As I just finished a translation of a Julian Assange interview by TED.com Chris Anderson, the information website is attracting more critics and attacks than ever.
WikiLeaks defines itself as “a multi-jurisdictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public.” (Definition given in the introduction of the main website : clic here to access to this page).
The website gained an enormous popularity since it published secret documents related to the war in Afghanistan. Since then it has been relentlessy attacked and criticized by American officials and the Pentagon – the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense – in particular.
Today, other voices joined to denounce the Website lack of “consideration about civilian lives“. According to weekly magazine Time, Human Right groups sent letters to WikiLeaks to asked for the name of civilian people to be redacted to avoid further reprisals from the Talibans. These groups comprise The Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, the Open Society Institute (the foundation of George Soros, the American billionaire of Hungarian origin) and the International Crisis Group.
Amnesty International, which in 2009 attributed a rewards for defence of the human rights toWikiLeaks, contacted the responsible of the website to discuss about the issue of civilian protection. But Suzanna Flood, the spokeperson of the organization, still didn’t say if Amnesty would endeavour some work of censorship with WikiLeaks.
Other attacks come from some blooger who accuse Julian Assange to blackmail “Amnesty International and other human rights groups for $700,000 to remove names of Afghan civilians who might get killed by the Taliban if their names get released on Wikileaks“. But these “revelations” don’t seem to me to correspond to WikiLeaks philosophy and I would discard them until further verification, which I doubt…
Last minute info
Julian Assange, now in Stockholm ( Sweden) for a seminar, announces that WikiLeaks will release the new 15.000 documents on Afghanistan war as planned, despite warnings from the U.S. government.
Assange said “innocent parties who are under reasonable threat” would be redacted from the material.