(on 2011-11-30)

Guardian’s "WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies" Documentary:

Guardian hacks continue PR war against WikiLeaks

30 November 2011, 19:20 GMT

The Guardian has continued its war on WikiLeaks with three new attacks over 48 hours—five days before Julian Assange’s final extradition appeal judgement in the High Court and a UK Parliamentary debate and vote on extradition abuses (both Monday, December 5).

While it is often counter-productive to divert resources to dealing with PR attacks head-on, we provide here a revealing window into the behind-the-scenes realities that WikiLeaks has to deal with every day as a result of its high profile. While many attacks come from "traditional" enemies — the organizations WikiLeaks has exposed — others come from opportunists trying to work an easy socio-political sector — apparently saying what they believe these powerful enemies would like to be said, in the hope of preferment or relief in other areas. Others still, in fear of their reputations or the legal process, seek to whitewash past opportunism before natural moral or legal redress.

It should be noted that while WikiLeaks has many supporters among Guardian journalists, the editor (Alan Rusbridger)’s brother in law, David Leigh, cannot in practice be prevented from abusing the Guardian’s resources and reputation.

  1. On November 29 2011: ’The Guardian Documentary’ WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies’ which aired yesterday at 10pm GMT
  2. On November 29 2011: The Guardian´s Nick Davies makes libelous statements to the official inquiry investigating the Phone Hacking scandal-about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
  3. On November 30 2011: junior Guardian employee and David Leigh assistant (James Ball) releases a hostile book about WikiLeaks

1. On November 29 2011: ’The Guardian Documentary’ - ’WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies’ More4

The documentary aired yesterday is known to film makers in the industry as "The Guardian Documentary":

Content:

The documentary was presented to WikiLeaks as focusing on the WikiLeaks material, its impact, and Bradley Manning. WikiLeaks’ participation was premised on this being the case. The promo by contrast did not name Bradley Manning, and claimed to be ’The definitive account of the ’wiki-saga’, featuring the first major television interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The film unites all the major protagonists for the first time’. Julian Assange made a five-hour long interview. We were not given viewing privileges, despite requesting it. But the Guardian was. Luke Harding from the Guardian previewed it on 27 November 2011 and said on Twitter "Just watched new Channel 4 documentary on #Wikileaks. It’s lucid, engrossing and balanced. Recommend. via @C4Press", and James Ball from the Guardian tweeted that he had seen it on the 27th of November 2011.

WikiLeaks was misled as to the true purpose of the Guardian documentary. Contrary to its stated purpose, the documentary:

Ten days before the documentary aired, and as a result of WikiLeaks receiving information from various friends in the industry that a ’Guardian documentary was being made’, Julian Assange phoned Patrick Forbes, the director of the documentary, to seek reassurances that this was not the case. The promo text falsely stated that Sweden was Julian Assange’s home country. Julian Assange was told that the promo text was a Channel 4 PR product, and that it was misleading. During the course of the conversation with Patrick Forbes and the correspondence that followed, it became clear that the documentary did not comply with the conditions that were set out by Patrick Forbes when WikiLeaks was approached. David Leigh promoted the documentary on Twitter on 18 November 2010 "Lies exposed? First major #Assange documentary to air on C4 this month is called "#Wikileaks: secrets and lies".

In a letter to Patrick Forbes written the day after the telephone conversation, Julian Assange writes:

"The collaboration offered to you, and the footage that arises from it, which we provided to you, and the interview between myself and you, was granted only under the terms you proffered, chiefly:

’We are setting out to make a definitive factual account of the WikiLeaks affair. It will focus on the core of the story, the substance, contact and impact of the Iraq, Afghan and diplomatic [c]ables, rather than the way in which the media and others have handled them, or any unrelated legal proceedings.... We are also closely following Manning’s treatment, his case and how it is being handled, assessing whether he is or will be able to have a fair trial or is being treated in a humane way during his confinement.’

It was on this basis that I agreed to entertain collaboration with your film project for free. This collaboration, taken at market rates, is worth between fifty [and] three hundred thousand pounds. However your promises as to what the documentary was to be about are at odds with the Channel 4 promotional description of the film. The natural reading of this, given the only partial correction of the statement, is that the Channel 4 summary is an accurate description of the film, and that you have deceptively described it to me and Sunshine Press Productions to gain our involvement and and access to me and to footage at below market rates.

In the pre-interview meeting with you and Tilly, for which we have second by second contemporaneous notes, you reconfirmed this statement, saying you were looking at the US assassination squad I discovered, Task Force 373, and were trying to locate its members, that the film would not cover Sweden, that the film was "more on the effect of publishing than on the production", and so on.

