Legendary journalist Bob Woodward downplayed the lastest WikiLeaks release of thousands of American diplomatic cables, saying the information released is not likely to create significant issues for the U.S.
Woodward – best known for breaking the Watergate story with his Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein – said the WikiLeaks information is not critical, as the released documents are classified as “secret,” not “top secret.”
“Wikileaks are a glimpse at information, but do not tell the real story,” Woodward said. “While they are authentic, they’re not necessarily completely true.”
Woodward said that compared to the Pentagon Papers – top-secret Department of Defense documents about the Vietnam War leaked in 1971 – the WikiLeaks documents have no common theme.?
“While the Pentagon Papers illustrated the government lying to the American people, I’ve seen nothing in the WikiLeaks that says the government has not been telling us the truth,” Woodward said. “WikiLeaks have only pointed out that government has not told Americans the whole story, and that is always the case with the government.”
Woodward was on campus Tuesday night to discuss his recently released book “Obama’s Wars,”?which details the U.S.’s efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan under President Barack Obama. The book details the internal wars the president fights within the White House.
“The book is thousands of words where Obama is quoted in secretive meetings, telling readers exactly what he said that no one else knows,” Woodward said.
Woodward and his team went into a total lockdown when delving into the Obama presidency, where nothing left Woodward’s office for 18 months.
“It takes time [to find the truth],” Woodward said. “You have to go back.?You peel the onion until you get down to the central truth.”
During the event in the Elliott School of International Affairs, Woodward criticized the growing shift toward online journalism, particularly bloggers who consider themselves journalists.
“To me blogging is equivalent to writing letters home to mother.” he said. “My concern, however, is that there are not enough people doing the in-depth reporting that needs to be done.”