Following Mark's lead on sharing our speaking out on Wikileaks, I can add
these 2 items from last week. The first an appearance on Canadian TV.
The second, I raised the question when Condoleezza Rice spoke at the Council
on Foreign Relations Friday. Here's the transcript of relevant part of the Q
and A and a link to the whole event. (Go back in the transcript to get her
QUESTIONER: I'm Lucy Komisar. I'm a journalist. Following up your comments
about WikiLeaks, which you said should be criminally charged by the U.S.,
WikiLeaks and its founder considers itself a publisher, which in the new
system of publishing on the Internet seems to be appropriate, and he calls
himself an editor in chief dealing with editors and journalists around the
world. Among them are the editors and journalists at -- of The New York
Times. So if WikiLeaks should be charged criminally for putting up this
information, should The New York Times be charged criminally for doing the
RICE: Well, I -- as I said, the Justice Department will have to determine
what the legalities are here. I just hope they're very, very actively
determining exactly that.
WikiLeaks took purloined documents and spread them. Now, I have -- may have
my own views on whether or not legitimate newspapers should have taken up
that task, but -- and gone ahead and published them. But it was WikiLeaks
that made them available, from whomever they got them.
If our laws don't deal -- and very often our laws are not capable of dealing
with changed technological circumstances; I fully understand that -- then
somebody ought to look at the law and see how we can deal with these
particular technological circumstances.
It cannot be the case that documents that belong to the United States and
are classified by the United States of America and that if I walked up to
you and handed you a classified document, I would be committing a crime --
now, it cannot be that WikiLeaks handing to the entire world classified
documents is not a crime.
But somebody should figure out -- I'm not a lawyer, I'm not a Justice
Department lawyer. But unless you find a way to punish that behavior, the
United States of America is not going to be able to operate.
COURIC: How do you feel about major newspapers and websites publishing
RICE: I knew you were going to go there -- (laughter) -- after I said what I
COURIC: -- if you do have a certain point of view about it?
RICE: I would have -- I would have preferred that it -- that it not be done.
And I think there were requests that it not be done. But I understand that
there's a kind of irresistible urge or desire. Perhaps some would say that
they believe it's their responsibility to do so.
When I looked at what is there, I really wonder how much our debate as a
democratic society has been enhanced by the publication of gossip about what
one of our diplomats said about the president of this country or the prime
minister of that country. I don't -- I don't, frankly, see the public value.
COURIC: But are there -- are there parts of it that might be useful? For
example, when Arab nations express their concern over a nuclear Iran after
Ahmadinejad sort of portrays himself as a friend of all Arabs, et cetera, et
cetera, when we see real trepidation among some Arab states about it, could
that actually be useful in our foreign policy?
RICE: I would have -- rather have left it in the hands of President Obama
and Secretary Clinton to decide whether or not that was useful or not. I
don't think that it is -- and I think -- I would have thought that it is not
useful to have that exposed in the way that it was, and that it's going to
be a very long time before a lot of those people express anything to us. And
that is a real problem.
show details 12:10 PM (2 hours ago)
Is what we do every day: tell the story. My guess is that some of the folks
on this list are doing so, besides the folks using the Wikileaks files.
The op-ed at this link is by me, published under a Creative Commons license.
Feel free to use it. You don't have to pay me. Better yet, do your own.
Best to all,
Mark Lee Hunter
Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Fellow, INSEAD
Docteur en Sciences de l'Information de l'Université de Paris 2
Portable: (+33) 6 27 81 00 87
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