These promises are also at odds with the promo text issued by Channel 4."

Julian Assange suspended his collaboration and expressed his wish to not feature in the documentary given what he had learned from the phone conversation. The letter and the response are attached. Julian Assange writes: "during our telephone call yesterday, you made the following admissions:


a. That David Leigh, a reporter from the Guardian, was an made an adviser to the film, by you and that this fact was not disclosed to me. As you are aware this organisation, and myself personally, are locked into various disputes with Leigh, who, as you are aware, deliberately and secretly broke our Cablegate contract, and who, as you are aware, has engaged in a great many tawdry plots and libels in an attempt to destroy WikiLeaks.


b. That David Leigh and other hostile Guardian personalities, such as Nick Davies and Alan Rusbridger were paid monies, directly, or indirectly, by you, for their "involvement".

c. That these facts would not be revealed to the audience.

In making these statements, it is clear you are caught on the horns of a dilemma. Namely, that either Leigh et al. were paid members of the production, in which case the the film has no credibility, or that you paid for their interviews through slight of hand, in which case you have engaged in chequebook journalism. A third possibility is that you funnelled production money to senior people in the Guardian hierarchy to maintain patronage. Regardless, to intentionally conceal these payments and associations from the audience is a disgrace. Additionally, David Leigh, James Ball, Alan Rusbridger, and other Guardian personalities are either selling or have sold libellous books, life rights or film options about me and/or WikiLeaks. Have these and other pecuniary interests and legal conflicts been detailed to the audience?

I note that despite the film revolving around my work, which now suffers an unlawful banking blockade by US financial companies, no payments were made to me, by you. This asymmetry, where the worst type of opportunists are paid, by you, and where the people who have actually taken most of the risks and done most of the work, are not, is striking.

As a result, until I can be assured that the film, and the Channel 4 promo, is accurate and meets terms under which my agreement and the agreement of Sunshine Press Productions was given, namely that, ""We are setting out to make a definitive factual account of the wikileaks affair. It will focus on the core of the story, the substance, contact and impact of the Iraq, Afghan and diplomatic [c]ables, rather than the way in which the media and others have handled them, or any unrelated legal proceedings.... We are also closely following Manning’s treatment, his case and how it is being handled, assessing whether he is or will be able to have a fair trial or is being treated in a humane way during his confinement." I must suspend all agreements."

2. On November 29 2011: At the Leveson inquiry which is investigating the phone hacking scandal, Nick Davies from The Guardian spoke to The Leveson inquiry about ethics and the media. He opportunistically used this platform to attack WikiLeaks with false, second-hand information about a conversation in which he was not present. He says Julian Assange said that Afghan informers deserved to die. Two other journalists who were present, John Goertz and Holger Stark from Der Spiegel, can attest that this is not what was said.

For reportage on what Nick Davies told the Leveson inquiry, see the transcript (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp...)).

3. On November 30 2011: New Guardian book. David Leigh’s student and close friend (James Ball), was seconded to WikiLeaks from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism for two months (Dec 2010, Jan 2011). He did not return to the Bureau, but rather, accepted a job assisting Leigh at the Guardian (offer made during Dec 2010). Leigh’s assistant will publish yet another book about our organization on Nov 30. After starting work for Leigh, the assistant has written numerous hostile, false, articles which often seem to directed at saving Leigh’s reputation.

Below:

WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies

The definitive account of the ’wiki-saga’, featuring the first major television interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The film unites all the major protagonists for the first time, including Assange’s erstwhile partner Daniel Domscheit Berg, and the editorial teams at the Guardian, Der Spiegel and New York Times newspapers, as well as the US state department spokesperson who had to deal with the leaks. When Assange launched his whistle-blower website he was heralded as a hero, bravely publishing classified material to highlight government wrongdoings to its peoples.

He won awards around the world and was credited with creating a historic moment for journalism. But the story took a dark twist when Assange was accused of rape and sexual assault in his home country of Sweden. Award-winning film-maker Patrick Forbes presents the story of Wikileaks, using the words of people at the heart of the story, and on both sides of the fence.

This is the story of Wikieaks told by the people involved: sulphurous, personal and moving, it documents history in the making and the frontier of new technology and journalism. It’s also a story of human emotions clashing with the advent of new technologies, summed up in the words of Guardian journalist Nick Davies as ’a Greek tragedy... as triumph was turned into disaster through the actions of one man.’ True Stories commissions and showcases the best international feature documentaries.

