“We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks”
The annotated transcript
19:00 GMT, May 23, 2013
This document is an annotated transcript of the anti-WikiLeaks documentary “We Steal Secrets: The story of WikiLeaks”. It opens on May 24, 2013 (tomorrow). The documentary was commissioned by Universal for $2 million. The commission went to US film maker Alex Gibney, who is listed as the film’s director and producer.
The film is filled with factual errors and speculation, the most serious of which are set out below. The stock footage used has also been heavily edited, in some places distorting what was said. This is unprofessional and irresponsible in light of ongoing legal proceedings. It trivialises serious issues.
The film implies – erroneously and when evidence is to the contrary – that Assange may be guilty of “conspiring” with Bradley Manning. This not only factually incorrect, but also buys into the current US government position that journalists and publishers can be prosecuted as co-conspirators with their alleged sources or with whistleblowers who communicate information to them. This is a dangerous proposition for all journalists and media organisations — not just WikiLeaks.
Bradley Manning is currently being court-martialed for committing “espionage” (by communicating with the press) and “aiding the enemy” (by communicating with the press). He is defending those charges in a 12-week trial commencing June 3, 2013.
Neither Julian Assange nor anyone associated with WikiLeaks agreed to participate in this film. Any footage of Assange or WikiLeaks’ staff was taken from stock footage. WikiLeaks has, however, co-operated with a film by respected Academy Award-nominated film- maker Laura Poitras, which will be out later this year. Another film, co-produced with Ken Loach’s 16 Films, will be released shortly.
The documentary’s transcript is in the right-hand column, the annotations and citations are on the left. Readers can link directly to each annotation individually by clicking on “Note:”.
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