nytwebDean Baquet, Washington bureau chief for the New York Times, stressed Friday that his paper worked on its stories pulled from WikiLeaks' cache of nearly 400,000 documents "as it would any other journalistic project."
The Times may have treated the document cache as just another investigation, but it's not every day reporters get to dig through what's been called the largest U.S. intelligence leak ever.
Baquet balked at the notion that the Times worked "with" WikiLeaks, the online whistleblower site that obtained classified military memos relating to the Iraq war and provided them to news outlets under embargo until late afternoon Friday.
The Pentagon has repeatedly condemned the secretive organization. A former army private, Bradley Manning, is suspected of leaking documents to WikiLeaks and is currently imprisoned.
"We went through the documents, chose what we thought was newsworthy, took into account whether any information would endanger lives, went to the government for comment, then made the judgments ourselves about what to publish," Baquet said in an email to The Upshot.
"This is what we do every day," Baquet continued. "WikiLeaks played no role in that. Nor did anyone else either. In the end, [executive editor] Bill Keller and the other editors determined that this was important news about one of the most important and much-debated chapters of American foreign policy."
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