-* Contemporaneous notes from phone conversation between Julian Assange and Patrick Forbes, director of Channel 4’s documentary "WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies" (16 November 2011):

J: I see Channel 4 now has a promo up for your documentary, "Secrets and Lies".

P: Yep.

J: Yes, I think you have some explaining to do.

P: Umm… No. I don’t think so. I haven’t actually seen what they have said.

J: They say ’This is the definitive account of the Wiki saga", etcetera. They say " It is the story of human emotions clashing with the event of new technology, summed up..."

P: (Laughs) sounds like PR speak to me.

J: … summed up in the words of Guardian journalist Nick Davies as " A Greek tragedy, a triumph was turned into a disaster through the actions of one man.

P: … Oh well, it sounds like PR speak to me.

P: Sounds like PR speak to me.

J: And it says that the story took a dark twist when Assange was accused of rape and sexual assault in his home country of Sweden.

P: Home country! Is that what it says? Fucking Brilliant! That’s good! Oh wow… I think we need to change that ! (Laughs)

J: And I see that David Leigh…

P: How do you feel as an honorary Swede?

J: Pissed off.

P: Well you shouldn’t. That’s a mistake.

J: This comes out on November 29 and my final hearing is on December 5.

P: December 5, yes.

J: I note from the meeting that we’d had between you and Tilly there is a list of things that were going to be done and not done in the documentary for example no narrator…

P: Well we don’t do… absolutely do not do narrate things for you...

J: … and one of those is no Sweden.

P: Well I don’t think you can remove Sweden from it. We don’t do the substance of Sweden at all.

J: I’m not saying what I would do or not do I’m saying what you stated in our meeting.

P: Yeah well we don’t do - I don’t do a sort of what happened thing there. So still - it’s within the boundaries of that.

J: So this description by Channel 4 is completely erroneous - I also don’t see any mention of Manning in there.

P: Yeah well that’s in the documentary …

J: Your writing says we tell the story of the leaks...

P: It sounds like PR

J: Your letter to me says to me says it will retell the story of the leaks, their handling and their impact, as the first narrative, the second narrative will be assessing the treatment and trial of Bradley Manning in the lead up to the case

P: That’s exactly what it does. Exactly.

J: Well that is exactly what this promo does not do. And many more people, once it is turned into a visual promo, many more people will see the promo than will see the documentary, including the judges who will decide on my case on December 5, just 6 days after this airs, together with all the media publicity in that leading up week…

P: Well… I will talk to them about it. You know… The program is exactly as I described to you and it stays as such… You know...There are two strains: one Wiki, two Manning. And that’s exactly what it is.

J: So Nick Davies didn’t say "A Greek tragedy…"

P: Yeah yeah he does say that, that’s a completely accurate quote.

J: So why haven’t I had an opportunity to respond?

P: You do. In the program you respond to that. You absolutely respond to it. You get the last word in the programme, you always… absolutely every time, the sequence cuts to you in the end, pretty much without fail, so you do - every time. I mean you do you know… there is no point not giving you the last word...

J: And why is David Leigh promoting it on his twitter?

P: Umm… because he is in it and that’s how it goes.

J: So he’s not a consultant on the film?

P: No, I don’t think he is but anyway...

J: You don’t think he was? Surely you would know, if he was a consultant or not. Was David Leigh a consultant on the film or not?

P: Yeah… If he wants to call himself a consultant then that’s up to him.

J: Was he a… has he seen the film?

P: No.

J: So was he paid any money to consult on the film?

P: The Guardian was paid some money.

J: The Guardian was paid money…

P: Yep!

J: I see—and I was not paid any money, correct?

P: No, you were not.

J: And you will be stating the Guardian was paid money in the film?

P: No, I don’t think we do.

J: And who else had a job on the film from the Guardian?

P: Nobody had a job, nobody had a job - the team was Tilly and I

J: Then why were they paid money?

P Because they’ve got rights in the situation with DreamWorks anyway…the curse of the modern world.

J And was James Ball involved?

P No. What? Given a job? Certainly not.

J But was he interviewed?

P: Yeah, he has one 2 second… one 20 second bit where he describes Iraq and the content of the Iraqi cables and that’s it and it’s just as you know, play and push.

J: And so the, so David Leigh didn’t have a formal title.

P: No he doesn’t have a formal… no the credits don’t say "Consultant: David Leigh" or anything like that.

J: OK, but does he, the agreement with him was simply that he would give an interview?

P: No it’s all about their documentary. It’s all about their rights.

J: He would give advice... or he would do what exactly?

P: You know he would…everybody involved is exactly the same. There is no preferential treatment or anything like that

J: Except that they were paid money?

