Abrupt and unexpected publication of the “Gitmo Files” by WikiLeaks on Easter holidays in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Spanish newspaper El Pais, German magazine Der Spiegel and elsewhere was most probably due to ongoing power struggles among the whistleblower organization and former WikiLeaks associate Daniel Domscheit-Berg. As Carol Rosenberg and Tom Lasseter of McClatchy Newspapers report, McClatchy had received the files from WikiLeaks a month ago on an embargoed basis to give reporters from McClatchy itself and major newspapers the opportunity and due time to evaluate and report on them. Wikileaks lifted the embargo on Sunday when becoming aware that The New York Times and The Guardian were about to publish the files, which they had received from “another source”, most probably and suggested by Wikileaks itself (thanks to Glenn Greenwald for the link), Domscheit-Berg, who had taken files without authorization when leaving the whistleblower organization last year.
Regardless the immense value of the revealing files, which paint an even grimmer picture of the disgraceful detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, the current charade about who was legitimate of publishing the material is becoming ridiculous. WikiLeaks’ recently employed practice of providing several newspapers huge amounts of leaked files in order to catalogue, analyze and report simultaneously has proved very reasonable. As Greenwald exemplifies once again, the differing viewpoints are revealing as well. Domscheit-Berg, who has apparently left WikiLeaks in conflict with Julian Assange, is not very well-advised when now weakening this procedure. Altogether, WikiLeaks is much greater than the current number one and former presumed number two of the organization. And, the leaks are too precious to be spoiled by personal conflicts among two egomaniacs.
Last modified April 26, 2011.