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When a Leak Is a Gush

Can WikiLeak's release of tens of thousands of secret documents accurately be called 'a leak', or is 'gush' more appropriate, or is that just silly? One author on the history of the political leak. "Our canonical images of leakiness involve liquid seeping out through small openings in something — a dripping faucet, a roof letting in rain, a boat with a cracked hull. Physical leaks can be stopped with a patch or some other reinforcement, as when the little Dutch boy plugged that faulty dike with his finger. But political leaks have strayed far from their literal foundation. ... An early glimpse of how leak entered American political vocabulary comes in John C. Frémont’s 1887 memoirs, which recount a political event leading up to the Mexican-American War..."
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