WikiRebels - The Documentary (4/4)

Uploaded by zerwas2ky on 09.12.2010

The story of some quasi romantic, fleet of foot Scholar CampanellaScarlet Pimpernel character
in the form of Julian Assange, darting in the cyber shadows. It's very, you know, appealing.
>>Assange: I am very pleased to be among so many people I can respect. I don't think I
have ever been...
>>Narrator: Assange is an ideal media figure., Hhe has been portrayed as the lone ranger of 0:00:30.270,0:00:321.099 the information age.
>>Assange: Who to? >>Man: Arnie. A R N… 0:00:351.0100,0:00:386.999100 >>Man: You are the only one which is sounding like a pure angel. 0:00:4036.000101,0:00:4237.000101 >>Assange: Me? A pure angel? It’s just the hair, c’mon! >>Man: Yes! 0:00:420.409001,0:00:46.849 >>Narrator: Praise and prizes have been poured over WikiLeaks. TIME Magazine has included
Assange on a short list for the world's most influential man.
>>Assange: You should remember Solzhenitsyn's' words that in the right moment, one word of
truth outweighs the world.
>>Narrator: But all is not quiet on the WikiLeaks front. Assange is aware that the Iraqi material
that’s shortly to be released will generate even more anger. In August he travels to Sweden.
He applies for a residents permit to obtain the protection of the world's most extensive
freedom of the press law.
>>Interview on Assange: Does this mean that WikiLeaks is becoming even more Swedish?
>>Assange: I hope so.
>>Narrator: To start with, everything goes well. Julian Assange is welcomed with open
arms. He's invited to major political and trade union venues. And there are calls that
he should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
>>Narrator: A couple of days later the pictures changes dramatically.
[Various news clips and jingles]
>>YT Clip: Swedish authorities have issued an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks' founder Julian
Assange. He's accused of rape and molestation.
>>Narrator: On the 20th of August, Assange is accused of rape. The alleged crime is immediately
leaked to the World Press. Behind the accusation are two women who had casual relationships
with Assange. The women don't make any public statements. But the important evening paper
Aftonbladet publishes an anonymous interview with one of them which states "that what started
as voluntarily sex subsequently became what she described as abusive but she's not afraid
of him and he's not violent."
[News clip in English] >>Journalist: Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks
founder and the target of the rape allegations joins me now on the line. Thank you so much
for speaking to us Mr. Assange. What do you think about this?
>>Assange: Clearly, clearly, it is a smear campaign of some kind.
>>Assange: Well I came to Sweden as a refugee, uhm, a refugee publisher involved with an
extrordinary publishing fight with the Pentagon where our people were being dretained. Where
there is an attempt to prosecute me for espionage. So, I'm unhappy and disappointed with how
the Swedish justice system has been abused.
>>Narrator: Assange says he never forced anyone to have sex and that the judicial system has
been misused. He implies that he is a victim of personal revenge and US pressure.
>>Birgitta Jonsdottir: That troubled a lot of us that had worked with the Organization.
The way this case was mixed with WikiLeaks. The way of course there must've been a party
at the American embassy in Sweden when they read this news. Like "Yes, we don't have to
do anything except to just pass this on."
>>Narrator: But whatever the truth is, a shadow is now being cast not only on his, but also
WikiLeaks' name. The rape allegations lead to a storm of protests from WikiLeaks.
>>Birgitta Jonsdottir: WikiLeaks has become, uhm, the sensation because the two last big
scoops and the only scoops that have been actually played into the hands of the mainstream
media are WikiLeaks vs the US or Julian Assange vs the Pentagon. This is not what WikiLeaks
is about. It is a site that focuses on all sorts of leaks from all over the world.
>>Daniel Bormscheit-Berg: It has weakened the organization. That is my perception. Too
much focused on one person and one person is always much weaker than an organization.
>>Narrator: The difference of opinion began when Assange decided to put all of WIkiLeaks
resources into the giant American disclosures. And it has now grown into a serious source
of discontent regarding how the organization should be run.
>>Daniel Bormscheit-Berg: I think the wisest thing to do, would've been to, to do this
slowly step by step to grow the project. That did not happen. What happened was to pick
out the biggest releases, to release these, to put all efforts, all resources, everything
we had into producing these releases.
