Home Wikileaks Founder: Media Reports of Iraq Document Release Based on “Tabloid” Blog

Wikileaks Founder: Media Reports of Iraq Document Release Based on “Tabloid” Blog

Take a look this morning at Reuters, the BBC, CNN or any number of other media sources and you’ll read that WikiLeaks, the controversial wiki-based site for whistle-blowers, is about to release nearly half a million records pertaining to the Iraq War.

Wikileaks says that this news has been reported in more than 700 articles across the Web and that it’s all based on “a single tabloid blog at Wired Magazine“.

Julian Assange, Wikileaks’ founder and editor-in-chief, doesn’t mince words in a TwitLonger message on the topic, saying that the originating Wired blog is “not just any source that lacks credibility” but rather “a known opponent and spreader of all sorts of misinformation about WikiLeaks”.

A post today on the same Wired blog calls for “Wikileaks to make good on its pledge to reveal hundreds of thousands of U.S. military documents on the Iraq war,” but Assange calls it simply “another fabrication”. Assange says that revealing this sort of information is not how Wikileaks operates:

WikiLeaks does not speak about upcoming releases dates, indeed, with very rare exceptions we do not communicate any specific information about upcoming releases, since that simply provides fodder for abusive organizations to get their spin machines ready.

At the beginning of his excoriation of the Wired blog and media in general, Assange points out that “you won’t see this blog cited, generally, in the mainstream press articles” and indeed, if you take a look, there is no source cited for the claim. Only the Associated Press cites a source, saying that “the Pentagon says the group has as many as 400,000 documents from a military database on operations in Iraq.” The AP also offers Assange’s refutation, while other stories seem to simply tout the supposedly upcoming release.

Looking a bit closer, we have to doubt that this news has been written about more than 700 times, as claimed by Assange. His number comes from one blog that wrote on the topic today, saying that a search for “400,000” on Google News returns more than 700 results. Searching for “400,000” and “Wikileaks” on Google News, however, returns just under 200 results. Either way, the claim remains the same – the news, Assange says, is based on a “fabrication”.

The Wired blog is now updated to say that “the original version of this story incorrectly stated that WikiLeaks had announced a schedule for releasing the Iraq documents.” We requested comment by email from the article’s author, but have not received any response.

The full text of Assange’s denial can be found here.

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