White House seeks to advise reporters over WikiLeaks Afghanistan release

Last night Wikileaks, the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel simultaneously published more than 90,000 classified military documents relating to the war in Afghanistan. Read our report on the publication at this link.

The New York Times has published a statement sent to reporters by the White House entitled “Thoughts on WikiLeaks”. The statement advises journalists of some things to bare in mind when reporting on the leak, and offers help “to put these documents in context”.

4) As you report on this issue, it’s worth noting that WikiLeaks is not an objective news outlet but rather an organization that opposes US policy in Afghanistan.

The email quotes from the Guardian’s report, looking to stress the unreliability of the WikiLeaks and the information they have released.

From the Guardian:

But for all their eye-popping details, the intelligence files, which are mostly collated by junior officers relying on informants and Afghan officials, fail to provide a convincing smoking gun for ISI complicity. Most of the reports are vague, filled with incongruent detail, or crudely fabricated.


If anything, the jumble of allegations highlights the perils of collecting accurate intelligence in a complex arena where all sides have an interest in distorting the truth.

The Times has explained its reasons for publishing the classified files in “a note to readers” entitled “Piecing together the reports and deciding what to publish“.

Full story at this link… (see entry at 6:46pm)

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