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Leaks from Wikileaks

Wired’s Threat Level reports on what seems to be an employee revolt at whistleblower site Wikileaks. The conflict started after founder Julian Assange agreed to let media outlets embargoed access the group’s upcoming tranche of leaked Iraq war documents without consulting with his employees and, according to them, before Wikileaks will have time to fully ...

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Wired’s Threat Level reports on what seems to be an employee revolt at whistleblower site Wikileaks. The conflict started after founder Julian Assange agreed to let media outlets embargoed access the group’s upcoming tranche of leaked Iraq war documents without consulting with his employees and, according to them, before Wikileaks will have time to fully redact the names of U.S. collaborators and informants in Iraq.  

When the group’s German spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg questioned Assange on the decision, he was accused of leaking internal information to Newsweek. That resulted in this IM exchange: 

Assange: If you do not answer the question, you will be removed.

Domscheit-Berg: you are not anyones king or god

Domscheit-Berg: and you’re not even fulfilling your role as a leader right now

Domscheit-Berg: a leader communicates and cultivates trust in himself

Domscheit-Berg: you are doing the exact opposite

Domscheit-Berg: you behave like some kind of emporer or slave trader

Assange: You are suspended for one month, effective immediately.

When another employee questioned Assange about Domscheit-Berg’s firing, Assange reportedly told him, “I am the heart and soul of this organization, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organizer, financier and all the rest… If you have a problem with me, piss off.”

Given the fact that even those sympathetic to Wikileaks’ goals were attacking the group for failing to fully redact its Afghan war document dump, it makes sense that the employees would want to be more thorough this time. Expect plenty more controversy when the 392,000 Iraq documents are released on Oct. 18.

Wired’s Threat Level reports on what seems to be an employee revolt at whistleblower site Wikileaks. The conflict started after founder Julian Assange agreed to let media outlets embargoed access the group’s upcoming tranche of leaked Iraq war documents without consulting with his employees and, according to them, before Wikileaks will have time to fully redact the names of U.S. collaborators and informants in Iraq.  

When the group’s German spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg questioned Assange on the decision, he was accused of leaking internal information to Newsweek. That resulted in this IM exchange: 

Assange: If you do not answer the question, you will be removed.

Domscheit-Berg: you are not anyones king or god

Domscheit-Berg: and you’re not even fulfilling your role as a leader right now

Domscheit-Berg: a leader communicates and cultivates trust in himself

Domscheit-Berg: you are doing the exact opposite

Domscheit-Berg: you behave like some kind of emporer or slave trader

Assange: You are suspended for one month, effective immediately.

When another employee questioned Assange about Domscheit-Berg’s firing, Assange reportedly told him, “I am the heart and soul of this organization, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organizer, financier and all the rest… If you have a problem with me, piss off.”

Given the fact that even those sympathetic to Wikileaks’ goals were attacking the group for failing to fully redact its Afghan war document dump, it makes sense that the employees would want to be more thorough this time. Expect plenty more controversy when the 392,000 Iraq documents are released on Oct. 18.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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