Yesterday GuamDiary suggested that, as in the past, the ‘Guardian’ newspaper provided the ‘New York Times’ with the US diplomatic cables on Guantanamo. We were off target: the Guardian itself, in its coverage, alluded to an unspecified source for the documents they received.
In the UK, the ‘Daily Telegraph’ got the documents, however. GuamDiary will leave the unknown source behind its veil of secrecy.
What may explain the sudden drying up of cables becomes clairer when we look at the list of new book titles: ‘Public Affairs’ published the Guardian’s ‘Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assanges’ War on Secrecy’. It is no secret that the Guardian has had a rocky relationship with Wikileaks’ founder, going as far as deflating the much talked about ‘Assange ego’. Additionally, there is an element of the Guardian’s high moral tone of journalism which in analysising the US diplomatic cables sought to through its weight around with a mere ‘colonial’, it seems. These elements — and there very well may be more — provided the tinder for the explosion between Assange and the Guardian.
As a result, Wikileaks drew a black line through the Guardian’s name on its list. Will the Guardian learn that you cannot strangle the goose that lays the golden egg of information and scoops and banner headlines? Maybe yes. And then maybe no.
The story that the low level and declassified material is too important the unspecified source thought to be denied either the Guardian or the Times. The more widely the data can be disseminated the better, and in a way, the wider the net cast, the truer it fulfills Wikileaks’ own mission for transparency and honesty.