Editorial: Aftenposten’s WikiLeaks not all White / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Editorial: Aftenposten’s WikiLeaks not all White. Former US Ambassador to Oslo Barry B. White is less than happy about Aftenposten’s WikiLeaks publications. Meanwhile, the expression “practise what you preach” seems to have fallen on deaf ears. In an exclusive interview earlier this week with Aftenposten, he alleges the paper is “handling stolen goods that have been obtained in an unsuitable manner”. No less than 251,287 documents divulged by Julian Assange’s organisation found their way to the Norwegian newspaper in December last year. Other papers that have reproduced some of WikiLeaks’ sizeable collection are The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, El Pais, and Der Spiegel.

wikileaks, ambassadorbarrywhite, americanembassy, oslo, aftenposten, oleerikalmlid



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Editorial: Aftenposten’s WikiLeaks not all White

Published on Wednesday, 23rd February, 2011 at 09:33 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 23rd February 2011 at 12:55.

Former US Ambassador to Oslo Barry B. White is less than happy about Aftenposten’s WikiLeaks publications. Meanwhile, the expression “practise what you preach” seems to have fallen on deaf ears.



In an exclusive interview earlier this week with Aftenposten, he alleges the paper is “handling stolen goods that have been obtained in an unsuitable manner”.

No less than 251,287 documents divulged by Julian Assange’s organisation found their way to the Norwegian newspaper in December last year. Other papers that have reproduced some of WikiLeaks’ sizeable collection are The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, El Pais, and Der Spiegel.

Ambassador White claims to hold freedom of the press in high regard on the one hand, whilst simultaneously alleging with the other, “you wouldn’t have printed anything at all in a perfect world.”

“I’m not going to condone how you obtained them. These are classified documents, which should have been kept secret. If you have them in your possession and choose to print them, I won’t be stopping you,” he says.

A comforting thought for the media. Perhaps a not so comforting thought for the ambassador is that the press does not live in, or writes about a perfect world, seeking to report the state of it instead.

Aftenposten’s news editor Ole Erik Almlid has repeatedly refused to divulge how the collection of WikiLeaks documents came into the paper’s possession.

“Let’s just say that we didn’t get it via an email that went astray,” he told AFP last month.

Admitting he has not scrutinised all the cables inscribed with his name, Ambassador White claims, “you must remember that these documents are contributions from individuals. They don’t necessarily reflect American policy, [and] much of what is reported is out of date.”

If this is true, why has the “theft” perturbed American officials to the extent it has?

Furthermore, the ambassador also criticises Aftenposten for its practise of protecting its sources, remarking, “I find it interesting that Aftenposten, which is so concerned with making things public, has not publicised where it got the documents from. So why shouldn’t we protect our classified documents?”

We say, so much for “The Land of the Free”.



Published on Wednesday, 23rd February, 2011 at 09:33 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 23rd February 2011 at 12:55.

This post has the following tags: wikileaks, ambassadorbarrywhite, americanembassy, oslo, aftenposten, oleerikalmlid.





  
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