As Glenn Greenwald keeps pointing out:
(1) This is not a “document dump.” WikiLeaks has not “indiscriminately” released all of the 251,287 cables. At the time of this writing, WikiLeaks has only released 1,269 cables—that is, about 1/2 of 1%.
(2) WikiLeaks is only releasing these documents once they’ve been redacted to prevent innocents from being hurt. It initially asked the US government to help it redact the documents, only to be rejected. From the AP:
The United States rejected talks with WikiLeaks over its planned release of confidential US documents late on Saturday, saying the whistle-blower website was holding them in violation of US law.
The US State Department set out its position in a letter to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his lawyer that was released to the media... US officials said Assange had sent a letter to the Department of State on Friday, in which he tried to address US concerns that WikiLeaks' planned release of classified documents placed individual persons at risk.
In his letter, Assange said he wanted information regarding individuals who might be "at significant risk of harm" because of WikiLeaks' actions, the officials said.
Rejected by the US government, WikiLeaks decided to work with the newspapers it released the cables to. For two weeks now, it has been publishing the cables after they’ve been published by these newspapers and it has included the newspapers’ redactions in what it publishes. Also from the AP:
[WikiLeaks] is releasing only a trickle of documents at a time from a trove of a quarter-million, and only after considering advice from five news organizations with which it chose to share all of the material.
“They are releasing the documents we selected,” Le Monde's managing editor, Sylvie Kauffmann, said in an interview at the newspaper's Paris headquarters.
WikiLeaks turned over all of the classified U.S. State Department cables it obtained to Le Monde, El Pais in Spain, The Guardian in Britain and Der Spiegel in Germany. The Guardian shared the material with The New York Times, and the five news organizations have been working together to plan the timing of their reports.
They also have been advising WikiLeaks on which documents to release publicly and what redactions to make to those documents, Kauffmann and others involved in the arrangement said.
“The cables we have release correspond to stories released by our main stream media partners and ourselves. They have been redacted by the journalists working on the stories, as these people must know the material well in order to write about it,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a question-and-answer session on The Guardian's website Friday. “The redactions are then reviewed by at least one other journalist or editor, and we review samples supplied by the other organisations to make sure the process is working”…
As stories are published, WikiLeaks uses its website to release the related cables. For example, The Guardian published an article Thursday based on diplomatic cables discussing the assassination of former Russian security officer Alexander Litvinenko by radiation poisoning, and WikiLeaks quickly posted three cables on the same subject…
Days before releasing any of the latest documents, Assange appealed to the U.S. ambassador in London, asking the U.S. government to confidentially help him determine what needed to be redacted from the cables before they were publicly released. The ambassador refused, telling Assange to hand over stolen property. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called Assange's offer "a half-hearted gesture to have some sort of conversation."
U.S. officials submitted suggestions to The Times, which asked government officials to weigh in on some of the documents the newspaper and its partners wanted to publish.
“The other news organizations supported these redactions,” Keller wrote. “WikiLeaks has indicated that it intends to do likewise. And as a matter of news interest, we will watch their website to see what they do.”