P: Yeah, that’s right which is part of the curse of the the modern world for someone making documentaries.

J: How much money were they paid?

P: Not a huge amount. He is not going to be building a wing on… Let’s put it like this because I can’t fucking tell you, but it’s not, you know, we are talking a small amount of money, a really small amount of money.

J: Why can’t you say how much money they were paid?

P: Because that is the terms of the bloody deal and I don’t reveal, you know I don’t tell anyone’s pay packet. So umm, you know, you’re not going to be seeing about him buying another home on the back of it. I don’t think he could buy another kitchen implements on the back of it.

J: Do you know how much money they are being paid by DreamWorks and that they’ve earned from the book.

P: I don’t know. Have you heard? I mean I think it’s fucking…it’s huge sums of money I think. It’s just absurd… anyway. My understanding is you know, certainly in the 6 figure region if not more. Extraordinarily for Hollywood it is money paid upfront rather than, I understand, nobody has confirmed this to me, but my understanding is that unlike most motion picture deals, they have paid it up front rather than at the…. but anyway, you are going to know this better than I, but in essence…

J: Usually both is done… you get paid...

P: Yeah well you do… you pay a tiny amount upfront and then you pay a substantial amount when it goes into production but my understanding is… well as you know as I’ve said I have not managed to have a direct conversation with anyone on this particular subject but they have paid huge sums upfront…

J: Does the film reveal that Leigh revealed the password in his book?

P: Does what?

J: Does the film reveal...

P: Does the DreamWorks film?

J: No does your film reveal that David Leigh reveals the password in his book.

P: Yeah yeah, no it has him talking about it, it does. Yes, it is in the thing, because it was prior to, the interview was prior to any fuss over the password but the password is in it.

J: OK, Right so can you please go to Channel 4 and get that corrected and also they will be making a promo out of this. I know you have the ability to control the promo that ___

P: Yeah of course I can. Normally I don’t get to see it but of course I will call the Promos and say, but of course, don’t worry, I will give them a call

J: Because we had a similar situation in Australia with Fowler who produced a...

P: Who is that?

J: Fowler who has written a book and works for Foreign Correspondent and works for the ABC [in Australia]. And he did a programme about a year ago and another one one year later

P: And what’s it like?

J: One year later, catching up with everyone interviewing Domscheit who he told me personally he had found had lied in all sorts of ways. But it’s...

P: What? Programme and promo are rather two different pieces is what you’re saying.

J: There are all bad things in the programme that shouldn’t have been there that were not fact checked and were very very unhelpful but the promo then took for example Jonsdottir and the questions being put to her, "how did he abuse you and her saying ’Oh, I can’t go into that’"

P: Bloody hell!

J: … in relation to me...

P.: And no one know what that question is

J: Completely ungrounded and without any facts behind it at all… but Kristinn and I know what is being got at which is that she was told should apologize at what she had done and there was a heated argument online…. but in relation to me being extradited for allegations about abusing women….

P: That’s extraordinarily disgusting…

J: That was the leading thing in the promo… it then aired again and again and again on Australian TV because it was part of the promo, and then Swedish state TV picked it up - and Swedish TV just took those sections to the state broadcaster and aired it. So it’s/..

P: The abusive thing?

J: Yes. And I imagine that… given the salacious way that this description by the Channel 4 website ’WIkilLeaks: Secrets and Lies’ has been done… I mean the "major protagonists Domscheit Berg" this wasn’t a major figure… he wasn’t even involved in the cables at all!

P: Yeah I know exactly, he’s out….

-* Letter from Julian Assange to Patrick Forbes detailing complaints (17 November 2011)

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Sent: 17 November 2011 14:29 To: Patrick Forbes Cc: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Subject: Channel 4

Dear Patrick

I follow up our conversation from yesterday where I spoke about the differences between your promises to me and Sunshine Press Productions on the nature of the documentary "WikiLeaks: Secrets and lies" compared to the promo statement released by Channel 4.

As a result, until I can be assured that the film, and the Channel 4 promo, is accurate and meets terms under which my agreement and the agreement of Sunshine Press Productions was given, namely that, "We are setting out to make a definitive factual account of the WikiLeaks affair. It will focus on the core of the story, the substance, contact and impact of the Iraq, Afghan and diplomatic ables, rather than the way in which the media and others have handled them, or any unrelated legal proceedings.... We are also closely following Manning’s treatment, his case and how it is being handled, assessing whether he is or will be able to have a fair trial or is being treated in a humane way during his confinement.", I and Sunshine Press Productions demand that, until further notice:

  1. No material acquired as a result of our collaboration is to be used by you or any other party. This includes all interview footage of me and footage of the grounds of Ellingham Hall.
  2. No footage provided by Sunshine Press Productions to you, is to be used by any party. This includes all the footage we generously quoted at AP rates.
  3. That you not use, or permit to be used, the WikiLeaks or Julian Assange trademarks, which are registered EU-wide, both in word and in form, in the title or the promotion or in any other way which might suggest that your film is a result of WikiLeaks, endorsed by WikiLeaks or otherwise associated with WikiLeaks.

