In this corner... the military and political leadership, arguing incessantly that the release of almost 90,000 classified documents by WikiLeaks has put American lives and the lives of some of their allies in danger.
And in this corner... the First Amendment and the power of the media to report free of government interference.
It likely comes as no surprise to you that I side with the groups allied with the First Amendment. I do so with a healthy degree of respect for the military and political powers. They on one hand have to argue that the documents in and of themselves are harmless to national security while on the other hand remain adamant that the documents can harm important people.
The side I'm on simply has to say that WikiLeaks and other news organizations that also chose to publish the documents operated within the legal and ethical climate they know. There is no "it's not a big deal but it is a big deal" confounding argument here -- the decision was appropriate.
I have maintained on this blog that freedom of the press comes with a responsibility to use that freedom wisely. I believe that WikiLeaks did.
End of story? Of course not. One person's opinion is just that. A persuasive argument can be made that the documents were released to embarrass the United States and to undermine its efforts in South Asia. But that argument will not come from me.