When Daniel Ellsberg was trying to bring the information in the Pentagon Papers to light, it was difficult to find a viable means of disseminating the information to policymakers and the public. In order to garner media attention for the detailed, confidential war records, Ellsberg eventually had to turn the Papers over to the New York Times, who published the contents of the records in a series of articles. In an eerie case of history repeating itself, The New York Times, The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel were recently given access to a significant cache of classified reports known as the Afghan War Diary.
But unlike Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, the source that brought the reports to public attention wasn’t a high ranking US official, it was a website. WikiLeaks, a website dedicated to publishing leaks while maintaining the anonymity of its sources, gave the three aforementioned publications access to the Afghan War Diary weeks in advance under the condition that they wouldn’t report on the information until July 25, the day WikiLeaks published the diary to their site.