Blake Hounshell at Foreign Policy Passport:

imageBut is there a principle that says it’s OK to publish one-off scoops, but not 250,000 — or for that matter 2.7 million — of them all at once? The former feels like journalism; the latter seems grotesque and irresponsible, more like "information vandalism," in the words of secrecy expert Steven Aftergood. And even if responsible papers like the New York Times have a chance to review and contextualize them, there’s no way they can dot every i and cross every t in the time allotted. There’s just too much.

WikiLeaks breezily sidesteps these sorts of questions, arguing that the global public ought to have a right to read classified documents anytime, from any government. But that may be ex post facto rationalization for a decision to publish documents the group was handed on a silver platter. It’s clearly doesn’t work as a general rule — otherwise, there would be chaos. And it clearly doesn’t work unless you’re convinced, like Julian Assange apparently is, that everything the U.S. government does is inherently nefarious.

Full article: Has WikiLeaks finally gone too far? | FP Passport