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WikiLeaks insider dishes dirt on Assange

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, February 10, 2011 8:15 EDT
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BERLIN – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was on the sharp end of some unwelcome exposures himself on Thursday as a former ally spilled the beans on the controversial Australian and his whistle-blowing organisation.

“Inside WikiLeaks” is billed as a warts-and-all account of Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s time as chief programmer and media spokesman for what his tell-all book calls “the world’s most dangerous website.”

Set for release in 16 countries from Friday, it says the “chaotic” WikiLeaks cannot protect its sources and accuses the “power-obsessed” Assange of being economical with the truth, according to leaked excerpts.

Domscheit-Berg, along with others, left WikiLeaks in September complaining that Assange was being autocratic and that the organisation, ironically for a group on a crusade for openness, was becoming excessively secretive.

“The book tells my time at WikiLeaks, including the ups and downs of its development while I was there. It tells a lot of positive stories, but also is very open with my criticism about what was going on,” the German told AFP.

“When Julian decided to misrepresent the situation around my departure publicly, and started to discredit me with half-truths and lies, I decided to get some of the facts straight.”

WikiLeaks is “far too easy to attack,” the 32-year-old told German magazine Stern this week, quoting him as calling Assange “brilliant” but “paranoid” and a “megalomaniac.”

Founded in 2006, WikiLeaks caused a storm last year with major document leaks on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as publishing US diplomatic cables that have caused Washington and others considerable embarrassment.

The leaks have earned Assange and WikiLeaks massive public attention and plenty of enemies.

He is currently in London fighting extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and molestation following his arrest by British police in December, a case he says is politically motivated.

Domscheit-Berg told British daily The Times that he had suggested Assange curtail his activities after Swedish authorities started investigating him.

“He saw this as an attack and suspended me,” said Domscheit-Berg, who at the time used the alias Daniel Schmitt.

According to leaked extracts from the book, Domscheit-Berg disputes Assange’s claim that work on a US military video released last year of a deadly helicopter strike in Baghdad cost him 50,000 dollars.

“He … asserted that a lot of the work had gone into decrypting the videos. I knew for a fact that this was not entirely true,” website Cryptome (http://cryptome.org/) cites the book as saying.

“In essence, Julian’s only costs would have been rent for the house in Iceland and the price of his plane ticket.”

Domscheit-Berg also said that when he left he took with him important software vital to security of the WikiLeaks site and material, although he says he will not publish it via his own upcoming rival site, OpenLeaks.

“Children shouldn’t play with guns,” he says in the book. “We will only return the material to Julian if and when he can prove that he can store the material securely and handle it carefully and responsibly.”

He also has a dig for Assange’s attitude to women in the book.

“Julian’s main criterion for a woman was simple. She had to be young. Preferably younger than 22. And it went without saying that she couldn’t question him. ‘She has to be aware of her role as a woman,’ he used to say.”

Assange also used to “boast about how many children he had fathered in various parts of the world … Whether he took care of any of these alleged children, or whether they existed at all, was another question.”

WikiLeaks could not be reached for comment.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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  • Taleisin

    Hard times reveals false friends and bad business partners.
    I am sure Daniel Domscheit-Berg will make a nice wad of cash with his book and
    the CIA will forgive him of any transgressions.

  • Anonymous

    In other news the planet is populated with real human beings, each with its own strange quirks.

    Who remembers that Isaac Newton was a religious crackpot? Do we consider today that many of our leaders are psychopaths? How much do these things mean in the end?

    I’m not condoning bad actions but rather wondering if the bad actions of people like Assange are vastly overshadowed by their positive effects on the world.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if this is connected and do not want to imply that it is, but….

    there is a concerted disinfo campaign being waged presently against Wikileaks:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/10/disgraced-security-f.html

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5OQFBZ26C3VQ5ONGZGDBDY4BUU Mark A

    We already knew Assange is a megalomaniac and a misogynist. Those things aren’t illegal.

    Nobody is defending his personality. We are defending his commitment to exposing the truth where government and big business are hiding.

    And the Swedish rape case is clearly about smearing Wikileaks, not about justice.

  • Anonymous

    Disgruntled ex employee, hmmm. U.S. is after him, would they use him to cover their butts?

  • antiM

    article: “He … asserted that a lot of the work had gone into decrypting the videos. I knew for a fact that this was not entirely true,”….”In essence, Julian’s only costs would have been rent for the house in Iceland and the price of his plane ticket.”

    i assume decrypting takes time, so other than rent if it took weeks that would also include food, electricity, a computer, possibly software and any other equipment necessary… i’m not saying it may cost $50,000 but to say all someone needs is a house and a plane ticket to fly in from another country and decrypt something over a long period of time is a bit ridiculous.

    of course, cryptome is happy to help out with “leaking” the negative parts too…

  • antiM

    very true. i also saw this yesterday and thought the same:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/09/us-wikileaks-bankofamerica-idUSTRE7185W620110209

    i like that it is only “unnamed sources” and an “exclusive” too.

