Wikileaks: US Embassy pressured Danish paper not to reprint Mohammed cartoons

Wikileaks: US Embassy pressured Danish paper not to reprint Mohammed cartoons

Norwegian paper Aftenposten recently started going through the entire Wikileaks archive. Its recent finding (EN): the US Embassy in Copenhagen was very concerned when it heard Jyllands-Posten intended to reprint the cartoons a year after it's first publishing:

Post´s public affairs counselor learned from a "Jyllands-Posten" journalist (strictly protect) last week that the paper was considering several options to commemorate the cartoons´ first anniversary September 30, including re-publishing the original cartoons or running new ones on the subject.

The American ambassador, James P. Cain, turned to the Danish government, who refused to interfere. So he called Jyllands-Posten directly:
With that, the Ambassador telephoned "Jyllands-Posten" editor-in-chief Carsten Juste, and asked straight out about his paper´s intentions for commemorating the anniversary. Juste told the Ambassador that he and his team had been considering re-publication, but concluded that such a move would be unwise, especially so soon after the controversy caused by the Pope´s Regensburg remarks. The Ambassador welcomed this news, noting that none of us wanted a repeat of the crisis earlier this year.

The Ambassador's conclusion: The Danes give their newspapers too much freedom.
This episode illustrates that the Danes have drawn mixed lessons from their experience in the cartoon crisis.


On the negative side, though, this popular center-right government has hardened its views on the absolute primacy of free speech. The prime minister appeared willing to let Jyllands-Posten dictate the timing of the next Islam vs. West confrontation without question or open discussion within the government.