Over the past few weeks, secrets outlet WikiLeaks has released only a small number of the secret US State Department diplomatic cables it was given, choosing instead to work with partners in the mainstream press to fritter out the stories worth telling.
Less than 1 percent of the whole 250,000 cable archive has been released, to date.
But that may be about to change.
An editor with Aftenposten, a news service in Norway, told Dagens Naerings, the country’s main business newspaper, that they’d come into possession of the complete archive, according to late-breaking reports Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re free to do what we want with these documents,” Aftenposten editor Ole Erik Almlid was quoted as saying. “We’re free to publish the documents or not publish the documents, we can publish on the internet or on paper. We are handling these documents just like all other journalistic material to which we have gained access.”
“I have no comments on how we have secured access to the documents. We never give our sources, even in this case,” he added.
Contacted by Yahoo news blog The Cutline, an editorial manager with Aftenposten emphasized that they have “access to all documents without any clauses or bonds.”
“The documents will be continuously reviewed as the basis of articles by the same editorial criteria and ethical rules as the rest of the journalism in Aftenposten,” he said.
Dagens Naerings added that Aftenposten has about 20 professional journalists sorting through the files.
Another paper, the Novaya Gazeta in Russia, was said to have received a trove of files from WikiLeaks that it will begin detailing next month. A Thursday report by Bloomberg News noted that the documents may expose new details regarding the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
A single US soldier, Pvt. Bradley Manning, stands accused of the massive data leak that’s caused significant embarrassment to US officials in recent weeks. US Secretary of State Clinton called the release of State Dept. cables an “attack” on the international community and US Vice President Joe Biden has publicly said that he considers WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be a “high tech terrorist.”
The US Department of Justice was investigating whether it could charge Assange with espionage or conspiracy, but it had not yet made any formal accusations.
Assange was recently released from a British prison pending a legal battle over extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning related to an investigation into claims that he sexually assaulted two women.