In case you missed it, we just had our Drudge Report Moment for this millennium, our Pentagon Papers.
Last weekend, WikiLeaks -- the controversial site where whistle-blowers can expose secrets to the world -- dropped a bombshell: some 90,000 classified documents detailing the real story of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
[ Also on InfoWorld: The whistle-blowers are on the run in "Spies, WikiLeaks, and hackers, oh my!" | Stay up to date on all Robert X. Cringely's observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
This was preceded by a month of denials and disappearances by WikiLeaks spokesghost Julian Assange, who's emerged as the public face of the otherwise anonymous collective.
WikiLeaks was in the news last month after Assange's alleged source, U.S. military analyst Bradley Manning, was arrested and charged with espionage. According to white hat hacker and journalist Adrian Lamo, Manning boasted of stealing some 250,000 confidental state department cables and sending them to WikiLeaks. Thinking Manning posed a security threat to the United States, Lamo ratted him out to authorities, leading to the arrest.
Following Manning's arrest, Assange made himself extremely scarce -- canceling public appearances or appearing only via video -- to avoid being served with legal papers and questioned about Manning. He also issued some annoyingly coy denials about receiving said cables. (Assange continues to claim he doesn't know who sent him these materials.)
Well, we now know he received something pretty hefty in the mail, and it wasn't Aunt Prunella's annual fruitcake.
Interestingly, WikiLeaks took a different tack with this leak. Instead of posting the documents right away, it sat on them for a month while reporters from three highly respected news organizations -- the New York Times, London's Guardian newspaper, and Germany's Der Spiegel -- made narrative sense out of them. Then the Wiki and the three newspapers shared their findings simultaneously with the world.