WikiRebels - The Documentary (2/4)

Uploaded by zerwas2ky on 09.12.2010

>>Narrator: After just two years the site’s made public over a million secret documents.
But WikiLeaks as an organization continues to be largely shrouded in secrecy. Only Julian
Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg appear in public, the latter under the pseudonym Schmitt.
>>Daniel Domscheit-Berg: Okay, Hello everybody my name is Daniel Schmitt, this is Julian
Assange, we're here to make a short presentation about the WikiLeaks project. According to
The National, which is something that we are kind of proud of... this is one of our last
quotes we had. The National has said that we have produced more scoops in our short existence
than the Washington Post in the last 30 years. [Applause]
>>Narrator: Their publication activities soon lead to counter-attacks. When WikiLeaks released
lists of censored websites, internet service providers in a number of countries including
Thailand, China, and Iran shut them down. The more sensitive the material they publish,
the more often WikiLeaks becomes the object of lawsuits and threats. WikiLeaks now attracts
the attention of the US Intelligence, who in a classified report, claim that the site is
a threat to national security, and suggest ways of shutting it down.
Priority is put on finding the individuals leaking the information. The U.S. Intelligence
however only managed to keep the report secret a short while before it’s leaked to WikiLeaks.
It now becomes obvious that WikiLeaks need to find more and safer havens from which they
can publish their information. A sequence of events now starts on an island in the middle
of the North Atlantic, which, while it leads to more censorship efforts, will also create
new opportunities for WikiLeaks.
[Silence, Heartbeat]
>>Smari McCarthy: October came, October 2008, and the Icelandic banking system imploded.
It lost 17/18ths of its mass over the course of about a week or two, it was essentially
one bank per week went bankrupt.
>>Narrator: WikiLeaks obtained material that show how Icelandic’s catastrophic bank system
collapses were partly due to cronyism, or favoritism, carelessness, and secretiveness. When this highly
detailed document is put out on the net, the bank launches a counter-attack.
>>Kristinn Hrafnsson: Well, the first time I ever heard of WikiLeaks was in the beginning of August
2009. I was working as a reporter for the State television when I got a tip that this website had an
important document, just posted online. The document was the high exposure loan book for
the failed Kaupthing bank.
>>Smari McCarthy: It was essentially all of the regulators had been derelict in their
duties. All of the bankers had been lying about the actual state of affairs.
>>Narrator: The bank's management react in panic to the revelations, and in a desperate
move, force the Icelandic judiciary to resort to extreme measures.
>>Kristinn Hrafnsson: I was the first one actually to break that story, but the bank
reacted in a manner that was quite interesting.
>>Kristinn Hrafnsson: They got a gag order on the state television, actually the first
and only one in the history of the Icelandic state television news department.
>>Narrator: The leak lays bare the disastrous effects of the cronyism inherent in Iceland.
>>Smari McCarthy: We had failed as a country because we had not been sharing the information
that we needed. We were in the middle of an information famine.
>>Herbert Snorrason: That sort of.... eventually led to this”... ‘let's get the WikiLeaks
people here’, and then when they were here, we just went 'hmm, ok, is there anything you want
us to do?', and obviously there was.
>>Host: Welcome to this program.
>>Assange: Thank you. >>Host: You mentioned to me, the dream, that
we in Iceland should become a vanguard of publishing freedom.
>>Assange: Absolutely, absolutely...
>>Birgitta Jonsdottir: And they were presenting this idea which they call Switzerland of Bytes,
which was basically to take the tax haven model and transform it into the transparency haven
>>Assange, TV SHOW: Why doesn't Iceland become the center for publishing in the world? Because
it's going to be...
>>Daniel Domscheit-Berg: Julian and I, we were just throwing that idea out, just declaring
on national television that we thought this was the next business model for Iceland, so
that felt pretty weird. Then realizing the next day that everyone wanted to talk
about it.
>>Assange: Iceland has seen some of the problems that happen when society becomes too secret.
>>Smari McCarthy: WikiLeaks gave us the nudge that we needed. We had… had this idea but we
didn't know what to do with it, and they came and told us. And that is an incredibly valuable
>>Narrator: WikiLeaks now team up with Icelandic activists and parliamentarians and together
draw up a proposal that would transform Iceland into a haven for journalism.
>>Smari McCarthy: Herbert and I, and [Inaudible] and Rob, [inaudible] and Julian Assange, the five of us sat in
this hotel room for about four or five hours and wrote the entire proposal from scratch.
>>Narrator: The proposal is adopted unanimously by Iceland's parliament.
>>Birgitta Jonsdottir: Just getting a bill accepted in the parliament is nearly impossible.
And this is a huge victory for the parliament, to have a proposal of this nature to pass
through the parliament with everybody saying yes.
