Secrecy?

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November 29, 2010 1:03 p.m.

This is sort of a side note on the larger Wikileaks question. But in reading various commentary on the Cables story I see again and again references to government secrecy, over classification and so on. But very few of the documents seem to have been highly classified or even very far up to secrecy totem pole. Indeed, if I’m understanding the origin of the leak — or as much as we think we know about it — the reason these cables were accessible is because they were not highly classified. And thus in the post-9/11 effort to make sure information could flow freely between different parts of the government — connecting the dots and so forth — they were placed on a system where a lot of people in government could access them. As I said, this doesn’t necessarily speak to the big questions people are talking about. But this whole question seems more like one of confidentiality — the fact that the nation’s diplomats do not immediately release their internal communications — than ‘secrecy’ per se.

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