WikiLeaks leaks the transcript of $2 million documentary "We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks" by Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney, ahead of its world-wide release tomorrow night (May 24 2013). The annotated transcript reveals errors and sleight of hand by the director Alex Gibney. The premiere of "We Steal Secrets" is opportunistically timed. Bradley Manning's 12-week trial commences on Monday 3rd of June. Manning may face life in prison and could potentially face the death penalty. Charges include espionage and aiding the enemy.
The film portrays Manning's alleged acts as failure of character rather than a triumph of conscience. The portrayal of Manning's alleged relationship to WikiLeaks and to Assange is grossly irresponsible and suggests – erroneously and when evidence is to the contrary – that Assange may be guilty of conspiring with Bradley Manning to commit espionage or similar offences. The film buys into the current US government position that journalists and publishers can be prosecuted as co-conspirators alongside their alleged sources. This is a dangerous proposition for all journalists and media organizations — not just WikiLeaks. In the context of the US government's attempts to prosecute journalists who communicate with confidential sources, Gibney's film could have been an important and timely project. The film barely touches on the US investigation against WikiLeaks, never mentions the words "grand jury", and trivialises the larger issues, perhaps because the film-maker could not secure an interview with Julian Assange.
Neither Julian Assange nor anyone associated with WikiLeaks over the past two-and-a-half years agreed to participate in the film. Stock footage of Assange has been used instead and has been heavily edited, in places seriously distorting what was said. WikiLeaks has however co-operated with other feature documentaries, including a film by respected Academy Award-nominated, US film-maker Laura Poitras, which will be out later this year and another film, co-produced with Ken Loach's 16 Films, which will be released shortly.
"We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks" - The annotated transcript