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Insiders: Wikileaks Too Obsessed With US

From the UK’s Independent:

Secret war at the heart of Wikileaks

By Jerome Taylor
Monday, 25 October 2010

A civil war at the heart of Wikileaks has virtually paralysed the whistle-blowing website from publishing any new exposés outside of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, say former staffers and volunteers…

[A] number of former members say that the website’s obsession with pursuing the US military has resulted in Wikileaks losing sight of its founding principle that all leaks should be made available to the public no matter how large or small.

Speaking to The Independent last night, the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange hit back at the claims, accusing former colleagues of being "peripheral players… spreading poisonous false rumours".

At least a dozen key supporters of the website are known to have left in recent months. They say Wikileaks has ignored reams of new exposés because so much attention has been paid to the Iraq and Afghan conflicts.

The heavily encrypted arm of the website that allows users to safely send information to the organisation has been offline for four weeks, making new submissions impossible.

According to former supporters, the submission section is down because a number of key personnel have fallen out with Assange over the direction of the website and his behaviour. "Outside of the Iraq and Afghan dossiers, Wikileaks has been incapacitated by internal turmoil and politics," Smari McCarthy, a former Wikileaks volunteer and freedom of information campaigners from Iceland, told The Independent.

"Key people have become very concerned about the direction of Wikileaks with regard to its strong focus on US military files at the expense of ignoring everything else. There were also serious disagreements over the decision not to redact the names of Afghan civilians; something which I’m pleased to see was not repeated with the Iraq dossiers."

So even some of the miscreants at Wikileaks seem to have a flicker of conscience.

[S]ome of those who have grown uncomfortable with the direction of the website say more attention should still have been paid to leaks from outside of the US military – specifically the dramatic increase in submissions from whistleblowers within closed countries, dictatorships and corporations

Why would anyone be interested in dictatorships when you can take on the USA?

The sometimes erratic behaviour of Wikileaks’ founder has also caused a number of fallouts within the organisation. The Australian-born 39-year-old walked out of a CNN interview when an interviewer pressed him on the disagreements within Wikileaks and asked him to comment on an ongoing "molestation" investigation against him in Sweden. Assange, who vehemently insists that recent relationships he had with two women in Sweden were entirely consensual, criticised CNN’s interviewer for dwelling on his private life.

Last month the website’s second most visible face after Assange – a German spokesperson who went by the name Daniel Schmidt, but whose real name is Daniel Domscheit-Berg – broke ranks to disclose that he had quit after being suspended by Assange for unspecified "bad behaviour". Like others who have since left Wikileaks, he cited both the website’s direction and Assange’s behaviour as motivating factors behind his leaving. "This one-dimensional confrontation with the USA is not what we set out to do," Mr Domscheit-Berg told Der Spiegel.

Asked about Mr Domscheit-Berg’s comments Mr Assange replied: "Like many former employees who are suspended from a group he has now decided to turn on his former employer. But these are not valid criticisms." …

Isn’t that what ‘the bosses’ always say about whistleblowers?

By the way, just when you thought Mr. Assange couldn’t be any more of a self-righteous punk, the Washington Post reports:

Indeed, as WikiLeaks is trumpeting its latest coup, a number of former WikiLeaks activists are painting another picture of an organization that is out of control, still too driven by the personality and ego of its mercurial founder, Julian Assange.

"I’m too busy ending two wars," is the response one reporter got in an e-mail from Assange after asking for clarity on an issue, according to a source who saw the e-mail, and thought it captured Assange’s crusading and peremptory nature…

What a hero, huh?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, October 24th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Insiders: Wikileaks Too Obsessed With US”

  1. Coco Q. Rico says:

    These people are monsters.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Again, nothing new here. ASS-ange is a self-appointed do-gooder who loses site of the objective when given a mega-weapon. Modern day Captain Nemo, without the depth of understanding and sense of humor.

  3. tranquil.night says:

    Well Ass-boy isn’t necessarily self-appointed. This is exactly the type of philanthropy that those self-appointed do-gooders of the international aristocracy invest in. Remember Soros said he only got involved in American politics because basically Bush’s wars were so criminal.