Unless we can be quickly assured of the accuracy and faithfulness of the Channel 4 promo and film to that description promised by you to me and Sunshine Press, we shall be forced to explain these and other matters to Channel 4, the films distributors and the UK public in order to mitigate against the damage inaccuracies or biases in the film and the promo may do to myself and my cause.

You may reassure us that the film is and promo are faithful to the collaboration promises you made by providing a copy of the promo and the film before it is broadcast.

Please arrange to do so by 5pm GMT Friday November 18, 2011.

For reference I include the statement by Channel 4 here followed by my rationale.

Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies: Julian Assange

The definitive account of the ’wiki-saga’, featuring the first major television interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

The film unites all the major protagonists for the first time, including Assange’s erstwhile partner Daniel Domscheit Berg, and the editorial teams at the Guardian, Der Spiegel and New York Times newspapers, as well as the US state department spokesperson who had to deal with the leaks.

When Assange launched his whistle-blower website he was heralded as a hero, bravely publishing classified material to highlight government wrongdoings to its peoples.

He won awards around the world and was credited with creating a historic moment for journalism. But the story took a dark twist when Assange was accused of rape and sexual assault in his home country of Sweden.

Award-winning film-maker Patrick Forbes presents the story of Wikileaks, using the words of people at the heart of the story, and on both sides of the fence.

This is the story of Wikieaks told by the people involved: sulphurous, personal and moving, it documents history in the making and the frontier of new technology and journalism.

It’s also a story of human emotions clashing with the advent of new technologies, summed up in the words of Guardian journalist Nick Davies as ’a Greek tragedy... as triumph was turned into disaster through the actions of one man.’

You will note the Channel 4 statement depicts your documentary as:

1) being about the personalities and not the work 2) containing "dark" references to the Swedish "rape" case 3) "summed up in the words of Guardian journalist Nick Davies as ’a Greek tragedy... as triumph was turned into disaster through the actions of one man.". Knowing Nick Davies’ previous media statements, this clearly and damagingly refers to me. This narrative formulation, "summed up", shows no distance from Nick Davies’ transparent attempt to shift criticism away from his own actions and that of his employer, but rather, adopts this blame-shifting as the narrative stance of the documentary and of Channel 4. As you know the Guardian and WikiLeaks, including the journalist Nick Davies, have long been locked into an adversarial relationship over the Guardian’s deliberate breach of the Cablegate contract. Hence, this summation of the entire documentary is odd, unprofessional and, as a mater of fact, untrue. 4) includes the statements "home country of Sweden" which, as you are aware, is false. I have never lived in Sweden. I am born and raised an Australian citizen and live, as a result of legal force, in England. 5) states that a former German volunteer/employee for the organisation, Domscheit Berg, who we suspended last August, is a "major protagonist...[and] erstwhile partner". As you must be aware he is not a "major protagonist", except, perhaps as a gifted post-facto opportunist, and was never a "partner". He is, as you are aware, a peripheral player. He was, as you know, absent from most of the organization’s work, including its founding, all the major publishing events of 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2006, the Guantanamo Files, Cablegate, the Iraq War Diaries, Collateral Murder, and most of the Afghan War Logs. That he has had ghost written a tawdry book of self-aggrandizing libels which he has sold to Hollywood does not give Channel 4 license to skip basic fact checking. His book contains many proven malicious untruths, for example, that the organisation sold information to Aftenposten or al-Jazeera to a claim that I torture cats. I include a previous statement on the status of Domschiet-Berg, which you have had ample opportunity to read, at the end of this document marked by the letters "AA".

While you and Channel 4 have both OFCOM and legal obligations to present accurately and impartially, I note here that you have extra moral and legal obligations in relation to the courts and to myself.

