From official admonishments not to read or discuss any of the cables to threats to prosecute people for reading press coverage of them, the US government’s various departments and agencies are in a tizzy, determined to keep their employees as in the dark about the WikiLeaks releases as possible.
The Air Force’s effort, which includes a full ban on the websites of mainstream media outlets that have covered any aspect of the cables appears the most aggressive so far, and also one of the few to even hazard an attempt at defending their policy.
The Air Force insists that the blocking is part of an effort to “safeguard classified information,” which seems more than a little ridiculous with that information available to literally everyone else on the planet.
The White House has also insisted that all federal employees are banned from accessing the documents, but has not taken the same sort of efforts to impose this ban formally.
The moves are largely in keeping with official policy of being outraged at the releases, but also seem to be ignoring the reality of the situation – the documents are a matter of public record whatever the law regarding them at this point. At best the bannings will ensure that a handful of bureaucrats remain totally in the dark about truths that the rest of the country, and indeed the rest of the world, are now fully aware of.
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