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The big danger is that America is provoked into bending or breaking its own rules, straining alliances, eroding credibility and—because it will not be able to muzzle WikiLeaks—ultimately seeming impotent. In recent years America has promoted the internet as a menace to foreign censorship. That sounds tinny now. So did its joy of hosting next year’s World Press Freedom Day this week. Chinese and Russian glee at American discomfort are a sure sign of such missteps.