WikiLeaks and CableGate


Over the weekend, Wikileaks.org published more than 250,000 classified documents from American diplomats - meeting notes, dispatches, messages, and more - over the past decade (roughly). In making sense of this development in light of our study of the American Revolution, and related current events, we will be having a discussion on this page's attached message board.
For your homework this evening (Monday, November 29th), you are required to introduce a point of discussion concerning the publication of the Diplomatic Cables, and comment on one of your classmates' posts.
During tomorrow's class, we will be discussing the nature of the classified information, and the larger question of the necessity of states' secretes.
Be prepared to weigh in: Do you believe certain aspects of governments' communications, and records, should be kept secret? Or should Wikileaks continue their crusade "to bring important news and information to the public"?

Here is some information and links to help you get started:


I've been sharing links to articles and resources that might be of service in your search on Twitter, under our #Talons search tag. But you may also be interested in following the general #wikileaks thread on Twitter, or (sorry, Kelly), Delicious. Other suggestions are welcome, and may be added to this page.



    "How secret is "secret?" That is the first question posed by the publication today of material derived from the leak of a quarter of a million US state department cables in the Guardian and a number of other newspapers. Much of the material is certainly very private. When people around the world tell sensitive things to American diplomats they do so in the expectation that there is a high degree of implicit confidentiality about the conversations. But "private" is not the same as "secret". It now transpires that these confidences were posted on a US government intranet, SIPDIS, for a very wide distribution among diplomatic, government and military circles. They may have been marked "secret" but all secrets are relative: there are around 3 million Americans cleared to read material thus classified."
    Editorial in November 28th, 2010 Guardian

    The Guardian

    The Diplomat Cables
    Diplomat Cables Database

    "The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. The New York Times and a number of publications in Europe were given access to the material several weeks ago and agreed to begin publication of articles based on the cables Sunday online. The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match."
    A note to Readers, November 28th, 2010 New York Times

    The New York Times

    State's Secrets
    The Decision to Publish Diplomatic Documents