Your broadcast issues on November 29. On December 5, two high court judges at the Royal Courts of Justice will decide whether I am to be extradited or whether I may appeal to the Supreme Court. Your promo, broadcast and resulting publicity will occur during the time when the judges have retired to consider the matter. Given that the legal basis of the appeal is entirely whether the requested appeal point is of general "public interest", the judgement is political and will be influenced by your broadcast. If the broadcast is adverse, it may lead to a chain of events which would see my incarceration or killing in the United States. Similarly, other courts, including the Grand Jury currently sitting in Washington, a future and highly politicised Swedish criminal trial, Manning’s military trial, a future criminal trial against myself in the United States, and/or the administrative hearings currently being conducted by the European Commission into the banking blockade against WikiLeaks may be affected. Likewise, the political will of the Australian and British governments to intervene on my or Mr. Manning’s behalf may be adversely affected by untruths or partial reportage broadcast by the film or its promo.

In my phone conversation with you, I drew your attention to these points. I note that the statement about my "home country of Sweden" has been corrected but that none of my other concerns have been addressed. This appears to demonstrate an ability to make corrections but a willful disregard to actually do so in relation to all but one of the points raised.

The collaboration offered to you, and the footage that arises from it, which we provided to you, and the interview between myself and you, was granted only under the terms you proffered, chiefly:

"We are setting out to make a definitive factual account of the WikiLeaks affair. It will focus on the core of the story, the substance, contact and impact of the Iraq, Afghan and diplomatic ables, rather than the way in which the media and others have handled them, or any unrelated legal proceedings.... We are also closely following Manning’s treatment, his case and how it is being handled, assessing whether he is or will be able to have a fair trial or is being treated in a humane way during his confinement."

It was on this basis that I agreed to entertain collaboration with your film project for free. This collaboration, taken at market rates, is worth between fifty and three hundred thousand pounds. However your promises as to what the documentary was to be about are at odds with the Channel 4 promotional description of the film. The natural reading of this, given the only partial correction of the statement, is that the Channel 4 summary is an accurate description of the film, and that you have deceptively described it to me and Sunshine Press Productions to gain our involvement and and access to me and to footage at below market rates.

In the pre-interview meeting with you and Tilly, for which we have second by second contemporaneous notes, you reconfirmed this statement, saying you were looking at the US assassination squad I discovered, Task Force 373, and were trying to locate its members, that the film would not cover Sweden, that the film was "more on the effect of publishing than on the production", and so on.

These promises are also at odds with the promo text issued by Channel 4.

Additionally, during our telephone call yesterday, you made the following admissions:

1. That David Leigh, a reporter from the Guardian, was an made an adviser to the film, by you and that this fact was not disclosed to me. As you are aware this organisation, and myself personally, are locked into various disputes with Leigh, who, as you are aware, deliberately and secretly broke our Cablegate contract, and who, as you are aware, has engaged in a great many tawdry plots and libels in an attempt to destroy WikiLeaks. 2. That David Leigh and other hostile Guardian personalities, such as Nick Davies and Alan Rusbridger were paid monies, directly, or indirectly, by you, for their "involvement". 3. That these facts would not be revealed to the audience.

In making these statements, it is clear you are caught on the horns of a dilemma. Namely, that either Leigh et al were paid members of the production, in which case the the film has no credibility, or that you paid for their interviews through slight of hand, in which case you have engaged in chequebook journalism. A third possibility is that you funnelled production money to senior people in the Guardian hierarchy to maintain patronage. Regardless, to intentionally conceal these payments and associations from the audience is a disgrace. Additionally, David Leigh, James Ball, Alan Rusbridger, and other Guardian personalities are either selling or have sold libelous books, life rights or film options about me and/or WikiLeaks. Have these and other pecuniary interests and legal conflicts been detailed to the audience?

I note that despite the film revolving around my work, which now suffers an unlawful banking blockade by US financial companies, no payments were made to me, by you. This asymmetry, where the worst type of opportunists are paid, by you, and where the people who have actually taken most of the risks and done most of the work, are not, is striking.

As a result, until I can be assured that the film, and the Channel 4 promo, is accurate and meets terms under which my agreement and the agreement of Sunshine Press Productions was given, namely that, ""We are setting out to make a definitive factual account of the wikileaks affair. It will focus on the core of the story, the substance, contact and impact of the Iraq, Afghan and diplomatic ables, rather than the way in which the media and others have handled them, or any unrelated legal proceedings.... We are also closely following Manning’s treatment, his case and how it is being handled, assessing whether he is or will be able to have a fair trial or is being treated in a humane way during his confinement." I must suspend all agreements.

