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Vol 51 No 25

Published 17th December 2010

Careless cables cost lives

Wikileaks, or its helpers in the mainstream press, have failed in at least five instances to protect sensitive sources quoted by United States’ diplomats in cables that they have published. The names of some were redacted, although other information was left which enabled them to be easily identified, and some names were left in, opening all to reprisal by their governments. The interlocutor of a US diplomat in Maputo who told tales of widespread corruption and profiting from drugs smuggling in the Frente de Libertaçao de Moçambique was identified by the Mozambique state news agency, AIM, because, although Wikileaks had redacted his name, he was identifiable through his ownership of a factory. AIM telephoned the source and then published an article saying he ‘categorically denied’ all that the US diplomat said he had told him.

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