News outlets outside of WikiLeak embargo race to get out ahead of official document “dump”
The latest trove of classified documents uncovered by WikiLeaks — more than 700 files detailing prisoner treatment at Guantanamo Bay — were published on Sunday night.
As with past Wiki-“dumps,” WikiLeaks gave several news organizations in the U.S. and Europe the documents under an embargo, including the Washington Post, London’s Telegraph, Paris’ Le Monde, Spain’s El Pais, German’s Der Spiegel and McClatchy Newspapers, including the Miami Herald.
The New York Times, NPR and London’s Guardian also published the documents late Sunday, but got them from a source outside of WikiLeaks — which resulted in an unusual race between news organizations inside and outside of the embargo to get them to print.
"WikiLeaks is not our source," Times executive editor Bill Keller told The Huffington Post. "We got the material with no embargo."
The Times and NPR worked together in vetting the documents; the Guardian worked independently.
The Times and Guardian, which worked with WikiLeaks to publish one of the first major “Leaks” last year, have had a falling out with the organization and its controversial founder, Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks tweeted that the Times and Guardian “attempted Gitmo spoiler against our 8 group coalition,” but, “We had intel on them and published first."
Nonetheless, WikiLeaks said, “We are pleased that the NYT, Guardian & NPR eventually added their weight to increasing our impact.”
The Pentagon, however, was not so pleased.
"It is unfortunate that several news organizations have made the decision to publish numerous documents obtained illegally by WikiLeaks concerning the Guantanamo detention facility," the Pentagon said in a statement. "These documents contain classified information about current and former GITMO detainees, and we strongly condemn the leaking of this sensitive information."
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