Montag, 26. Juli 2010

A Bit of News - Or Not

Returning home from a conference the first news I read was in todays issue of Der Spiegel on the 90.000 pages of classified documents leaked to WikiLeaks. Meanwhile virtually no news outlet has missed to report that the leaked documents are either spectacular, breathtaking or at least sensational. I don't know if that is really true, in any event, I am not convinced that any of the reporters or journalists really read all the 90.000 pages. As matter of fact, I don't think they have (I'll be taking a look myself over the course of the week) or are at least qualified to put them into perspective. But I couldn't agree more with  Fred Kaplan, who argued that the supposed sensationality is overblown.

I was also startled by a reporter from the Times who claimed on msnbc that the leakage is not tied to any political agenda. This I really doubt. There are three possible explanations for this massive leakage and, by the way, for the fact that the documents are covering the period to the end of last year and not beyond. First, the source might simply have lost access at the end of last year. Second the leakage might be designed to cover the process of withdrawal even if the situation does not improve by this time next year, the reasoning being that the war was lost under the previous administration. Or third, there really is no political agenda behind the move and the leakage simply is an act of insubordination, corruption or betrayal. We probably won't know for some time to come - lets not froget that up to 850000 people have clearance for highly classified material. But it will also take a while before we can really say what sort of impact is to be expected and what the documents really do disclose.

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