Thursday, January 27, 2011

The WikiLeaks Story

In Politico "Playbook" (a great source if you are not already checking), Mike Allen sums up an article in this Sunday's NY Times Magazine (already available online):
BILL KELLER, N.Y. Times executive editor, in Sunday's Times Magazine, "Dealing With Assange and the Secrets He Spilled": "[W]e assembled a team of reporters, data experts and editors and quartered them in an out-of-the-way office. Andrew Lehren, of our computer-assisted-reporting unit, did the first cut, searching terms on his own or those suggested by other reporters, compiling batches of relevant documents and summarizing the contents. We assigned reporters to specific areas in which they had expertise and gave them password access to rummage in the data. ... Reporters exchanged notes via Skype, believing it to be somewhat less vulnerable to eavesdropping. On conference calls, we spoke in amateurish code. Assange was always 'the source.' The latest data drop was 'the package.' ... On July 24, the day before the War Logs went live, I attended a farewell party ... that was given by Richard Holbrooke ... [H]e pulled me away from the crowd to show me the fusillade of cabinet-level e-mail ricocheting through his BlackBerry ... [H]e was already spinning the reports of Pakistani duplicity as leverage he could use to pull the Pakistanis back into closer alignment with American interests." This essay is adapted from his introduction to "Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy: Complete and Expanded Coverage from The New York Times," an ebook available for purchase at

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