The release by Wikileaks of government documents has inconvenienced American foreign policy. Wikileaks has been performing a journalistic function by releasing documents purloined by Pfc Bradley Manning.
Pfc Manning will have his day in court and pay the price his conscience demands. This is a separate issue from the journalistic function of reporting what power would prefer kept secret. Though comparable to the “Pentagon Papers”/ Daniel Ellsberg affair, seen as an act of informed conscience by some, Pfc Manning does not have the intellectual gravitas to argue conscience.
The tide of reaction against Wikileaks/Assange has not yet crested. The full weight of the visible and invisible government will be brought to bear against Assange as much to deter as to punish.
It is a shame that the scope of the leaked documents is so broad, but occasionally the light has to leak in as the cobwebs are swept out. Part of the problem is over classification, part of the problem is lack of candor (the government is lying). Diplomacy justly requires secrecy and tact. Unfortunately over time excess secrecy undergoes a kind of mission creep and is used to hide what should be known and provide cover for embarrassing situations.
If the government acted more in good faith there might be fewer reasons for whistle-blowers. But then there is the political maneuvering for advantage that demands dissembling and obfuscation and we know that politics is bareknuckle, ruthless combat.
I follow: Huffington Post Wikileaks blog -carlos