The Times published a Wikileaks cable story today that The Guardian deemed too sensitive to use, according to the latter paper’s investigations editor.
The story detailed the contents of a diplomatic cable – made public via the Wikileaks whistleblowing website – which included a list of critical infrastructure sites the US wished to protect (Times website paywall may prevent access to this story).
David Leigh, investigations editor of The Guardian, questioned the publication of the story in a Twitter post today:
“Strange to see the Times publishing a sensitive Wikileaks cable which the Guardian declined to do. Murdoch is helping terrorists?” he wrote.
Today’s Times article – which includes condemnation of the Wikileaks publications from former defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind – says the secret cables released on Wikileaks shows ‘hundreds of pipelines, undersea cables and factories across the world, including a number in Britain, that would cause most damage to US interests if destroyed.”
The article also quotes Kristinn Hrafnsson, a Wikileaks spokesman, saying: ‘In terms of security issues, while this cable details the strategic importance of assets across the world, it does not give any information as to their exact locations, security measures, vulnerabilities or any similar factors, though it does reveal the US asked its diplomats to report back on these matters.”
These events come after The Times had itself previously criticised the publication of sensitive information by Wikileaks in July for putting “hundreds of Afghan lives at risk” by the leaking of 92,000 intelligence documents.