Must Reads: WikiLeaks Hates Leaks - When It's the Target

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, April 9, 2011.
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Was intelligence the top target in Osama raid?
Will Saletan at Slate marshals an intriguing argument that the cache of Al Qaeda documents were as high a priority in the SEAL raid on bin Laden's compound as the terrorist mastermind himself. "The intelligence harvest was more central, and the raid was less of a gamble, than the U.S. pretends," Saletan concludes. "There's no shame in this revised narrative. And it makes much more sense than the official story does." [Slate]

WikiLeaks' war on leakers
WikiLeaks declares that "the need for openness and transparency is greater than ever" — just not, you know, at WikiLeaks. The British New Statesman has obtained a leaked copy (PDF) of the transparency champion's non-disclosure agreement — which threatens leakers of unpublished documents in WikiLeaks' trove with a claim of $20 million in damages. The gag order, the newspaper's legal correspondent concludes, is "consistent with WikliLeaks's perception of itself as a commercial organisation in the business of owning and selling leaked information." [New Statesman]

In wake of bin Laden, McCain denounces torture
Sen. John McCain has weighed in eloquently on why the killing of Osama bin Laden is no justification for Bush-era torture: "The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti — the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden — as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured." Ultimately, McCain writes, "this is more than a utilitarian debate. This is a moral debate. It is about who we are."  [Washington Post]

Comcast's Woman in Washington
Rarely are revolving-door stories this revolting. Just months ago Meredith Attwell Baker voted — as a commissioner on the FCC — to approve Comcast's controversial merger NBC Universal. Baker is now taking a job as a senior vice president in Comcast's lobbying shop in Washington. “No wonder the public is so nauseated by business as usual in Washington," said Craig Aaron, chief executive of media watchdog Free Press. [New York Times]

When Arianna hearted Newt
Newt Gingrich has finally answered Arianna Huffington's impassioned 1995 plea that he run for president. It's easy to forget that the liberal SEO maven was once a raving right-winger so enamored of Gingrich that she saw him as a world-historical figure: "At certain critical moments in history," she once swooned, "effective leadership is all that stands between a civilization and its collapse." [Weekly Standard]

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