Wikileaks Embassy Cables Roundup

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The decision by Wikileaks to release over 250,000 US Embassy cables is a threat to democracy. Or it’s no big deal. Or there’s nothing really surprising in there. Or it could bring down multiple governments and tear down the fabric of international diplomacy. I honestly don’t know what to make of it.

The UK Guardian has what looks to be the most comprehensive coverage of the story–the NY Times, for instance, got their copies of the cables from The Guardian.

Simon Jenkins, at the Guardian, does a really good job of arguing for the release of these cables, but I think he summed it up for me in the headline: “The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment.” I’d go farther and say that any news organization that isn’t a thorn in the government’s side isn’t doing its job. The media and the government should be antagonistic toward each other, not friendly.

Wired’s Danger Room blog has a series of stories about what’s contained in the cables.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is displeased with their release.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who is expected to become chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, wants Attorney General Holder to prosecute Julian Assange and Wikileaks under the Espionage Act, and also wants the State Department to classify them as a terrorist organization. If he gets his way, the US government could go after anyone who provides them with any help or contributions as a terrorist.


Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →