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RSF Funded by US State Department, Attack WikiLeaks
'Open letter' published.
PARIS (Radsoft) — Reporters Sans Frontières have gone on the attack against WikiLeaks, accusing the acclaimed whistleblower site of 'irresponsibility' in disclosing the identities of Afghan collaborators.
RSF's secretary general Jean-François Julliard and Washington representative Clothilde Le Coz have published an 'open letter' to Julian Assange at the organisation's website.
Julliard and Le Coz accuse Assange of setting a 'bad precedent for the Internet's future'. A link to the complete article is provided below.
Hundreds of Identities
RSF accuse WikiLeaks of revealing the identities of hundreds of collaborators who can now be targeted by the Taliban.
'Revealing the identity of hundreds of people who collaborated with the coalition in Afghanistan is highly dangerous. It would not be hard for the Taliban and other armed groups to use these documents to draw up a list of people for targeting in deadly revenge attacks.'
The RSF representatives also accuse WikiLeaks of 'indiscriminately publishing 92,000 classified reports' even though it's well known only 77,000 have so far been released and even though WikiLeaks take pains to reduce the possibility of harm ('harm minimisation').
Taking the tack that they are true journalists and the people at WikiLeaks perhaps are not, Julliard and Le Coz assert that 'credible' 'journalistic work involves the selection of information' - as if WikiLeaks used no harm minimisation process at all.
Julliard/Le Coz go on to beat the same drum:
'The argument with which you defend yourself, namely that Wikileaks is not made up of journalists, is not convincing.'
The WikiLeaks process of 'harm minimisation' is well known, as is the fact that many journalists work with WikiLeaks to assemble and collate information, as is the fact they've deliberately withheld the remaining 15,000 documents in order to remove possibly compromising information about the identities of collaborators. And their recent tweets haven't been exactly praising the 'journalism' of RSF.
'Reporters Sans Fact-checking Washington has issued some idiot statement, based on a bunch of quotes we never made.'
'RSF is peeved over reactionary modifications to the proposed Federal source protection bill. We are too, but get your facts right.'
Reporters Sans Frontières Funded by US State Department
RSF have been under severe criticism in the past. 'When Robert Menard founded Reporters Without Borders twenty years ago, he gave his group a name which evokes another French organisation respected worldwide for its humanitarian work and which maintains a strict neutrality in political conflicts', wrote Diana Barahona in CounterPunch several years ago.
Barahona goes on to detail how RSF have actually been on the warpath against Cuba from the get-go, ranking Cuba lower than other countries where journalists are in much graver danger, and secretly collaborating with extreme fringe groups.
And - what do you know - it turns out there's a really good reason for this.
'The above is not a matter of chance because it turns out that RSF is on the payroll of the US State Department and has close ties to Helms-Burton-funded Cuban exile groups.'
Considering RSF's open letter was co-penned by a representative operating in Washington, it's perhaps not surprising it tooted RSF's own horn so much and implemented a rather liberal view of the 'truth'.
Assange and WikiLeaks - who are absolutely not funded by the US department of state, more like hunted by them - should nevertheless attempt to directly address the accusations of RSF.
CounterPunch/Diana Barahona: Reporters Sans Frontières Unmasked
Reporters Sans Frontières: Open letter to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange