The social side of WikiLeaks, a public relations operation powered by Julian Assange himself, has been relentlessly targeting Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The notion of Domscheit-Berg formerly being his right-hand man has entirely left Assange’s consciousness. All that matters now is that DDB, an acronym used often by Assange which, incidentally, supports DDB’s claim that “WL loves acronyms,” is running his own whistle-blowing organization.
For the WL team of kiss-ass lapdogs and Assange, who DDB notoriously labeled “an autocratic dictator” in his memoir that I have previously reviewed, the destruction of thousands of documents by OpenLeaks is “book burning 2.0.” But is it?
DDB, who I personally find to be trustworthy and convincing in his message (namely that WL has turned into a narcissistic PR machine run by a loony kleptocrat), has no reason to destroy these documents. Sources leaked material to be “published for maximum impact”, as Assange likes to say. DDB has absolutely no right to destroy this material, which could push Bank of America and other institutions toward further public accountability.
However, DDB and “the technician”, the former brain behind WL’s entire infrastructure who was essentially spat on by Assange, have very good reasons for what Assange calls “stealing” information “entrusted to Assange.” Naturally, DDB isn’t making a strong case because he’s such a poor social guru, unlike Assange, but he has a case.
WL and Assange have become so concerned with popularity and getting celebrity-like ratification in the media and elsewhere, they may not have the capabilities to deliver “maximum impact” for source material. As shown by the “collateral murder” video that Assange himself titled, the name “collateral murder” may well have been a detriment to getting maximum impact. The fact that the video displayed collateral murder of civilians and journalists is utterly irrelevant. Maximum impact isn’t about ideology. It’s about following through on a promise to your sources.
Can OpenLeaks get more impact for source material than WikiLeaks? That remains to be seen. Assange has done quite a hit-job on OL, and he knows it. On WL Central, the citizen-journalism website that is actually a brilliant concept for delivering analysis of WL material, Assange released a statement briefly detailing the DDB affair from his perspective.
Curiously, Assange did a hit-job on transparency, transparency, as if to forget his supposed high regard for free information. “DDB secretly, and in clear violation of WikiLeaks internal security directives, recorded internal WikiLeaks encrypted “chat” conversations.” Would the release of private WL chats hurt or danger members or missions? The US Department of Defense was asking the same question less than two years ago, but WL vigorously defended its publishing by arguing that no material was released that supports this.
I would encourage you to read the chats for yourself to come to a conclusion on whether they have the potential to hurt or danger members or missions of WL. It’s absurd. OpenLeaks can find support if it starts making a public case for itself. DDB wrong to destroy documents that were submitted to be published. But he was right to take them out of the hands of Assange who, while a brilliant man, needs a humbling dose of criticism for ignoring the stated values of WikiLeaks.