Wikileaks and open government

Glenn Greenwald asks today why the DoD is not cooperating with Wikileaks in performing a harm minimization redaction of the 15,000 documents in Wikileaks possession. He also provides compelling evidence that the DoD has deliberately lied about being approached by Wikileaks in the first round of releases.

Glenn doesn’t really answer his own question except to speculate:

For whatever reasons — because it wanted WikiLeaks to release the documents with the names of Afghan sources to damage its credibility, because it was indifferent to the potential harm — the Pentagon simply failed to pursue that option, just as it is doing now with the next 15,000 documents.  Are those the actions of officials with any genuine concern for the harm to Afghan civilians, other than to the extent it be can exploited to harm its arch-enemy, WikiLeaks?

But isn’t it clear that the Pentagon just can’t get its head around the fact that it is not in control here? Read this excerpt posted by Greenwald written by the DoD lawyer:

You can see here the traditional closed government mentality vs. open government (contra to Pres. Obama’s promise of the latter). Furthermore, it’s closed government vs. new media. Glenn provides a revealing comment that the DoD have on occasion cooperated with the release of documents they’d prefer kept secret when it’s the traditional media doing the release:

The Pentagon routinely conveys to media outlets preparing to release classified documents its views about what specifically ought to be withheld, notwithstanding its objections to the release of all information.

Smearing your opposition is easier, especially when the traditional media will likely swallow your views uncritically.


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