  • Anonymous

    can it be just a one in a million coincidence that the woman accusung Assange of rape is implicated with Posada cariles. Believe that and I’ll sell you the winning ticket to the lottery. Both are CIA assets, scumbags. Assange is the best chance this country has ever had in learning the truth about Kennedy, 911, Israel’s nuclear program, political corruption, Iraq, Afghaniston, torture, and a host of other issues.

  • Anonymous

    Can it be a million to one coincidence that the woman who claims Assange raped her is rumored to be connected with Posada Cariles a CIA operative. Wikileaks is the best chance to eventually find the truth about Kennedy, 911, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israeli nuclear program, Political corruption, torture and a host of other issues. What happened to the promises of an open administration under Obama. The patriot act is just another way to dumb down the sheep.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E3JWQUVCXLK6DK5VHWRNZEBR2Q Magginkat

    “…says the “chaotic” WikiLeaks cannot protect its sources …” says the sore loser. I guess he has protected the sources well enough that the CIA’s best haven’t been able to find out who they are.

    Get lost Daniel Domscheit-Berg….. Your whining is despicable.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Sorry, but this has the rancid flavour of a spurned ex. I’ll wait for confirmation from a second, and possibly a third, objective source.

  • Anonymous

    When ever I read about an unhappy insider yelling out accusations of ‘wrongdoing’ just as they have been separated publicly from the group, I cry ‘sour grapes’.. I know I will not read anything that isn’t scandal and ‘petty’. Why even bother stating to all that ‘files’ have been taken given the legal campaign to discredit will surely follow.

  • Lincoln Paradox

    Julian Assange = Lex Luthor – Superman

  • ThatBostonMan

    A powerful video card, a computer, and 48 hours will decrypt most encryption schemes.
    It depends on the algorithm, and the size of the key. RSA can be decrypted given enough time, and I doubt Wikileaks would have had a problem accessing the processing power to do it.

    The article is correct. All someone needs is a computer with a fast video card,(or even a PS3) a plane ticket, and shelter. Learn a bit about encryption.

  • ThatBostonMan

    Why do people blindly defend Julian Assange and Wikileaks? Have you even looked at OpenLeaks to see that it’s better designed than Wikileaks and will do the same thing?

  • antiM

    i appreciate your knowledge on the subject. thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Openleaks has admitted to sabotaging Wikileaks and along with Crypt, have engaged in an overt smear campaign against Assange.

    Let me know when they act like whistleblowers instead of CIA/US media tools!

  • http://www.myspace.com/dermezel Megaprole

    An obvious set-up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-W-Roads/629696293 Chris W Roads

    Awwww an ex employee got his heart broke for being a pussy and leaving when the shit was getting hairy. Screw this guy.

    When the going got tough he folded and now that hes a nobody he has found a voice.

    GTFO !

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    Who funded ‘Inside WikiLeaks? I’d put money on the CIA. They have tried him in the press, with the help of the media launched a well engineered smear campaign, tried to frame him by torturing an informant, threatend him, interfered with the legal processes of other nations.
    What’s left? A book.

  • mick

    Just remember Assange was a “nobody” before this cult of personality started.
    We didn’t need to “know” Assange ,we just need the information he has been given !
    And given to be released ,not metered out at Assanges pleasure .

  • http://www.harryandhisstuff.com/ Harry

    This entire menagerie is not but a major psyop engineered by one or more intelligence agencies. If Assange was for real he would have been assassinated or kidnapped and taken to Gitmo long ago. He certainly would be too fearful to hold press conferences in public out of fear for his safety. One key is that if Assange was telling the truth the MSM would totally ignore him instead of plastering his story all over the world day after day. People who tell the truth are called “wackos” and “conspiracy theorist,” not given credibility like Assange. The whole thing is a fake.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely 100% in agreeance with you. And what the hell has he told us anyway?! A bit of crap on some diplomats? That Kevin Rudd is a jerk? Tell us something we dont know already.If the guy was for real he would have denounced 911 as an inside job…..yet not a word!!

  • nycplayboy78

    Hmmm I don’t believe this guy not one bit….SORRY!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Holabhanji Olabanji Onamuti

    This guy obviously has been bought by those who have skeletons in their cupboards against secret-revealer Assange and his WikiLeaks organisation.

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