Many of you will have seen in the news: there is a bit of a ruckus surrounding Wikileaks. As readers of this blog know, late March and beginning of April of this year, I helped Wikileaks release the leaked video that showed a US helicopter crew in Baghdad (apparently mistakenly) firing on Reuters journalists and then (without provocation) on unarmed occupants of a van that is coming to take the wounded.
In more recent developments, Wired has written about the arrest of a soldier in Iraq called Bradley Manning, who is aledged to have told hacker and journalist Adrian Lamo about leaking this video to Wikileaks. According to Lamo, Manning also talked about about leaking a host of other secrets to Wikileaks. Lamo then went to the military, and Manning was arrested. Recent discoveries regarding the background and timeline of that story are an interesting read also.
Right now, there is apparently an international manhunt on for Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. The Pentagon is said to ‘want a word’ regarding publication of any further secret documents that Wikileaks is said to have.
This is a story worth following and there are many many more things to be said. And I would too, except all of it can be much more eloquently said by Glenn Greenwald, Birgitta Jónsdóttir and Daniel Ellsberg in this footage from Democracy Now.
Now because of my involvement in the release of the video, people have begun asking me about these events. Before everyone asks me the same questions, let me note that:
- I do not know where Julian is. Really. I hope he is safe, and I think the fact that there apparently needs to be worry over his well-being is a freaking outrage.
- I have helped out Wikileaks with the Iraq video, and I’ve helped Icelandic MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir on the partly Wikileaks-inspired IMMI proposal in Iceland. I consider these to have been worthwhile adventures. However I am not a Wikileaks spokesperson or staff member.
- Apart from the Iraq video I never had any documents or materials that weren’t public yet.
- I do not know what’s going to happen next and follow the news sites and tweets with as much anxiety as anyone else. Julian is scheduled to speak in Brussels tomorrow. It starts at 14:30 Brussels time and there will apparently be a live stream. Do note that Julian has skipped earlier appearances citing security concerns.
Update: It is now Monday June 21st, 16:42 and Julian is indeed on stage in Brussels in a discussion about Freedom of Speech. I watched his opening remarks (it’s a forum setting), but the stream keeps breaking up.