Do I like Wikileaks? Not really. Do I respect them? Yes. Am I happy they exist? Mixed. I think they've done a service by exposing some bad things in the western countries (especially focused on the USA). They've also gotten good people killed, and harmed western (freedom's) interests. So they're a cost and consequence of being an open, diverse and free society. China/Russia/Saudi Arabia/and so on, are more closed, have more tolerance towards oppression of speech, a more cliquish culture, and people know that leaking there means their death (or ruination). Whereas the west it's a gamble towards attention, book deals and possible fortune or at least being provided for (Chelsea Manning, Eric Snowden). This means that Wikileaks and institutions like them will always do more harm to open countries (and their interests) than more closed ones, that behave worse and need this kind of thing the most. So they can be a force for evil and good at the same time.
How does that balance out? I don't know -- which is why I don't really like them. I definitely think some of what they did was good, and some was very bad (and misleading and will be used by our enemies). So that's a price I'm willing to pay, begrudgingly. They're like a NYT, WaPo or other institution, if those others had more credibility and objectivity, and were more honest. We KNOW Wikileaks will publish anything that hurts either side: Democrats and Republicans. (We also know that the American leftist media has gotten caught suppressing stories that didn't fit their leftist agenda). Wikileaks would also publish stuff that makes the U.S. or any other country look bad. Their agenda is open and honest. They are what they are, and don't pretend to be something they're not: like CNN, NYT, WaPo or even FoxNews on the other side. So I respect that.
|Russian Hackers: The Evidence - |
Counter to that was Security experts (including self) laughed off the evidence as weak sauce:
So far, no one has come up with evidence of a hack.
|Obama: HiroshimaGate - |
|Hillary Clinton: Emailgate/Servergate (2009-) - |
|Hillary Clinton: 2nd Amendment - |
|Assange Irony - Chelsea Manning steals government secrets and is the pardoned (commuted) hero of the left. But Assange must be ruined for publishing it. Why? Manning is a transexual that undermined national security and cost lives, while Assange published truths (leaks) that made the Democrats/Hillary look bad. (Actually, their actions and own words made them look bad, but close enough). NPR uses the opportunity to attack Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept) as an ally of Assange.
|2017.12.08 Trump Jr. (Wikileaks) - CNN (Manu Raju) had a "bombshell" report that Donald Trump Jr. had early, secret early access to hacked DNC emails from WikiLeaks, 9 days before they were public. It turned out wrong: he only had access to the info the day after Wikileaks went public and no special access had been given. CNN eventually quietly revised their story, but never apologized or admitted how they got the dates wrong.
|2017.05.17 Seth Rich - There was a lot of news around Seth Rich (murdered) of being the source of the WikiLeaks emails, including inferences from Julian Assange himself. Because it didn't fit WaPo's narrative, they were mum on the whole topic. The reports at the time are likely bullshit (and have since been altered or purged), but there was more evidence for it at the time than there was for most stories WaPo was running that was blaming it on "the Russians". Even if you only report something to refute it, suppressing things you don't like is called FakeNews.
|2017.05.10 anti-Wikileaks - |
|2016.12.09 Sophisticated Russians Hack - WaPo claims that a sophisticated attack by Russians to hack the election happened: security experts laugh it off as both amateur hour of an attack (off-the-shelf and out-of-date root-kit with a spear-phishing campaign), fuzzy ties to Russians, no hacking of the actual election (only leaking the truth via DNC emails: aka investigative journalism), and no evidence that they were the source for Wikileaks.
|2016.10.17 Illegal to read Wikileaks - CNN's Chris Cuomo moronically says it's illegal for the public to look at Wikileaks, but it's different for the media (so trust them to filter for you). Both are wrong. Even left of center WaPo had to admit that was FakeNews. In the name of journalistic standards, he was never fired, nor issued a retraction or apology.
|2013.05.16 Open Border Hillary - Wikileaks leaked the text of private, paid speech to a Brazilian bank where Clinton said: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders..." 3 years later, Politifact, FactCheck and CNN were claiming that Hillary never said or meant it, and spent their energies defending her reputation instead of communicating what was said and leaving it up to their readers.