Joshua Keating an otherwise excellent blogger of international affairs for Foreign Policy‘s blog Passport (i am a subscriber), wrote a blog piece that oddly seems like a slanderous hit job on Wikileaks. Probably socialized by his pals at the State Department into hating Wikileaks, i dont know.
The post is titled “Collaborate with WikiLeaks at your own risk”. It accuse Wikileaks of “no longer seems very good at protecting its sources.” Then imply that Wikileaks has something to do with the arrest of PFC Bradley Manning and soon-to-be-arrest of Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer; and generally abandon its original mission.
[Wikileaks] now relies more on cooperation with major news outlets like the Guardian and the New York Times rather than its own website, which can no longer really be described as a Wiki. WikiLeaks’ primary adeversaries these days are global superpowers and the world’s most powerful corporations, rather than the “oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East” who were its original stated targets.
But perhaps most important for the WikiLeaks project, the site no longer seems very good at protecting its sources. Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier thought to be the source of the Afghan and Iraq war logs as well as the WikiLeaks cables, has been held a detention center in Quantico, Va. for the last five months without even a pre-trial hearing, kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and prevented from excercising or sleeping during the day. WikiLeaks dragged its feet for months on a pledge to donate money to his defense fund.
Yesterday, Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer was arrested by Swiss authorities after handing over two CDs of client data to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Elmer had just avoided jail time related to a previous release of data to WikiLeaks in 2007.
Granted, Elmer’s motives seem more than a little suspect and he had no interest in anonymity — he handed over the data to Assange at a news conference. But the fact that the sources behind WikiLeaks’ biggest revelations are winding up in jail — contradicting the site’s original stated purpose — doesn’t bode very well for its ability to continue attracting whistleblowers.
This post have no obviously journalistic value, other than demonstrating the negative bias Joshua Keating have toward Wikileaks.
I was going to write a retort of this sleazy hit job on Wikileaks but instead of i am just going to quote a commentator signed “J-BENTHAM”. Links in the quotation are obviously mine.
This piece contains elements that are misleading and untrue.
Wikileaks does rely on cooperation with the Times and the Guardian, but it alone hosts the entire document database, surely an arduous task.
Given the recent Tunisian revolt brought about by Wikileaks revelations, I think that it’s difficult to say that Wikileaks has not done enough in the Middle Eastern realm.
Bradley Manning was responsible for his own arrest, revealing himself as the one responsible for the release of thousands of documents and the collateral murder video. To imply that the intolerable way in which he is being treated is the fault of Wikileaks as opposed to the U.S government is wrong.
Neither is Wikileaks responsible for the release of Elmer’s name, as the author mentions. In fact, Wikileaks couldn’t have been responsible due to the way its publishing system is set up. It does not know the identity of its sources. The author of this piece seems to know this at the beginning, and then apparently not.
The reason Wikileaks has not contributed to Manning’s defence fund is because the organization itself is struggling to stay afloat. It is by no means “dragging its feat.”
Knock it off! Joshy