Daniel Ellsberg, a former US military analyst, has described the disclosure of the Afghan war logs as on the scale of his leaking of the “Pentagon Papers” in 1971 revealing how the US public was misled about the Vietnam war.
“An outrageous escalation of the war is taking place,” he said. “Look at these cables and see if they give anybody the occasion to say the answer is ‘resources”. He added: “After $300bn and 10 years, the Taliban is stronger than they have ever been … We are recruiting for them.”
However, the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers on Afghanistan – top secret papers relating to policy – had yet to be leaked, he said.
From the perspective of a futurist this story tells everything about the future of the news media. The giants of news distribution are loosing their relevance to independent meta-sources like Wikileaks. The recent introduction of “pay-walls” by Murdoch on several general news services is a strategy of making themselves obsolete. Adding to the demise of mainstream news media comes the ereader.
Also read “Data, diffusion, impact: Five big questions the Wikileaks story raises about the future of journalism” from Niemanlab.