Journalists and WikiLeaks

Dan Gillmor has some sharp things to say about hysterical attitudes of some US towards Wikileaks and its founder.

The political class’ frothing against WikiLeaks is to be expected, even if it’s stirring up the kind of passion that almost always leads to bad outcomes. But what to make of the equally violent suggestions from people who call themselves journalists?

Two Washington Post columnists, among many others, have been racing to see who can be the more warmongering. The reliably bellicose Charles Krauthammer invited the U.S. government to kill Julian Assange, while his colleague Marc A. Thiessen was only slightly less bloodthirsty when he urged cyber attacks on WikiLeaks and any other sites that might be showing the leaked cables.

Of course, the New York Times, Washington Post and many other news organizations in the U.S. and other nations have published classified information themselves in the past — many, many times — without any help from WikiLeaks. Bob Woodward has practically made a career of publishing leaked information. By the same logic that the censors and their media acolytes are using against WikiLeaks, those organizations and lots of others could and should be subject to censorship as well. By Krauthammer’s sick standards, the death squads should be converging soon on his own offices, as well as those of the Times and London’s Guardian and more.