After the New York Times echoed German papers Der Freitag and Der Spiegel’s Monday reports that WikiLeaks had lost control of confidential sources in its leaked diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks hit back in a tweet.
On occasion, The New York times has provided some useful information regarding secret government and corporate activity, but over the last few years the paper has lost sight of what made it great—namely its publication of Daniel Elsberg’s The Pentagon Papers. Indeed, the renowned paper was more than willing to withhold WikiLeaks documents on the government’s request in November 2010.
Perhaps it is born of a sense of professional jealousy, since WikiLeaks is now doing the work that The New York Times should be doing. Or perhaps it is has more to do with a hesitancy to incur the wrath of the state as they did with The Pentagon Papers.
Whatever the case, WikiLeaks took umbrage with The New York Times’ suggestion that the free information site had lost control of the those identities detailed in the leaked diplomatic cables when former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg resigned from the organization last fall. Domscheit-Gerg took the cables with him when he revolted, then returned them, and several papers suggested that this action contributed to the inadvertent exposure of the encrypted files.
WikiLeaks tweeted, “Totally false that any WikiLeaks sources have been exposed or will be exposed. NYT drooling, senile, and evil.”
They also wrote, “Sorry, NYT, It doesn’t matter how many sleazy hack jobs like Ravi Somaiya you hire, we’ve out published your Pentagon tabloid already.” Followed then by “There has been no WikiLeaks error. There has been a grossly negligent mainstream media error, to put it generously.”
The suggestion here seems to be that NYT is complicit in an anti-WikiLeaks propaganda campaign. Indeed, it seems that WikiLeaks, like Death and Taxes, believes that The New York Times acts more like a state and military mouthpiece these days than an independent truth-digging paper.
However, if WikiLeaks did accidentally reveal the names of confidential sources, it could raise the probability of the sources experiencing reprisal.
And the possibility exists that Daniel Domscheit-Berg himself released the un-redacted and encrypted files and password as a way of proving WikiLeaks is not secure. As WikiLeaks tweeted 22 hours ago (as of the writing of this article), “There has been no ‘leak at WikiLeaks’. The issue relates to a mainstream media partner and a malicious individual.”
Here it seems that WikiLeaks acknowledges the un-redacted files.
One doesn’t know who to believe.