agreed to some, but not all. The Times is forwarding the administration’s concerns to other news organizations and, at the suggestion of the State Department, to WikiLeaks itself. In all, The Times plans to post on its Web site the text of about 100 cables — some edited, some in full — that illuminate aspects of American foreign policy. "

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