While I can understand the US Government's legal intent to continue to maintain the security classification of the documents and hence maintain its case against Julian Assange, I think the approach of forbidding federal government employees and contractors from viewing the cables is an epic crisis communication mistake. This is because, like it or not, the information is already out there and instead of using finite resources to restrict employee usage, the US Government should instead be capitalising on it.
My proposal is simple. To win the battle for social media, the US Government must focus on achieving two things - (a) gaining and maintaining the information initiative; and (b) dominating the blogosphere by having information superiority. To do this, the US Government needs to embrace their employees (especially their employee bloggers) and convert them into "ambassadors" for the US Government. In this instance, federal government employees and contractors should be proactively engaged by their senior management to ensure their understanding of the principles and values of the US Government, the Government's political and military objectives, the context within which the memos were written. It is only with this clearer understanding of "management's thinking" will federal government employees and contractors be able to "speak up" (as third-party endorsements) and explain the rationale for the US Government's actions.