Buzzfeed Title: Documents Leaked by Manning Did No Harm! Story: Yes, It Did!

The differentiation between headlines and the story are often amazing to see. For years, pro-Wikileaks people have argued the release of the documents by Chelsea Manning to Wikileaks who then publicly displayed them didn’t harm national security.


A new story published by Buzzfeed appears to confirm that point of view. The story is entitled:

Secret Government Report: Chelsea Manning Leaks Caused No Real Harm

In a culture where people are prone to read headlines and not the content of the story it appears to be pretty damning, does it not?

“Hey, the government is saying it caused no harm! Now, what are you going to say?”

Except, when reading the story, it doesn’t back up the title:

The heavily redacted report also determined that a different set of documents published the same year, relating to the US war in Afghanistan, would not result in “significant impact” to US operations. It did, however, have the potential to cause “serious damage” to “intelligence sources, informants and the Afghan population,” and US and NATO intelligence collection efforts. The most significant impact of the leaks, the report concluded, would likely be on the lives of “cooperative Afghans, Iraqis, and other foreign interlocutors.”


Emphasis mine.

So what’s with the title? Go back to the start of the piece, and it says the following:

It says the disclosures were largely insignificant and did not cause any real harm to US interests.

This is hair splitting on a major level. The leaks may not have impacted the United States directly, but what good is having cooperative Afghans, Iraqis, and other foreign interlocutors if they’re going to wind up dead because of Manning’s actions?

Chalk it up as another reason why the media is so distrusted.



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