The online whistle-blowing group WikiLeaks on Thursday began publishing what it claims are more than 2 million emails involving Syrian President Bashar Assad’s inner circle. The messages are from 2006 through March of this year.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: “The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents. It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it.”

As usual, journalists are daunted by the size of a WikiLeaks data dump. It will take a great deal of time to pore through and make sense of the documents. With most print publications having heavily lashed their staffs over the last decade, one wonders when the task will be completed.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

The New York Times:

It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the e-mails, or establish whether the release was related to an earlier leak of internal communications involving Mr. Assad published by the Guardian newspaper.

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