Pious and hypocritical; media malpractice and Wikileaks

Even the most rabid of "open government" fanatics could never have dreamed up such a scenario. A quarter of a million documents not meant for the eyes of the public - many thousands "secret" or "classified" - have been unceremoniously and with little thought to the consequences, dumped on to the internet for all Americans - and our enemies - to see.

The justification for it - nothing should be secret - rings hollow. When Wikileaks starts publishing Iranian or North Korean nuclear documents, then I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Until then, they are nothing but garden variety, hate America leftists who, like thoughtless children playing with gasoline, are looking to burn us down. Stuck as they are in 1960's perpetual adolescence, they are becoming a bore to grown ups who are once again forced to clean up after their mess.

I don't necessarily blame the various publications around the world who are plastering juicy bits all over their front pages. They're in the business of making a buck, and if these docs were going to be made public, why not take advantage of Wikileaks' offer to to get a leg up on the competition and publish?

If they were just honest and came out and said that, I would give them a pass. But no, they have to get up on their moral high horse and lecture us on how truly noble they are. The New York Times:

The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. The New York Times and a number of publications in Europe were given access to the material several weeks ago and agreed to begin publication of articles based on the cables online on Sunday. The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match.

As far as it goes, that's true. But spare us this kind of fake angst in deciding to publish:

The question of dealing with classified information is rarely easy, and never to be taken lightly. Editors try to balance the value of the material to public understanding against potential dangers to the national interest. As a general rule we withhold secret information that would expose confidential sources to reprisals or that would reveal operational intelligence that might be useful to adversaries in war. We excise material that might lead terrorists to unsecured weapons material, compromise intelligence-gathering programs aimed at hostile countries, or disclose information about the capabilities of American weapons that could be helpful to an enemy.

On the other hand, we are less likely to censor candid remarks simply because they might cause a diplomatic controversy or embarrass officials.

A "diplomatic controversy" that causes another country to hesitate in assisting us in anti-terror operations directly, and immediately affects the national security of the United States. How willing will Yemen now be in allowing us to operate in that country now that it has been revealed we were doing so under the radar? Who elected the New York Times to decide what constitutes a blow to national security and what is just a "diplomatic controversy?"

Pious, hypocritical, arrogant fools.