>>Narrator: It's also a victory for WikiLeaks, who are now not only using disclosures as
a weapon, but also directly influencing freedom of expression laws. The entire hacker world
behind WikiLeaks is growing increasingly confident that their visions will lead to an improved
>>Daniel Domscheit-Berg: I think people that are dealing with systems, and technologically
oriented people are dealing with systems, they understand systems pretty well. If you
look at society, that's just yet another system.
>>Smari: The people involved with WikiLeaks are exactly
the same as me and the other people who are fighting this fight, in that they are information
activists first and foremost. They believe in the power of information, and power of
knowledge, and the importance of allowing everybody to have both of those.
>>Narrator: Perhaps it's similar convictions that prompt a young former American hacker
to make one of the most crucial decisions of his life. Bradley Manning, serving as an
intelligence analyst for the US army in Iraq in early 2010 has, just like millions of other
Americans in the military or civil service, access to a massive database of classified
information. He discovers indications of crime and corruption and tells another hacker, Adrian
Lamo about it.
[Cell Phone Beeping]
>>Narrator: Manning writes that he sent hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic reports
to WikiLeaks, the biggest leak ever.
[Cell Phone Beeping]
>>Narrator: Manning puts his faith in WikiLeaks. However, Lamo reports their chat to the military.
Manning now risks a fifty-two year jail sentence. Many of the facts are still unclear.
One thing is certain: at this point in time, WikiLeaks received documents with the same
material that Manning is charged with having leaked.
>>Assange: We make a commitment to our sources that we will represent their material to the
public to the best of our ability. And achieve maximum political impact for the risks that
they take.
>>Narrator: WikiLeaks are in possession of explosive material. Too big, in fact for them
to handle alone. Assange decides to stake all of his resources in one move.
[Radio Static]
>>Kristinn Hrafnsson: We were sitting in a café in Reykjavik cafe and he basically just flipped open his laptop and told
me "Well, you're going to see something very interesting". I was quite shocked. This was something that
I recognized instantly as extremely important and strong material.
>>Narrator: This is what the crew of an American attack helicopter see while out on patrol
in Baghdad.
>>Soldiers on Helicopter Radio: See all those people standing down there?
>>Narrator: There's a group of men on the street below. Two of them work for the international
news agency Reuters. The driver, Saeed Chmagh
and the Cameraman, Namir Noor-Eldeen.
>>Assange: What annoys me the most is when people abuse their power and harm innocents,
and they didn't actually need to do it.
>>Helicopter Transmissions: - Hotel 26, this is Crazy Horse 18, have individuals
with weapons. Request permission to engage. - Roger that, we have no personnel east of
our position.
>>Birgitta Jonsdottir: For me, personally somebody that had spent so much effort into trying
to stop this war that at least, if this would be shown to people, that it might give people
enough motivation to try to stop the next one.
>>HELICOPTER TRANSMISSIONS: - Alright, clear to engage.
- Roger, go ahead. - I can't get them now because they are behind
that building.
>>Kristinn Hrafnsson: - What shocked me with the video was the high
resolution, the quality of it, the excessive use of force to shoot people
with hollow thirty millimeter bullets that are designed to penetrate armored vehicles and tanks, basically
shot to pieces.
>>HELICOPTER TRANSMISSIONS: -Let me know when you get them.
-Will do. -Light em' all up.
-Cmon, fire! -Roger.
[Machine Gun] -Keep shooting.
[Machine Gun] -Keep shooting.
[Machine Gun] -Keep shooting!
[Sad Music]
>>Assange: Different people argue that it was right for the United States to be in Iraq,
or wrong to be in Iraq, but nonetheless in this incident, even if you argue that it was
right for the United States to be in Iraq, even if it was right for them to be in that
suburb, at that time, with a helicopter, overlooking this wounded man crawling in the street. It
was not helpful for the United State for that wounded crawling man to be shot.
>>HELICOPTER TRANSMISSIONS: -We got one guy crawling around down there
We're shooting some more.
[Censored cuss words]
>>Narrator: The Reuters employee, Saeed Chmagh has been seriously wounded.
- Does he have a weapon on his hands? - No I haven’t seen one yet.
>>Birgitta Jonsdottir: It's very important to offer a voice to the voiceless. Nobody
really believes the people on the ground when they're trying to tell what war crimes are
occurring. And that happened to the people there. So I offered to help with this in any way
>>HELICOPTER TRANSMISSIONS: - Dispatch to Crazy Horse, we have individuals
going to the scene, looks like possibly picking up bodies and weapons.
- We need to stop that [inaudible] - Can we shoot? - Picking up the wounded.
- Yeah I’m trying to get permission to engage. - C'mon, let us shoot!
>>Narrator: A father driving his children to school catches sight of the injured man
and stops to help him.