After a week of erratic behavior, WikiLeaks has posted their entire archive of 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables on their website. The searchable database includes thousands of unredacted cables from U.S. embassies in countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and China. The massive document dump comes after global headlines that WikiLeaks accidentally posted the full encrypted archive online last year and later leaked the password to unlock the file. The organization blames The Guardian for having made the password public in a February book they published about WikiLeaks, though the newspaper says they believed the password was "obsolete." Either way, critics point to the blunder as evidence that WikiLeaks is disorganized and warn that releasing the unredacted cables publicly endangers the individuals mentioned in them.
WikiLeaks' former media partners--The Guardian, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, El País and Le Monde--condemned the release in a joint statement:
We deplore the decision of WikiLeaks to publish the unredacted state department cables, which may put sources at risk… Our previous dealings with WikiLeaks were on the clear basis that we would only publish cables which had been subjected to a thorough joint editing and clearance process. We will continue to defend our previous collaborative publishing endeavor. We cannot defend the needless publication of the complete data--indeed, we are united in condemning it.
The decision to publish by Julian Assange was his, and his alone.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.