News | Wikileaks

State Dept. Official Warns Columbia Students: Don't Post Wikileaks

Bigbrother The State Department really doesn't want people reading or discussing Wikileaks' torrent of secret documents, and that goes double for anyone who dreams of working as a diplomat.

Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs confirmed today that its Office of Career Services sent out a message from a State Department official to students warning them not to post or debate recently released Wikileaks papers on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

According to the anonymous State staffer, a SIPA alumnus, the Wikileaks files remain classified and circulation "would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government."

Hmmm... If paper burns at Fahrenheit 451, what's the combustion point for an iPad?

Read the letter, AFTER THE JUMP...


Hi Students,
We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.

The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.

Office of Career Services

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  1. “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

    Posted by: Trip | Dec 4, 2010 6:48:24 PM

  2. "Re: Wikileaks- In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."

    [ ]

    (perfectly stated, and I'm not really much of a Ron Paul fan)

    Posted by: Philo | Dec 4, 2010 7:12:39 PM

  3. I wish I had a career with the feral gubmint. Great pay, bennies, pension, health insurance.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 4, 2010 7:25:27 PM

  4. probably at the same temp as an iphone

    Posted by: matt | Dec 4, 2010 7:33:17 PM

  5. Home of the brave, land of the free. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, what a joke. Behave or Big Brother will see you pay the consequences. You might just disappear.

    Posted by: Bob R | Dec 4, 2010 8:07:13 PM

  6. It's not "confidential information" once it's all over the Internet. But don't bother trying to explain that to the free-speech leftists of Columbia University. They won't listen.

    Posted by: Max | Dec 4, 2010 8:34:42 PM

  7. Assange knows the game. Free speech is a slogan--an empty term that evokes emotions because it is designed to appeal to them. The only time it ever gets any traction in conversation is when the little folks try to defend their bigotry or the pundits are rallying the great unwashed and enriching themselves--that is, when it poses no threat. Whenever power brokers are threatened by free speech, it becomes something else--a grave matter of nat'l security, treason, etc...that is, it ceases to exist. The fact is, stuff like this threatens the powerful, and reveals just how empty that vacuous bit of hot air is. And now that he's going after an international crime syndicate (a large multinational bank), free speech will further lose its meaning.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 4, 2010 8:38:03 PM

  8. I'd be much more impressed if wiki simultaneously released the correspondence and privately held viewpoints of other world powers like the EU bureaucracy, Russia, China, Japan, Germany, France, UK, British Commonwealth nations, India [tea, I know it's in the commonwealth], Brazil, the UN bureaucracy, etc., As it is, unilaterally exposing the U.S. serves what purpose? It's like unilaterally persecuting and prosecuting one organized crime syndicate...the other syndicates are licking their chops. Ridiculous. Assange clearly has a specific anti-U.S. agenda and is patently insincere. He leaks drivel from China, Russia, India, Brazil, etc., but get's a hard-on releasing all the goods on the U.S. government.

    I'd like to see him concentrate now on Russia, China, Israel. When a certain terrorist group targeted Russians, the old KGB kidnapped the brother of the groups leader, chopped off his balls, packed them in dry ice, and shipped them to the dude. Voila...they stopped targeting Russians. let's see how long before he has an 'accident', found shot execution-style, or is simply passed out in bed with a dead under age prostitute.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 4, 2010 9:00:26 PM

  9. OH, and terrorism...yes, now free speech is called terrorism when it threatens or even inconveniences the status quo and those who benefit from it.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 4, 2010 9:20:15 PM

  10. I understand everyone's knee-jerk reaction to this issue, but this issue is not about free speech. Do you all consider your private medical records "free speech"? Or how about your college transcripts? Or maybe you visited a psychotherapist at some point? Should all this information be considered free speech? A country as large, complex and powerful as the U.S. needs to retain a certain amount of confidentiality in order to survive. That is the essence of diplomacy. Anyone that doesn't understand this is short-sighted.

    Posted by: Dave | Dec 4, 2010 9:26:05 PM

  11. A relevant quote from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

    "Oh don't you see?" Hermione breathed. "If she could have done one thing to make absolutely sure that every single person in this school will read your interview, it was banning it!"

    Posted by: ravewulf | Dec 4, 2010 9:45:05 PM

  12. @Ratbastard He can only publish what he is sent. The leaks have only caused minimal embarrassment to America so far, China's hacking has been exposed and Saudi's urging for war which is much worse than childish comments about world leaders. Governments shouldn't have anything like this to hide and if they do their corruption deserves to be exposed.

