We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks - A Movie Review
What can we expect from a mainstream media treatment of Wikileaks, where support for freedom of the press collides with worship of the State? This is my brief take on the 2013 film We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.
There is quite a bit of background information on Julian Assange, some coverage of the background of hacking, and an overview of how Assange developed and operated Wikileaks. There is a definite slant to portray him as a somewhat callous eccentric who values total information freedom over any risk to human life, but I am not sure how accurate it is, and there are other interviewees who dispute the claim of his disregard for endangering others. Wikileaks has a transcript of the film with point-by-point corrections.
The core of the video relates to Bradley Manning's leaks, including the Collateral Murder video. There is considerable discussion of Manning's background and military career along with interviews with people who knew him. There is also what seems to me excessive focus on his sexuality. However, the information he released was covered. A large aspect of the film included an extended interview with Adrian Lamo, the man who eventually turned Manning in to the authorities.
My takeaway: Adrian Lamo is a self-righteous weaselly snitch who deserves total ostracism for his betrayal of Manning. Manning and Assange are flawed heroes whose actions for transparency and truth deserve to be lauded. Apologists for government corruption and destruction are supporting a far greater enemy than any foreign organization or terrorist group. I find it darkly humorous that there is much hand-wringing over potential harm done as a result of the leak, and complete denial of the real blood on the hands of government agents that was revealed through the leaks.
If you're in a position to leak state secrets, do it, but keep yourself safe. Protect yourself from snitches, informants, and agents provocateur.