And, even if it was true, and disclosed, would it necessarily be in the best interest of the public at large?
The idea of the freedom of press is that speech doesn't have to be in the interest in the public at large to be allowed. Both the US first amendment as well as the 19 article of the declaration of human rights assume that you are categorically able to exchange information without having to show to a authority that you will act in the public interest.
Those human rights got created because the founders of the US and the authors of the UN declaration of human rights believed that a central authority which the power can evade checks and balances when it can control the information flow of the society.
That the basic social contract on which our Western society is build. Citizens can inform themselves and afterwards they are able to elect a government. Citizens can also petition their government and talk to their representative to get them to take up issues.
That's what having "consent of the governed" is about.
That said, Wikileaks only gets documents that a whistleblowers uploads to Wikileaks.
Wikileaks believes that the insiders are the people who are most qualified to make a judgement of whether the information should go public.
A military serviceman risks a life in prison for revealing information to the public when publishes secret documents.
Given that insiders take a risk when the reveal information and given that they have the subject expertise they are supposed to be in a good position to make the decision.
Wikileaks wants to give those insiders the opportunity to leak. As a result it promises to release all significant and authentic submissions that it gets.
Agreed, so what would a hacker know about distinguishing what revealed information was true or false .. and how would Wikileaks know if it was true or false?
Verification of information isn't easy and it's possible to make errors. Wikileaks record is however quite good in that area. Out of hundred thousands of documents there isn't a single one that got shown to be a fabrication.
A hacker is an expert in computers, not in making global, moral decisions about international relations, war and peace, etc..
First it's a mistake to think that being a member of the hacker community is only about computers. SIME Stockholm 2009, Hacker insights by Paul "Pablos" Holman on Vimeo
might illustrate the hacker mindset a bit. But it's shorter than two minutes so don't expect too much.
But aside from the expertise question, expertise doesn't help you to make decisions that reflect some moral consensus.
At the beginning the idea was to simply release everything that a whistleblowers wants to get out to remove the problem of Wikileaks making subjective moral decisions.
For Cablegate they made a deal with Der Spiegel, Le Monde and the Guardian to make them do the subjective decisions about redactions.
They even asked the US whether the US wanted to give them a list of which names they should retract which the US rejected.
Wikileaks also pays people it hired to do retraction.
I don't think the plan of how the redaction system should look like in the future is finished yet. The solution might be that the whistleblower gets a list from outlets and can choose one to do the retraction and to get early access to the material and the outlet will release the source material when it releases their articles.
Designing the social contract of that whistleblower-publisher relationship. Writing code that enforces the contract. Making sure that the system stays secure.
Those are hard tasks and people are currently working on them. It's understood that the present system isn't yet perfect.