by Sunny Hundal
WikiLeaks have just sent out an extended tweet to respond to the story we published earlier, from Private Eye magazine.
Because WikiLeaks has some Jewish staff and enjoys wide spread Jewish support, its staff have frequently been smeared by its opponents, political or competitive, as being agents of the Mossad or of George Soros. These smears are completely false. A good overview of some of the allegations can be here: http://humanityinchaos.com/MediaSpam.html
A Washington intelligence firm was recently exposed as being behind a $2M plan to destroy WikiLeaks reputation and target supportive journalists:
The intelligence firm was referred by the US Department of Justice.
But smears against WikiLeaks cross the geopolitical spectrum. Ian Hislop, editor of the weekly satirical current affairs magazine Private Eye, recently wrote an article “as much as he could remember”, about an off the record conversation with Julian Assange who complained that a previous article, appearing in Private Eye, was based on falsehoods spread by opponents and calculated to undermine WikiLeaks strong Jewish support.
The problems stem from a November the 1st, 2010 legal dispute with the Guardian, which were trigged by the actions of one particular journalist, David Leigh. Leigh deliberately, and secretly, broke an agreement signed by the Guardian’s editor-in-chief stating that 1. the Guardian was not to publish WikiLeaks cables 2. the Guardian was to keep them confidential. 3. the Guardian was to not store them on an internet connected computer system. Leigh had previously shown himself to be a competent journalist, but secretly broke all elements of the contract.
On being notified that the German news weekly Der Spiegel was writing a book (in German) that would expose this breach, Leigh attempted to cover his actions, first by laundering an distorted version of the events through a friend at Vanity Fair then by writing his own book, which he had published through the Guardian. WikiLeaks has not previously covered this or many other process and reputational issues, due to the opportunity cost of removing writers from our core mission which has never been more important.
Mr. Leigh has since continued to shore up his own power position by spreading malicious libels, targeted at WikiLeaks principle support bases. A brief look through the focus of David Leigh’s Twitter account http://twitter.com/davidleigh3 shows the sort of game in play. Although the damage done to the Guardian’s reputation by these actions is an ongoing concern to many Guardian staff, Mr. Leigh is perceived, by them, wrongly or rightly, to be protected through his marriage to the sister of the editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger.
Assange said “Hislop has distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase. In particular, ‘Jewish conspiracy’ is false, in spirit and in word. It is serious and upsetting. Rather than correct a smear, Mr. Hislop has tried to justify one smear with another. That he has a reputation for this, and is famed to have received more libel suits in the UK than any other journalist as a result, does not mean that it is right. WikiLeaks promotes the ideal of “scientific journalism” – where the underlaying evidence of all articles is available to the reader precisely inorder to avoid these type of distortions. We treasure our strong Jewish support and staff, just as we treasure the support from pan-Arab democracy activists and others who share our hope for a just world.”
I don’t think Julian Assange can get away that easily. Raising people’s ethnicity or religion in such stories is always viewed with suspicion.
Assange should step away from WikiLeaks and stop doing the much-needed project any more damage.
Update: Wikileaks has sent out another Tweet clarifying their relationship with Israel Shamir