He explains that recent Wikileaks cables reveal that U.S. forces may have murdered several Iraqi civilians (including women and children) in their house, and later covered it up with an airstrike on that house. Then he complains that the U.S. media is far too harsh on Wikileaks for endangering diplomats by accidentally releasing unredacted cables, while being far too forgiving towards the U.S:
As usual, many of those running around righteously condemning WikiLeaks for the potential, prospective, unintentional harm to innocents caused by this leak will have nothing to say about these actual, deliberate acts of wanton slaughter by the U.S...
Despite the fault fairly assigned to WikiLeaks, one point should be absolutely clear: there was nothing intentional about WikiLeaks’ publication of the cables in unredacted form.
Greenwald is confusing the reader in 2 ways:
1) blaming “the U.S.” for a potential murder carried out by several U.S. soldiers. He’d be on no shakier ground blaming “the U.S.” for an act of theft carried out by a member of Obama’s Green Jobs commission
2) saying there was “nothing intentional” about what Wikileaks did. They have intentionally created a significant probability of great harm to diplomats. This is what is annoying about words like “intentional” and “malicious.” Would it be “malicious” of Tom to punch Scott 10 times in the face, not because he wanted to hurt his friend, but because he preferred that Scott’s nose be a bit shorter? No, not by the strict (but in my opinion flimsy) definition of “malicious” — the puncher in this case was merely punching his friend as a means to an end. But does the classification of this act as not malicous reveal anything useful about how much we should blame Tom? No — Tom is clearly doing a very bad thing by showing more concern for a silly aesthetic idea than for his friend’s well-being. And he is not, in my opinion, any less at fault than if he punched his friend out of malice. When you do something, you do it because the benefits outweigh the costs– “malice” describes a characterization of the benefits, and ignores the extent to which a person’s appraisal of the costs shows immorality. Similarly with Wikileaks, they should clearly be responsible for their apparent lack of concern for diplomats’ safety, even if Wikileaks’ primary concern was not a minimization of that safety.