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Julian Assange of Wikileaks: why he published the documents

Julian Paul Assange, founder of the Wikileaks site which on Sunday released nearly 92,000 documents relating to the conduct of the U.S. war in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2010, was profiled in the New Yorker in June. Above, he explains "why he decided to publish thousands of secret US military files on the war in Afghanistan," according to a video posted to YouTube by The Guardian.

Other videos above show him discussing other national security leaks the site has helped make public. Some background on Assange and his site, from the New Yorker story:

Assange is an international trafficker, of sorts. He and his colleagues collect documents and imagery that governments and other institutions regard as confidential and publish them on a Web site called Since it went online, three and a half years ago, the site has published an extensive catalogue of secret material, ranging from the Standard Operating Procedures at Camp Delta, in Guantánamo Bay, and the "Climategate" e-mails from the University of East Anglia, in England, to the contents of Sarah Palin's private Yahoo account. The catalogue is especially remarkable because WikiLeaks is not quite an organization; it is better described as a media insurgency. It has no paid staff, no copiers, no desks, no office. Assange does not even have a home. He travels from country to country, staying with supporters, or friends of friends--as he once put it to me, "I'm living in airports these days." He is the operation's prime mover, and it is fair to say that WikiLeaks exists wherever he does. At the same time, hundreds of volunteers from around the world help maintain the Web site's complicated infrastructure; many participate in small ways, and between three and five people dedicate themselves to it full time. Key members are known only by initials--M, for instance--even deep within WikiLeaks, where communications are conducted by encrypted online chat services. The secretiveness stems from the belief that a populist intelligence operation with virtually no resources, designed to publicize information that powerful institutions do not want public, will have serious adversaries....

WikiLeaks maintains its content on more than twenty servers around the world and on hundreds of domain names. (Expenses are paid by donations, and a few independent well-wishers also run "mirror sites" in support.) Assange calls the site "an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking and public analysis," and a government or company that wanted to remove content from WikiLeaks would have to practically dismantle the Internet itself.

Read the full story»

See also:

• The Washington Post's May report "WikiLeaks works to expose government secrets, but Web site's sources are a mystery."

• A mid-June Spy Talk report that Assange was "in hiding, fearful of arrest," following reports that an Army intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, had transferred a huge volume of classified files to Wikileaks and that Assange was being sought in connection with the leak.

• Assange's reemergence and surprise appearance at the TED conference in mid-July to "defend Wikileaks" (video).

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | July 26, 2010; 11:34 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Kerry statement on Wikileaks could raise alarm bells
Next: Wikileaks' Afghanistan War Log vs. the Pentagon Papers


He's the latest traitor and should be treated as such - of course - he has no country that will claim him. He should be arrested and everyone associated with his organization should be arrested as well. He's running now will eventually get his due, and that will be a good day for the rest of us.

Posted by: AsstGM | July 26, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The world needs more journalists like him and other insurgents who tell the truth about US terror and killing of civilians in AfPak. The outright lies about the drone strikes and bombings in Afghanistian and Pakistan- both in terms of number of casualties and how unsubstantiated the strikes on the victims are!

His points about not confusing statements made by US troops as fact are also very important.

Posted by: akhtarman | July 26, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Assange should try to get secret documents from terrorist groups. Or is that not on his agenda? I would not be surprised if he has alot of bodyguards.

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 26, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

What A Day... !... It seemed a-lot of people I talked with today here in the 50th state were speaking of this topic.
I for one am very pleased this was the case... Too many times, to many people only chat about worthless issues,such as, sport-scores, entertainers, and themselves...
I asked a few of those I speak of here, what Two-Words came to mind on why we're over there, or for that matter... any where else we have troops deployed ?
Some of the answers... " Kill Terrorist ", Oil and Heroin ? ", and my personal favorite... " Free~dumb ? " LOL !... that was from several military personal ( omiting which branch ) ... Go Figure ?
Please note that I pointed it out that was only one word, then informed them what they meant to say was, perhaps ... " Free Will "... All of this left me with a sense of bewilderment ? That due to how extreme these responses were. Indicating the dissent that was clearly there, regarding this issue.

As mentioned earlier... It did pleased me to know citizens of this nation were aware of it. More importantly, were openly talking about it !... Something that I feel is a good sign, being that we all need to pay-attention to what is going on around us !!!
It made me think of something I read recently by someone we should all get to know more about...
" Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...
They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of Our Liberty "... Thomas Jefferson

Please... Take the time to review these documents our founding fathers left for us.
DO NOT !... let those in power sell you on their intent to alter such on the bases it's in our nations security, or otherwise.
And... perhaps consider what that young mans intent was who leaked all this ?
That of the morality of it all...

Some may recall the " Pentagon Papers ? "
Let's not forget what that War was about, Eh ?!

Aloha !

Posted by: aloharickrogers | July 27, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully sharia law will come to Australia so Assange can reap the full reward of his labors.

Posted by: superman8472 | July 28, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

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