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Assange & City
The WikiLeaks leader takes the opportunity to set the record straight.
LONDON (Rixstep) — Julian Assange made his first appearance in nearly two months last night. The occasion was a 'chitchat' with a Times journalist at a strange school of journalism but Assange came prepared, despite his debilitating ordeals in Scandinavia, and hit out at the 'journalist establishment', setting the record straight on several accounts and voicing little confidence in their accountability.
√ The Schmitt affair. Schmitt's been suspended but he hasn't resigned. Der Spiegel reported Schmitt was planning on resigning but has not yet done so.
√ Wired magazine's journalists going to the Dark Side. 'Particular people at Wired magazine are involved a long-standing fight with us, where they were involved with the FBI and US Army CID in bringing one of our alleged sources, Manning, who is now in prison in Quantico, into prison. It is not just the public's right to knowledge that is important - it is the public's right to understand what is false.'
√ The Times. The London paper published incorrect information on repercussions from the release of the Afghan War Diaries and never made much of an effort to inform the public of their error.
√ The Amnesty smear. The smear was orchestrated by Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, wasn't given much credence at the time either. Assange called it 'an absolute lie'.
√ The Huff-Po funding story. Ariana's rag claimed WikiLeaks received $20 million from the Chinese government.
√ Nick Davies. Davies is the one who convinced Assange to work with the establishment. But his description of the WikiLeaks 'harm minimisation' process left a lot to be desired. 'Nick Davies doesn't know. I'm not going to criticise Nick anymore, because we have an ongoing working relationship, but he should talk to me before making such comments.'
√ Aaronovitch. The Times journalist in the other corner. He admitted his organisation had been offered the MP accounting story but turned it down and he seemed to suggest WikiLeaks withhold documents as proper security precautions couldn't be taken.
'Of course we considered that. We put in a process of dealing with that. We took away one in five documents prior to the release. That doesn't mean the process is infallible. We are an organisation with limited resources and the Pentagon wasn't going to help us. The Guardian, Der Spiegel and the New York Times with vastly great resources made no assistance so we've taken a harm minimisation approach - that is to do the best effort we can.'
'We do not have a goal of having innocent people being harmed. We have exactly the opposite goal. Our goal is to have those people protected.'
'We maintain a philosophy of trying to achieve justice. And in trying to achieve justice, we are not scared to be criticised. We are not scared to make mistakes.'
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The Technological: City University London