... you do know that Wikileaks asked the US for help in redacting those cables that might pose a genuine threat to specific lives... right? Prior to the release of these things, there was communication.
Quite frankly, I think the government has not earned the right to maintain such a level of secrecy. If they had used it responsibly and actually kept secret those things that NEED to stay secret to protect lives, there would be little problem. Instead, they also use their power to protect anything that might possibly be damaging. This is not okay. They need to admit their mistakes along with everyone else.
And I'm still not sure what's wrong with releasing the Panama cables. Why did those need to remain secret? No, no. The federal government has taken advantage of their ability to keep things secret for far too long.
Would it be okay for the Enquirer/New York Times/LA Times/whatever paper you want to name to call the Justice Department and say 'Hey we got all these legal documents, interdepartmental emails, memos and such that we're wanting you to come over and tell us what's too unsafe to publish?'
When they don't respond or drag their feet and the paper in question publishes EVERYTHING, it's the Justice Departments fault when the cases they were coordinating fall apart due to 'full disclosure'.
I sincerely doubted that the government felt they were going to be given the full file and what promises could they expect a site whose 'full disclosure' outlook is well known.
I'm sorry, 'knowledge is meant to be free' and 'We have a right to know everything' doesn't fly. I do believe the government has been less than scrupulous in their past actions, and yes they have endangered people in some of them. Do I think the mechanisms for oversight needs to be fixed. Absolutely.
Do I think that Wikileaks is that mechanism? No. Who, if anyone besides themselves, are they responsible to? How many more actions outside the country that were exposed by this disclosure are going to lead to problems?
Who knows? Organized Criminals, Cartels, Money Launderers, Arms Dealers.. (I'm refraining from the possible terrorists links) are now aware of who is looking at their activities, and where.
So, as an example, some guy in the MS13 organization goes through the messages and finds out the banks in 'country X' in Central America are working with the Justice Department/DEA to track their funds. So, they look up at who could possibly have been doing this and goes out and machetes the guy and his wife to cut the link.
What about investigations across national borders that deal with things like.. oh.. HUMAN TRAFFICKING? The Trafficking groups find out the fed and the locals are looking at them.
Well lets assume the best case and the girls/boys are packed up and shipped elsewhere.
And it's the US Government's fault? Because they took the opinion that ALL the messages were 'need to know' and didn't want to bargain with the folks at Wikileaks? Content aside, all the documents give an overview of how the system works. Knowing how a system works allows folks who don't represent our best interests and don't have our good in mind a way to find holes in the system.
Names on the memos help them get an idea of who works where. So now they know this person works in this department and would be the sort to do the sort of job they want if he/she is properly blackmailed/threatened/manipulated.