The New York Times and other publications have done a great job mining through the documents released by Wikileaks to find stories that readers need to know about. Yesterday, the Times published a trove of documents about the detention of alleged terrorist suspects at Guantanamo under both the Bush and Obama administrations; and in an accompanying editorial, the paper told us why their importance trumps the desire of the government to keep them secret:
They describe the chaos, lawlessness and incompetence in his administration’s system for deciding detainees’ guilt or innocence and assessing whether they would be a threat if released.
Innocent men were picked up on the basis of scant or nonexistent evidence and subjected to lengthy detention and often to abuse and torture. Some people were released who later acted against the United States. Inmates who committed suicide were regarded only as a public relations problem. There are seriously dangerous prisoners at Guantánamo who cannot be released but may never get a real trial because the evidence is so tainted.
The documents have been made available to the press by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his collaborators, and they were allegedly provided to Wikileaks by Bradley Manning. Wouldn't it be nice if the Times ran a series of editorials defending its sources and alleged sources from attempts to prosecute them for performing what is clearly a public service?
Update: Great leftists think alike. Some very similar thoughts from Robert Scheer at Truthdig.