It would appear the United States Government has one rule for dealing with powerful media organisations (whose editorial stances could affect its political standing both internationally and domestically) and another for dealing with Wikileaks.
According to The New York Times on 28 November 2010:
About 11,000 of the cables are marked “secret.” An additional 9,000 or so carry the label “noforn,” meaning the information is not to be shared with representatives of other countries, and 4,000 are marked “secret/noforn.” The rest are either marked with the less restrictive label “confidential” or are unclassified. Most were not intended for public view, at least in the near term.
The Times has taken care to exclude, in its articles and in supplementary material, in print and online, information that would endanger confidential informants or compromise national security. The Times’s redactions were shared with other news organizations and communicated to WikiLeaks, in the hope that they would similarly edit the documents they planned to post online.
After its own redactions, The Times sent Obama administration officials the cables it planned to post and invited them to challenge publication of any information that, in the official view, would harm the national interest. After reviewing the cables, the officials — while making clear they condemn the publication of secret material — suggested additional redactions. The Times agreed to some, but not all. The Times is forwarding the administration’s concerns to other news organizations and, at the suggestion of the State Department, to WikiLeaks itself. In all, The Times plans to post on its Web site the text of about 100 cables — some edited, some in full — that illuminate aspects of American foreign policy.
From Assange to U.S. Government representative; Subject to the general objective of ensuring maximum disclosure of information in the public interest, WikiLeaks would be grateful for the United States Government to privately nominate any specific instances (record numbers or names) where it considers the publication of information would put individual persons at significant risk of harm that has not already been addressed. WikiLeaks will respect the confidentiality of advice provided by the United States Government and is prepared to consider any such submissions made without delay.
From U.S. Government to Assange legal representative; We will not engage in a negotiation regarding the further release or dissemination of illegally obtained U.S. Government classified materials.
CNN in Public Intelligence on 25 October 2010; An initial comparison of a few documents redacted by WikiLeaks to the same documents released by the Department of Defense shows that WikiLeaks removed more information from the documents than the Pentagon.
CNN accessed the Department of Defense versions from the official U.S. Central Command website, where it posts items that have been released under the Freedom of Information Act.