Right To Know v. Right To Privacy
In our open society, this is an ongoing tension. Courts and legislatures deal with it regularly, and I suppose no one knows the absolute right answer. This article from Politico puts the question front and center. CNN found a journal maintained by Christopher Stevens in the Libyan consulate after the recent attacks. Although CNN returned the journal to Stevens’ family, it reported on the contents. And those contents demonstrated that Stevens was concerned for the security of the consulate for some months before the attack. The State Department calls it an “indefensible” invasion of privacy. But you have to wonder if the State Department is feeling defensive on the issue of whether it did enough to protect the ambassador and the staff. Are they shooting the messenger? What privacy is an ambassador entitled to when writing about matters having to do with the mission, as opposed to purely private matters? And is the fact that there is a “public interest” mean there are no rules? Interesting questions.