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The uproar over WikiLeaks and Julian Assange reminds me of the controversy surrounding the release of the Pentagon papers, when Daniel Ellsberg was nailed to the cross but turned out to be a hero for stepping up and risking everything ["The War on Secrecy," Dec. 13]. Rather than calling for the head of Assange, we should be urgently asking how a private first class in the U.S. Army could gain access to all this secret material, download it and then distribute it to whomever he so desired.
Alice A. Grimes, WATERTOWN, MASS.
Assange is a cyberterrorist who has made the work of American troops and civilians around the world much harder at a time when the U.S. is fighting a multiple-front war on terrorism. The revelations in some of these cables will cost lives.
Mark Stuart Ellison, BROOKLYN
The harsh reaction of the U.S. and many other governments toward Assange is entirely predictable. We wouldn't need WikiLeaks if we had enough aggressive, honest and independent journalists to ferret out the truth. Lacking that, WikiLeaks is the next best thing.
Arlen Grossman, MONTEREY, CALIF.
Fareed Zakaria may be right about the leaks' demonstrating American diplomatic skill, but he misses the point ["It's Not So Bad," Dec. 13]. The leaks have caused short-term damage to some important diplomatic relationships and may cause longer-lasting damage to our interests and reputation globally. How do we expect other countries' representatives to speak frankly with us if they have no assurance their words will be kept in confidence? Trust is a cornerstone of every relationship.
William Fay, BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.
Nobody Puts Baby In a Corner
I found your "Best of 2010" section immediately suspect because of an inexplicable omission from the five best film performances [Dec. 20]. In this year's Love and Other Drugs, Anne Hathaway proves beyond any doubt that in less than a decade, she has reached the epitome of dramatic expertise on film. And her confidence in her profession shines through--clothed or otherwise. Admit your glaring oversight and you are forgiven.
Mike Gerald, HATTIESBURG, MISS.
The misleading statistic comparing average federal pay with that of all private workers is an apples-and-oranges red herring [The World, Dec. 13]. Public employment is dominated by people developing, analyzing and delivering tasks and services like highway-safety engineering and air-traffic control. Private employment has a fairly large component earning at or near the minimum wage. You'd help the debate far more by digging deeper into the figures to compare equivalent works in the private and public sectors. Then you'd find them roughly equal overall.
William Wade, CHICAGO
The Debt Debacle