    Posted by: JakeLondon | Dec 4, 2010 9:58:40 PM

  13. ratbastard wikileaks has and does release documents pertaining to other governments

    It also releases info on big biz and that is what is reallyu the issue

    supposedly wikileaks has a ton of info not yet released about Bank Of America and criminality having to do with the bank melt down, recession, and fraudulent mortgage industry

    The hue and cry by the US gov about wikileaks is NOT about state secrets it is about protecting Bank of america and potentially the world economy. The documents could cause the slow recovery to disappear and the recession or worse go full swing

    silly rabbits its all about big biz

    Wikileaks did not get into trouble over the downing street memos detailing bush lieing to wage war etc

    Wikileaks is in trouble over Bank of america and keeping the fat cats from loosing their $

    Posted by: | Dec 4, 2010 10:18:17 PM

  14. Ps

    i want to stress that part

    When wikileaks released the downing street memos it was enough evidence to not only impeach both Bush and Tony Blair for enabling the high crime and misdemeanor of lieing the world into was enough to toss their asses in jail

    The world barely blinked. The Us gov and england gov didnt even bat their eyelashes


    wake up, it isn't about state secrets

    Its about Bank of America


    Posted by: | Dec 4, 2010 10:39:10 PM

  15. Why is SIPA giving anonymity to someone making threats against its students?

    Posted by: JJ | Dec 4, 2010 11:10:26 PM

  16. Ratbastard...

    Pay attention. They don't just release stuff on the US. They just happened to get a lot of stuff on the US over the past year and have had to release it one thing at a time because they went over everything, redacting what had to be redacted.

    Additionally, we are the world's "Super Power." We should expect to have the target painted on our backs -- particularly when we're needlessly, unlawfully invading other nations, lying about it and lying about what we're doing there.

    They've released plenty of other things on other governments and other corporations HQd outside the US. They're equal opportunity offeders. Assuange doesn't view the world through the lens of nationalism... he views it through the lens of "we're all human and all deserve the right to know, and if we all know what's being done in our names, chance are it'll stop."

    Posted by: Ryan | Dec 4, 2010 11:16:22 PM

  17. BU Law warned its students of the same. FYI.

    Beyond that, people should probably do a little reading on what speech is. Receiving document and handing them to press is not speech. One can argue the merits of whether or not such an action should be allowed, but no one should be confusing this act with speech. It's hardly speech. At best it might be protected under freedom of press.

    And guess what, we restrict your "freedoms" all the time. It's the give part of the living in a pluralistic society.

    If these cables threatened national security, would you be so willing to call it speech then? Doubtful.

    Posted by: Sam I Am | Dec 4, 2010 11:30:22 PM

  18. Everyone in the world already knows that Bank of America is a fiendishly greedy and diabolically revolting economic boa constrictor.

    What we don't know, perhaps, is what they are planning next. Rest assured, however, it will be no accident. This stuff is engineered.

    How charming that the State Department has already anointed the next generation of morally bankrupt Ivy league elitists.

    Posted by: Max | Dec 4, 2010 11:30:56 PM

  19. @Dave

    Im not sure why people's reaction seems "knee-jerk" to you, but then you might not know the history of this debate. Do you know the 1970's case of the Pentagon Papers?

    Posted by: JJ | Dec 5, 2010 12:16:23 AM

  20. @Sam I Am

    I think you're missing the point of whose speech is threatened by the alleged SIPA alum/State Dept. official. The students have a right to read, share, and debate information that is available to the public and of great public import without the government making threats against their careers. Are you seriously saying that since the New York times obtained stolen information that the State Dept can tell these students to sit this one out if they want to pursue their careers?

    Posted by: JJ | Dec 5, 2010 12:34:43 AM

  21. Eh...shaddup, sam. Shaddup your goddamn mouth, goddamnit. This is "important stuff" being discussed. Adults talking.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 5, 2010 1:21:27 AM

  22. The Wikileaks shit-storm that was the climate-gate email scandal was pretty much a cast iron assurance of there ideological neutrality .

    And they're not biased against USA, its just that the U.S has bigger and longer fingers (*MUST NOT SAY TENTACLES*) in more pies than anyone else; and the U.S holds itself, and holds others to the highest standards so when it falls short, it falls furthest. So suck it up.

    And who cares what the rest of the world thinks about you? You still get to keep your boot on the rest of our necks for a little while longer (until the china thing). I welcome these leaks as a geo-politics lesson for the globe.
    N.B. China, don't write anything down. Ever.

    Posted by: divkid | Dec 5, 2010 3:19:48 AM

  23. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. You KNOW there is something really juicy (i.e. criminal) in there, for all the effort that is being put into destroying Wikileaks and Assange.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 5, 2010 4:48:51 AM

  24. Dear Mr. Wikileaks, do you take requests? I'd like to see a release of the names of people on government assistance, especially the ones who constantly criticize the government that pays them. Oh, and please include the screen name they use when they leave comments on Towelroad. They won't mind.

    Posted by: Brad | Dec 5, 2010 6:47:11 AM

  25. @brad :
    That was positively Orwellian. Not saying' thats a bad thing.. ..But tell me do rat-cage- headwear figure anywhere in your dark fantasy. Anyhow the price of democracy, alas, IS the power of its constituent parts to scrutinise and the right find fault whether legitimately or illegitimately, and to criticise openly. That the only way to guarantee you are actually in a democracy. I know crazy! Now, herr brad tell me more about ze rats...

    Posted by: divkid | Dec 5, 2010 8:38:59 AM

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