>>Narrator: Other voices join in the criticism, some through anonymous media interviews. And
now it's Assange's turn to look for leaks. This is an extract from a chat between Domscheit-Berg
and Assange.
[Cell Phone Beeping]
>>Daniel Bormscheit-Berg: If you preach transparency to everyone else you have to be transparent
yourself. You have to fulfill the same standards that you expect from others. And I think that's
where we've not been heading into the same direction philosophically anymore.
>>Narrator: The argument ends with Daniel and several others quitting WikiLeaks.
>>Herbert Snorrason: Eventually this ended with me arguing with Julian about basically
his dictatorial behavior. Which ended in Julian saying to me "That if I had a problem with
him I could just piss off.", I quote.
>>Narrator: Those who quit the organization build up their own site on the quiet. OpenLeaks
to be run without an authoritarian editor and serve purely as an online distribution
service helping people deliver material anonymously to the media.
>>Daniel Domscheit-Berg: Openleaks is a technology project that is aiming to be a service provider
for third parties that want to be able to accept material from anonymous sources.
>>Kristinn Hrafnsson, Spokesperson WikiLeaks: Well I'm not inclined to talk too much about
the people, the few people that have decided that their interests are not with WikiLeaks
anymore. But what I hear is that some other people are contemplating to open up their
own website with the same idea as WikiLeaks. And I think that is an excellent idea and
I wish them well. I think it's the more the better.
>>Narrator: WikiLeaks continues to pursue its set strategy which leads to massive media
reaction when the next part of the material is published.
>>Ian Overton: I can't think of any case where a satellite news channel, the BBC radio world
service, terrestrial channels, and broadcasters and internet are all going to go at the same
time on the a story.
>>Assange, PR: This disclosure is about the truth.
>>Several News Clips: They're the secret files from the Iraq war.
Internet platform WikiLeaks...
>>US Gov Employee: Well let me just say with regards to the allegations of not intervening
when, when coming across detainee abuse. Not tTrue.
>>Narrator: The Iraq leaks hits the headlines around the world. Thanks to Assange's strategy,
the leaks have has a huge impact and greatly boosts WikiLeaks' resources. Now forty volunteers
are brought in to work more or less full time for the organization with another eight hundred
people available for specific tasks. WikiLeaks are well into planning the release of future disclosures.
But first there is still the final part of the US material to be released.
>>Assange: For this latest release we have chosen a different methodology. We have tried
to pull it out over time. Rather than having it all go out in one hit.
>>Narrator: This time however the new material contains disclosures the consequences of which
are far harder to assess than previous releases.
>>Hillary Clinton: The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified
>>Narrator: In a storm of criticism, WikiLeaks are accused of threatening world peace. Are
they and their media partners sufficiently competent to gauge the consequences of releasing
hundreds of thousands of diplomatic dispatches, covering everything from Nuclear Reactors
in Iran, to Saudia Arabian domestic policy? Or is it again a matter of the ends justifying
the means?
For Christian Whiton things are much simpler than that.
>>Whiton: I think Mr. Assange is actually waging political warfare too. He's not using
weapons, but he's not using purely soft things either like words. He's using information,
wielding information against us if you will. That to me is what political warfare is.
>>Iain Overton: By and large WikiLeaks is a force for good. Um, I think that you can't just
be absolute on this. WikiLeaks is very, very powerful. And I think one has to be cautious
of anything that is very, very powerful in life.
>>Narrator: WikiLeaks' website may disappear again tomorrow or it may suddenly reappear
in a thousand other locations. History is still in the process of being written. And
the rape allegations are a long way from being settled. One thing is clear: whatever happens,
WikiLeaks has sown a seed. A thought that is impossible to erase. It's about news ways
and new channels of disseminating classified information that'll have a profound effect
on transparency. Not only on the net, but in a broader global dimension.
>>Daniel Bormscheit-Berg: What I really learned in the last three years is that a difference
can be made bottom up and not only top-down.
>>Smari McCarthy: Information does not respect borders. States are going to have to rethink
how they approach information. Any state which fails to do this will cease to exist.
>>Whiton: Well you know if we're going to have a military and a defense policy
it's predicated on having information that is controlled. Of course we're a democracy.
We're one of the most open countries I believe in the history of the world. But information
has to be protected in certain circumstances and denied to the public.
>>Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks Spokesperson: Democracy without transparency is not democracy,
it's just an empty word.