AP Review Downplays Threat From WikiLeaks Disclosures
Posted on Sep 11, 2011
An Associated Press inquiry into U.S. State Department sources who were outed in the latest unredacted WikiLeaks file dump found virtually no one who felt endangered by public knowledge of their involvement in U.S. government information gathering.
The disclosures may make potential sources think twice about sharing information with the U.S., though, as they could fear their names appearing in print—a scenario that is likely to make work harder for American diplomats. Regardless of AP’s report, however, governments around the world continue to denounce WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, saying the group has put lives at risk. —ARK
The Italian diplomat’s episode, along with similar stories from several other foreign lawmakers, diplomats and activists cited in the U.S. cables as sources to “strictly protect,” raises doubts about the scope of the danger posed by WikiLeaks’ disclosures and the Obama administration’s angry claims going back more than a year that the anti-secrecy website’s revelations are threatening lives around the world. U.S. examples have been strictly theoretical.
... [An] Associated Press review of the sources found several of them comfortable with their names in the open and no one fearing death. Others are already dead, their names cited as sensitive in the context of long-resolved conflicts or situations. Some have publicly written or testified at hearings about the supposedly confidential information they provided the U.S. government.
... [The] total damage appears limited and the State Department has steadfastly refused to describe any situation in which they’ve felt a source’s life was in danger. They say a handful of people had to be relocated away from danger but won’t provide any details on those few cases.
Flickr / acidpolly
Julian Assange leaves the Royal Courts of Justice in London in mid-July, where he was fighting extradition to Sweden.