WikiLeaks spurned NYT, but Guardian leaked State Department cables to it

November 30th, 2010 - 5:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Nov 30 (ANI): The U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks were leaked not by the New York Times this time, but the London-based Guardian newspaper.

The NYT was the only American news organization to receive a massive cache of government documents that were released by WikiLeaks, the “stateless” Internet organization that specializes in exposing government secrets through leaked information. But the Times weren’t on WikiLeaks’ list of original recipients.

The newspaper got its hands on the trove of about 250,000 cables thanks to the Guardian newspaper of Great Britain, which quietly passed the Times the raw material that it had received as one of five news organizations favored by WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks had worked with the Times this summer in releasing about 90,000 documents prepared by U.S. military sources about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the group pointedly snubbed the Times this time around, offering the State Department cables to two other American news outlets, CNN and the Wall Street Journal.

Both turned WikiLeaks down, deciding that its terms - including a demand for financial compensation under certain circumstances - were unacceptable.

Bill Keller, the Times’ editor, wasn’t certain why WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, chose not to work with his newspaper on the latest leaks.

But he suggested it might be related to a hard-hitting profile of Assange that the Times published in October.

The story, which described Assange as “a hunted man,” said “some of his own comrades are abandoning him for what they see as erratic and imperious behavior.”The Times was also tough on Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private who is suspected of stealing the classified military and State Department documents and passing them to WikiLeaks.

Keller described the Guardian’s releaking of the documents to the Times as an act of both friendship and journalistic necessity. (ANI)

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