The Common Good

Wikileaking Afghanistan: Disaster Is Not a Good Thing, But Knowing About It Is

100728-wikileaksIt's out: An enormous trove of documents about the war in Afghanistan yesterday appeared on Wikileaks (whose servers currently seem to be overwhelmed by the traffic) together with comprehensive reports by The New York Times, Der Spiegel, and The Guardian. The leak represents no less than a historic act of civil disobedience; consisting of 92,201 U.S. military internal records, this is the largest leak of classified material in history. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, may be a criminal in the eyes of the U.S. government, which has roundly condemned his work even while begging for his help to plug up his sources (this administration has been harsher with informants than its predecessor). A 22-year-old American intelligence analyst in Iraq named Bradley Manning has already been arrested for, under the online handle Bradass87, funneling the documents to where Wikileaks could arrange to publicize them. He wrote in an online chat of the trove, "It[']s beautiful and horrifying

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