One of the -false- accusations against wikileaks was their undiscriminate leaking of classified documents.
Interviewer: "So come on, redactions are going on at the same time, now there is
or isn't a row going on about redaction, I haven't the faintest clue
whether there is or isn't...?
Mr Assange: No, there's no row going on about redactions at all....There was a
group of reports where although they were not really intelligence
informants there were sort of hotline tips...something called threat
reports comprised one in five of the Afghan War Logs and so we held
them back for a line by line redaction...But what we didn't do was
redact one in five lines, putting black marker through it, we just
removed them, and so it looked like we hadn't redacted everything but
in fact we had redacted a fifth of all material, and this permitted an
attack, a political attack, to come from The Times of London.... So The
Times did a proxy war on The Guardian through us by attacking us....
So most of those names were meant to be there, it is right for
them to be published, it is right to publish the names of
politicians, generals bureaucrats, etc, who are involved in this
sort of activity, it is right even to publish the names of corrupt radio
stations in Kabul that were taking SYOPS programme content. It is
also right to publish the names of those people who have been
killed and murdered and who need to be investigated and it is
right to publish the names of all incidental characters who
themselves are not at serious and probable risk of physical harm.
Those incidental characters are someone who owns a company for
example is just involved in shipping operations.... So then there is the
question were there any sort of villagers or so on who gave
information that might lead to reprisals, were there some of those?
Um there were some villagers who - who had given information,
um so that is a regrettable oversight, but it is not our, not merely
our oversight it was the oversight of the United States military
who should've never included that material and who falsely
classified it, and who then made it available to everyone and it
then got out."
Assange never wanted to redact but was forced his media partners. Then he published the full unredacted cables on wikileaks' website. Which they denounced
In a joint statement, the Guardian, El Pais, New York Times and Der Spiegel said they "deplore the decision of WikiLeaks to publish the unredacted state department cables, which may put sources at risk".
And before you mention the password that appeared in David Leigh's book that was supposed to be for a temporary copy of the archive
WikiLeaks claimed its disclosure was prompted after conflicts between Assange and former WikiLeaks associates led to one highlighting an error made months before. When passing the documents to the Guardian, Assange created a temporary web server and placed an encrypted file containing the documents on it. The Guardian was led to believe this was a temporary file and the server would be taken offline after a period of hours.
However, former WikiLeaks staff member Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who parted acrimoniously with WikiLeaks, said instead of following standard security precautions and creating a temporary folder, Assange instead re-used WikiLeaks's "master password". This password was then unwittingly placed in the Guardian's book on the embassy cables, which was published in February 2011.
Separately, a WikiLeaks activist had placed the encrypted files on BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network, in the hours before Julian Assange was imprisoned pending extradition proceedings in December 2010, as a form of insurance for the site. Fewer than five people knew of the existence of the site.
As former activists' disillusionment with WikiLeaks grew, one told German magazine Freitag about the link between the publicly available password and files in an attempt to highlight sloppy security at WikiLeaks. The magazine published the story with no information to identify the password or files.
WikiLeaks then published a series of increasingly detailed tweets giving clues about where the password might be found as part of its attempts to deny security failings on its own part. These are believed to have led a small group of internet users to find the files, which were published in a difficult-to-access format requiring significant technical skill, on rival leak site Cryptome.
Domscheit-Berg, often referred to as Assange's former deputy at WikiLeaks, condemned the password reuse. "The file was never supposed to be shared with anyone at all," he said. "To get a copy you would usually make a new copy with a new password. He [Assange] was too lazy to create something new."
Assange always wanted to released the unredacted cables because in his mind anyone who cooperated with the US deserves to die.
As soon as WikiLeaks received the State Department cables, Assange announced that the opponents of dictatorial regimes and movements were fair game. That the targets of the Taliban, for instance, were fighting a clerical-fascist force, which threatened every good liberal value, did not concern him. They had spoken to US diplomats. They had collaborated with the great Satan. Their safety was not his concern.
David Leigh and Luke Harding's history of WikiLeaks describes how journalists took Assange to Moro's, a classy Spanish restaurant in central London. A reporter worried that Assange would risk killing Afghans who had co-operated with American forces if he put US secrets online without taking the basic precaution of removing their names. "Well, they're informants," Assange replied. "So, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it." A silence fell on the table as the reporters realised that the man the gullible hailed as the pioneer of a new age of transparency was willing to hand death lists to psychopaths. They persuaded Assange to remove names before publishing the State Department Afghanistan cables. But Assange's disillusioned associates suggest that the failure to expose "informants" niggled in his mind.
Of course there's a certain irony about this position. After all aren't Manning and Asssange "informants" from the perspective of the US? Doesn't that mean according to Assange's principles they've "got it coming to them" too?