January 27, 2011


If you read the latest article by Der Spiegel on WikiLeaks, excerpted from a book about the whole WikiLeaks process in 2010 during the run-up of of the Cablegate releases, then you get a very disturbing picture. A picture that the Spiegel report inadvertendly gives, for when they talk about Julian Assange's increasing paranaoi and thin ego, they expose a few things about how the big editors in the media have been treating the whole business.

Exactly like a business.

For all of the higher piety that they all, from Assange to the Guardian to the New York Times' Bill Keller to the editorial staff of the Spiegel, have shown to their audience, you know, we are exposing corruption, we are the fighters for informational freedom...

... the behind-the-scenes account (and it makes it doubly pathetic that these people don't even realise that they are all exposing themselves) could just very well be taking place in the corridors of power in Washington, DC or in Berlin or in London. Highly secretive, those meetings apparently were about one thing, and one thing alone.

Who controls the information?

And how much money can we all make from it?

And yes, this does apparently include Julian Assange, who seemingly is only interersted in the freedom of information, if he controls it. Accounts like this - and not the hit pieces by Bill Keller - show to me that these people involved are exactly like the ones they are condemning publicly. Only interested in their own financial benefits and reputation. Especially this here -

Ein isländischer Unterstützer von WikiLeaks, der das Material in eine Datenbank einspeisen sollte, hat sie der britischen Journalistin Heather Brooke überlassen, die daraufhin den "Guardian" kontaktierte.
Now, isn't that the same Heather Brooke, who then subsequently started to work for the Guardian and began covering Assange and WikiLeaks, especially with her breath-taking tweets on Assange's court date? Why, yes... yes it is!

Let me translate this passage from German.
An icelandic WikiLeaks supporter, who was supposed to enter the documents into a database, instead leaked the data to British journalist Heather Brooke, who then in turn contacted the Guardian.  
Because she didn't give a fuck about the information, no, she was looking for a gig!

Beginn der Publikation nicht vor Ende November, die Themen sollen anfangs nur aus ausgewählten Ländern stammen und globale Bedeutung haben, der SPIEGEL und der Guardian erhalten Zugang zu dem Material, der "Guardian" wird Heather Brooke unter Vertrag nehmen und damit sicherstellen, dass die zweite Kopie der Depeschen kein Problem darstellt.
The important bit of this passage?
Only the Guardian and Der Spiegel will be allowed access to the material, the Guardian will put Heather Brooke under contract and thus secure that the secondary copy of the cables will no longer be a problem.
Same as it ever was. Watch it for the Kabuki. Watch how they all pretend to give a damn about Bradley Manning, while they sell out the informational freedom.

But gosh, Heather. And all the rest of you. You are going to have your agents start looking for the inevitable HBO movie, right? And who knows, for Heather Brooke, it might be the same actress who played her in the BBC production On Expenses.

I have been writing a lot about journalism lately, and this is one of those moments again, when I want to throw up in my mouth.

While all of these people, and yes, I now include Julian Assange in it, I gave him a lot of credit, exactly until now, because I now want to know... what was in that contract you had with the Guardian? What payment was in there, if any? How the hell can you make the claim that all over sudden you had copyright and control claim over those documents? That nobody other than you had the right to give them to others? Excuse me? Are you now our new god? Are you the one who decides what is best for democracy, together in a room full of editors-in-chief and lawyers?

You know... behind closed doors?

Deciding which newspaper will get what? While the Spiegel and the Guardian make good copy sales off of it?

And furthermore, how can you be okay with buying off Heather Brooke, just so that she wouldn't give the other copy to some other news organisation?

Is that transparency, then?

No. No, it isn't.

Just business.

You and the people at the Spiegel and the Guardian and the New York Times, you are just the reflection of those who you pretend to expose. And in the meantime, the guy who actually was idealistic, the guy who allegedly is reponsible for that what you are trading amongst each other, just like any other ware, just like governments are bartering with other people's lives, that guy is in jail.

His name is Bradley Manning.

And don't you dare forget that name.