Wikileaks‘ release of classified military documents about the grinding and ultimately futile nine-year war in Afghanistan, while interesting, is hardly earth-shattering. Who honestly thought the war was going well and the Taliban were soon-to-be defeated?
Apart being a PR nightmare for the US military, the document dump on the WikiLeaks website is extraordinary in that the website is the world’s first stateless news organization. It can’t be censured, sued or stopped because it exists in cyberspace. It’s a game changer because whistle blowers don’t need traditional media outlets when they can just upload the information to WikiLeaks.
To be fair the secret document release was a bigger story because WikiLeaks shared the information with solid media outlets such as the New York Times, Guardian and Der Spiegel. Their news stories were published on the same day the documents were released on the website. It was the first such media collaboration in history.
Welcome to the brave new media world.