JULIAN ASSANGE

Document AA:

Sat Aug 20 23:41:31 2011 GMT

Five days short of a year ago, on 25 August 2010, WikiLeaks suspended former employee "Daniel Domscheit-Berg". Over the last 11 months, we have tried to negotiate the return of various materials taken by Mr. Domscheit-Berg, including internal communications and over 3000 unpublished, private whistleblower communications to WikiLeaks. Mr. Domscheit-Berg has repeatedly attempted to blackmail WikiLeaks by threatening to make available, to forces that oppose WikiLeaks, these private communications and to which Mr. Domscheit-Berg is not a party. He has stated he will commit this action, should WikiLeaks move to charge him with sabotage or theft. Mr. Domscheit-Berg has refused to return the various materials he has stolen, saying he needs them, solely, to carry out this threat. Mr. Domscheit-Berg has already, secretly, and with malicious intent, disclosed portions of the private communications content to other parties, to the harm of WikiLeaks.

The negotiations have now been terminated by the mediator, Andy Müller-Maguhn, who has stated that he doubts Mr. Domscheit-Berg’s integrity and claimed willingness to return the material and that under those circumstances Müller-Maguhn cannot meaningfully continue to mediate. In response, Mr. Domscheit-Berg has stated that he has, or is about to, destroy thousands of unpublished whistleblowers disclosures sent to WikiLeaks. The material is irreplaceable and includes substantial information on many issues of public importance, human rights abuses, mass telecommunications interception, banking and the planning of dozens of neo-nazi groups. Our sources have in some cases risked their lives or freedom attempting to convey these disclosures to WikiLeaks and to the public.

As a matter of policy and implementation WikiLeaks does not collect or retain source identifying information, so fortunately, source identities for this material are not significantly at risk.

WikiLeaks has only made one prior formal statement regarding Mr. Domscheit-Berg, which we issued in February and repeat here:

WikiLeaks has been taking legal action against former employee, Daniel Domscheit-Berg who was suspended from the organization in September. The reasons for these actions will gradually become clear, but some are hinted at by extracts from Domscheit-Berg’s book.

In the book Domscheit-Berg confesses to various acts of sabotage against the organization. The former WikiLeaks staffer admits to having damaged the sites primary submission system and stolen material.

The sabotage and concern over motives led to an overhaul of the entire submission system, an ongoing project that is not being expedited due to its complex nature and the organization´s need to focus its resources on publication and defense.

It should be noted that Domscheit-Berg´s roles within WikiLeaks were limited and started to diminish almost a year ago as his integrity and stability were questioned. He has falsely misrepresented himself in the press as a programmer, computer-scientist, security expert, architect, editor, founder, director and spokesman. He is not a founder or co-founder and nor was there any contact with him during the founding years. He did not even have an email address with the organization until 2008 (we launched in December 2006). He cannot program and wrote not a single program for the organization, at any time.

Domscheit-Berg was never an architect for the organization, technically, or in matters of policy. He was a spokesperson for WikiLeaks in Germany at various times, but he was never the spokesman for WikiLeaks, nor was he ever WikiLeaks editor, although he subedited some articles. He was also never a computer scientist, or computer security expert, although he was a computer science student many years ago. His accounts of the crucial times in WikiLeaks history since April last year are therefore based upon limited information or malicious falsifications.

In order to provide an environment which would encourage Mr. Domscheit-Berg to return what he has stolen and not to use it for malicious purposes, we have made no further statements until today.

This diplomatic silence has been difficult for us, and, is perhaps a warning lesson about secret diplomacy. While we have been silent in order to maximize the chances of regaining the material that was entrusted to us, Mr. Domscheit-Berg has issued dozens of legally harmful falsehoods including during our ongoing legal conflict with the Pentagon, during the imprisonment and investigation of two alleged sources, Bradley Manning and Rudolf Elmer and during the imprisonment and extradition hearings of our founder Julian Assange.

Mr. Manning is imprisoned pending trial, Mr. Assange is under house arrest pending extradition. Over 100 WikiLeaks supporters have been arrested or raided by the FBI, Scotland Yard and other police or intelligence services. Publicly declared task forces into WikiLeaks over the last year include the Pentagon (120 personnel), the State Department, the FBI, the US Department of Justice and the CIA. Concurrently, a "secret" Grand Jury in Washington (Alexandria) has been considering whether to indict Julian Assange with espionage as a result of Wikileaks’ publishing.

Mr. Domscheit-Berg has acted dishonestly, he has admitted to stealing WikiLeaks property, and has admitted to the deliberate sabotage of Wikileaks’ operations, impeding it from carrying out the will of its sources. He has lied, constantly, and flagrantly, to the public, to us, to our lawyers, and to the mediator, Andy Müller-Maguhn.

