Given that the information is “highly classified” and that nobody seems to want to talk about it, you would think The New York Times would have some compelling rationale before they decided to reveal it to the world. Instead, the only reason seems to be to bolster a junior Democratic congressman’s vague complaint that “There is not enough oversight.”
Meanwhile, the report itself states the potential damage: “arrangements like the one Transoceanic had with Special Operations forces can cast suspicion over aid workers, potentially putting them in harm’s way.” Sure, and so can publishing classified information about it and pushing headlines that exaggerate the connection. I’m sure a lot of humanitarian aid workers across the world will really appreciate the target The New York Times just put on their backs.
The report also notes that this “can jeopardize humanitarian efforts in countries that depend on relief organizations.” It goes on to quote a diplomat, who adds: “The bottom line is there aren’t a lot of companies willing and able to provide those kind of necessary services in a place like Yemen.” And now there are going to be even fewer of them. The poor fellow whose name and information they just splashed over their pages is certainly never going to be able to do that kind of work again.