Friedman’s Half-Hearted, Inaccurate Defense of WikiLeaks

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman attempts to offer up some measure of support for WikiLeaks today (12/15/10):

I read many WikiLeaks and learned some useful things. But their release also raises some troubling questions. I don’t want to live in a country where they throw whistleblowers in jail. That’s China. But I also don’t want to live in a country where any individual feels entitled to just dump out all the internal communications of a government or a bank in a way that undermines the ability to have private, confidential communications that are vital to the functioning of any society. That’s anarchy.

Two things:

  • There is, of course, an alleged whistleblower here. His name is Bradley Manning. If you’re interested in the circumstances of his imprisonment–which isn’t happening in China–read Glenn Greenwald’s account in Salon today.
  • The idea that it is wrong to “just dump out all the internal communications of a government or a bank” would be a lot more convincing if WikiLeaks had actually done this. They’ve released very few of the State Department cables, and have apparently been mindful about making redactions and the like.
About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.