    Most “true believers” on the left are just blind drones sold on the big lie, probably just like those employees revolting in this article. Anyone with a brain or any real power knows its a lie. Most of the mid-level leftist bureaucrats here just care about getting ahead within the lie.

    But leftist zealots who advance the lie by operating in mockery of the law like this are the front for the real movers and shakers working against America right now. Ditto to those barbaric “Christian” anti-war protestors.

    The fringe left’s war against the pentagon has been well-chronicled since crazy Sheehan. Even though its poltically stupid to publicly associate within such kooks now that theyre in power, we all knew Obama and the state-run media were still with them the whole time, a quiet campaign of neglect, dithering and subversion.

    We can’t stop Ass-boy for the same reason we can’t stop little satan: they have the cover of our lawyers and our lawmakers. They have the president.

  4. NoNeoCommies says:

    Hack his site.
    Post the private information of the leadership if Wikileaks.
    Sit back and bask in the warm feeling of success (and schadenfreude).

  5. hushpuppy says:

    What’s interesting is his very careful editing of his profile at wikipedia.

    The original bio mentioned his mother was a prostitute when she gave birth to him, who later married a different fellow and started a touring theater company. When Assange refers to this man as a parent is disingenuous when his mother didn’t know who the man was who impregnated her.

    From his revised bio at Wikipedia

    Assange’s parents ran a touring theatre company. In 1979, his mother remarried to a musician who belonged to a cult led by Anne Hamilton-Byrne. The new couple had a son, but broke up in 1982 and engaged in a custody struggle for his half-brother. His mother then took both children into hiding for the next five years. Assange left home in 1987. In all, he had moved several dozen times in his childhood frequently switching between formal and home schooling and later attending two universities at various times in Australia.

    He has been described as being largely self-taught and widely read on science and mathematics. From 2003 to 2006, Assange studied physics and mathematics at the University of Melbourne but does not claim a degree. On his personal web page Assange described how he represented his University at the Australian National Physics Competition around 2005. He has also studied philosophy and neuroscience.

    The original bio clamed he had studied at twelve universities; and judging by his unstable life and lack of a solid education, he is doing what a lot a mentally unstable, fragile, insecure, effeminate and untutored people do: he has an ego and wields it like a club in order to prove how much more intelligent he is over the great unwashed.

    And if you read the bio slowly, you’ll see that English is not the first language.

    Two points I find interesting:

    1) He mentions the rape allegations, and the charges being dropped, but carefully omits the teensy detail that the charges have been filed again by the prosecutor. He also doesn’t mention his legal problem regarding the molestation charges against an underage boy. He claims all of this is part of a ‘smear campaign’ conspiracy.

    His paranoia about people being ‘against’ him is leading him to live in airports!

    2) In the late 1980s he was a member of a hacker group named “International Subversives,” going by the handle “Mendax” (derived from a phrase of Horace: “splendide mendax,” or “nobly untruthful” )

    Putting a spotlight on his hacking and subversive side, you’ll read the following:

    Starting in 1994, Assange lived in Melbourne as a programmer and a developer of free software.[4] In 1995, Assange wrote Strobe, the first free and open source port scanner.[10][11] He contributed several patches to the PostgreSQL project in 1996.[12] He helped to write the 1997 book Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier which credits him as researcher and reports his history with International Subversives.[13] Starting around 1997 he co-invented the Rubberhose deniable encryption system, a cryptographic concept made into a software package for Linux designed to provide plausible deniability against rubber-hose cryptanalysis,[14] which he originally intended “as a tool for human rights workers who needed to protect sensitive data in the field.”[15] Other free software that he has authored or co-authored includes the Usenet caching software NNTPCache[16] and Surfraw, a command line interface for web-based search engines. In 1999, Assange registered the domain leaks.org; “but,” he says, “then I didn’t do anything with it.”[17]

    Here’s the book you can download and read in its entirety that he co-wrote. I notice the chosen pseudonym contains the name ‘Dreyfus’ (Suelette Dreyfus)

    Oh. And the name of that book? “Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier”


    You can grab a pdf of it at this link:


    “Know your enemy.”

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