We are making this public statement in a final attempt to make Mr. Domscheit-Berg return the data he has stolen, before he destroys it. This material was entrusted to WikiLeaks specifically by our sources, who often go to significant risks to bring us materials under the basis that we will bring their revelations to the public and defend them from censorship. Every day that passes compromises the will of these sources and the efforts they have undertaken.

Mr. Domscheit-Berg has illegitimately taken this data along with Wikileaks’ secure online submissions system, funds and internal documentation. He has sabotaged years of work, none of which was his own. We have had to recreate this work under difficult circumstances. This rebuilding comes at a significant cost to Wikileaks, which is under an unlawful Washington instigated financial blockade enforced by the big US financial companies. This cost is ultimately borne by the public, who fight to keep our operations afloat with contributions of twenty dollars a month or less.

From: Patrick Forbes Date: 18 November 2011 16:26 Subject: RE: Channel 4 To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Cc: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Dear Julian,

Thank you for your detailed email. Your concerns appear to stem from the Channel 4 press release and what role the Guardian and its personnel may, or may not, have played in the making of the programme. I believe your fears on both counts are unfounded. Please can I reassure you that I am confident I have made a film, both for Channel 4 and for distribution, which is accurate, fair, duly impartial and consistent with the description we gave you at the outset.

Let me deal first with the Channel 4 press statement. As I explained to you, the mistake about your nationality was corrected promptly, once I had alerted the Channel to it, and a short paragraph referencing Bradley Manning was inserted. The revised press statement can be found here: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/...

Taking your points on the Channel 4 press statement in turn and using your numbering:

1. Inevitably, a press statement of a few paragraphs about a ninety minute film will include reference to the key protagonists involved in the story and whose interviews feature in the programme. It does not follow from this that the film does not do justice to “the core of the story, the substance, contact and impact of the Iraq, Afghan and diplomatic cables”.

2. The press statement does not say that the programme contains “dark” references to the Swedish case. It says “But the story took a dark twist when Assange was accused of rape and sexual assault in Sweden.” I cannot imagine that for you that this has been anything other than a “dark twist”, although this is not a phrase used in the film. Inevitably the case is referenced, it would be bizarre and misleading if it was not.

3. Nick Davies is referring to you in this comment. His key criticisms of you, with which you are familiar, are included in the programme, as are your rebuttals and your key criticisms of him. Nick Davies does not sum up the film in this sentence and nor does the press statement suggest he does.

4. The reference to Sweden as your “home country” was removed once the error was spotted, as I informed you at the time.

5. We are confident that Daniel Domscheit Berg is accurately described in the programme and the allegations you mention do not feature.

As to your application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, I’m afraid I don’t agree that the programme’s broadcast on 29th November can have any effect on the decision which the High Court will make on this issue or on the other matters that you mention.

Oxford Film and Television is not prepared to accede to any of your three demands. In our view we have full entitlement to use both your filmed contribution and the archive supplied under the terms of the release from and archive release which you signed on Friday 18th November. We expressly deny that you have been deceived or misled in any way, or that there is any question of a payment to you being appropriate in all the circumstances. Had the question of paying for your interview ever arisen, which it did not, I would have made it clear that this was not something to which we could agree.

I now turn to what you call my “admissions” and, again, use your numbering:

1. David Leigh acted as a consultant on some factual matters - chronology, fact checking – and helped us with contacts. He was not an “advisor” and will not be credited as such.

2. A small sum was paid to the Guardian in respect of the rights necessary to make the documentaries.

3. Commercial arrangements concerning rights are often made between media organisations and there is generally nothing improper about that and this is certainly the case here. These are matters that are simply not relevant for the audience to know.

Channel 4 does not generally permit previews of its programmes to participants except in specific circumstances which are agreed in advance and only then within very limited parameters. Had you requested a preview opportunity at any stage we would have considered it with Channel 4 but we can see no reason to provide one now. It is not appropriate for a contributor to a programme to see a promotional trail in advance of its broadcast. However, I have passed your email to Channel 4 so it can take account of your concerns when considering the content of the on air trail for the programme.

The film certainly contains opinions with which you won’t agree; but where they amount to a criticism of you then your position is reflected. We are satisfied that the Channel 4 programme, and indeed all versions of the programme, meets our obligations under the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, and is both accurate and fair.

We intend to rely on the agreements you have signed and believe we are fully entitled to do so. We would urge you not to write to Channel 4 and our distributors in the terms you suggest but I’m sure you’d check carefully with your lawyers before sending anything which might be libellous of, and thus damaging to, this company or me personally. Meanwhile I reserve all of Oxford Film and Television’s rights.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick

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