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A beyond the pale Wikileaks release

Posted by Jesse Singal  December 6, 2010 03:03 PM

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The BBC reports:

A long list of key facilities around the world that the US describes as vital to its national security has been released by Wikileaks.

In February 2009 the State Department asked all US missions abroad to list all installations whose loss could critically affect US national security.

The list includes pipelines, communication and transport hubs.

The Globe's editorial from last week rings true here:

There is a reasonable argument that a government shouldn’t be able to hide its misdeeds or sweep its failures away by making them secret. When government wrongdoing is alleged, whistleblowers might be justified in releasing leaked information. But that’s not what’s happening here. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sees himself as pulling back the curtain on the diplomatic trade. But did anyone ever doubt that diplomacy involved developing critical assessments of world leaders, and engaging in back-channel negotiations over delicate issues? In these cases, the curtain should rightly remain closed.

What possible justification is there for the release of this information? In certain senses I am sympathetic to WikiLeaks (and in every sense I am disgusted by calls for Assange's assassination) in its role as a whistle blower — when it's actually acting as such — but in this case Assange is doing himself and his site no favors by releasing information that sheds no useful light whatsoever. This will merely inflame his critics, and it's hard to disagree with them this time around.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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