2011-04-25 New York Times, NPR Collude with US Government on Gitmo Files Coverage

ImageA statement from the Pentagon was published just after 9 pm ET on April 24th, no more than an hour or two after the New York Times had posted their package covering the Gitmo Files they had not obtained from WikiLeaks. The statement was posted on NPR and the Times website. Yet, again, it seems this is an instance of complete collusion between the press and government.

Michael Calderone reports "representatives from NPR and the Times visited the White House and spoke with Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell and members of Joint Task Force Guantanamo." And, "The news organizations agreed to some redactions requested by government officials but not all of them."

Recall, in February, it was found out that the Times had met with the State Department prior to their release of the US State Embassy Cables. Marcy Wheeler over at Firedoglake highlighted NYT’s close cooperation with the State Department:

Because of the range of the material and the very nature of diplomacy, the embassy cables were bound to be more explosive than the War Logs. Dean Baquet, our Washington bureau chief, gave the White House an early warning on Nov. 19. The following Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, Baquet and two colleagues were invited to a windowless room at the State Department, where they encountered an unsmiling crowd. Representatives from the White House, the State Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the C.I.A., the Defense Intelligence Agency, the F.B.I. and the Pentagon gathered around a conference table. Others, who never identified themselves, lined the walls. A solitary note-taker tapped away on a computer.

2010-11-29 Debunked: "WikiLeaks Did Not Redact The Afghanistan War Logs"

The Falsehood:

During its Afghanistan War Log Releases, WikiLeaks carelessly/wantonly/maliciously failed to redact the names of soldiers/informants, or hold back more sensitive information that might endanger lives.

The Explanation:

The allegation has circulated that WikiLeaks would not consider any restraints in the release of its Afghanistan War Log releases, and its Iraq War Log releases. It is now considered common knowledge that WL released both sets of War Logs without any provisions for protecting sensitive identities within them. This is simply not true.

The Source:

This falsehood was developed opportunistically by the Pentagon, and by media organizations friendly to official Washington. The falsehood was afterwards propagated by careless repetition by other news sources, and was passed on by netizens in internet communities and on comment streams, with little regard for its veracity.

The Truth:

The claim is false. WikiLeaks has clearly conducted harm minimization on all of its War Log releases. These harm minimization measures included:

  1. Inviting the Pentagon to help WikiLeaks/Sunshine Press and partner news organizations to redact the documents in their possession prior to release. The Pentagon has refused unilaterally in all cases.
  2. Using metadata to identify documents in the Afghanistan launch as sensitive.
  3. Withholding 15,000 of the some 90,000 documents pertaining to Afghanistan for a full redaction and review.
  4. A comprehensive redaction process for the Iraq War Logs release, working back from full redaction to disclosure of information of interest to the historical record, leaving the names of sensitive sources concealed.

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