Why EL PAÍS chose to publish the leaks
By Javier Moreno
El Pais, Dec. 23, 2010
1. The leak and its consequences.
When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called my cellphone on a Friday afternoon in November, I could barely hear him. The conversation, held amid the usual tumult of Rome’s airport on a weekend, was strangely short. Assange talked slowly, making sure to pronounce each word carefully, his deep, almost baritone voice, reducing itself almost to a whisper at the end of each sentence. A few moments before the conversation, I had noticed how the Italian police seemed particularly interested in the little luggage that I was carrying, and that as the phone had rung, they were examining the cloth that I had used to wipe the screen of my iPad. Were they looking for drugs, or explosives, or both?
Assange, as far as I could tell at that time, was willing to give EL PAÍS access to 250,000 cablegrams sent between the US State Department and its embassies in around 30 countries, garnered as a result of the largest leak of secret documents in history.