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GLOBAL-L  October 2010

GLOBAL-L October 2010

Subject:

Re: final statement draft

From:

Paul Lashmar <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 13:08:38 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (419 lines)

Please add my name to the list

Paul Lashmar, investigative journalist and lecturer, Brunel University,
London

-----Original Message-----
From: HUNTER Mark [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: 30 October 2010 07:06
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [GLOBAL-L] final statement draft

Folks, Nicky Hager has put together a final draft from all these comments,
and I think we all owe him large thanks.

Gavin McFadyen, who I see is back on this list, is going to take charge of
publicising in US and UK.  I will send a draft to AFP in France.  

I will sign as Mark Lee Hunter, author, "Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for
Investigative Reporters" (UNESCO 2009).  If anyone has ideas about how to
simplify signing, please advise!  

Draft is as follows:

Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing organisation Wikileaks, is
being angrily criticised and threatened for his part in huge leaks of
military documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (the 'War Diaries').
He is being accused of irresponsibly releasing confidential military
information, of endangering lives of people named in the leaked military
reports and even of espionage. Some media organisations have joined in this
criticism.

We, journalists and journalist organisations from many countries, express
our support for Mr Assange and Wikileaks. We believe that Mr Assange has
made an outstanding contribution to transparency and accountability on the
Afghanistan and Iraq wars, subjects where transparency and accountability
has been severely restricted by government secrecy and media control. He is
being attacked for releasing information that should never have been
withheld from the public.

We believe Wikileaks had the right to post confidential military documents
because it was in the interest of the public to know what was happening. The
documents show evidence that the US Government has misled the public about
activities in Iraq and Afghanistan and that war crimes may have been
committed.

Has Wikileaks endangered lives? There was legitimate criticism of Wikileaks
for not vetting the Afghanistan documents fully enough, with some names such
as informers being released. Fortunately there is no evidence that anyone
has been injured or killed as a result. We note that Wikileaks learned from
that mistake and has been much more careful with the Iraq documents.
Overall, Wikileaks' factual reporting of numerous undisputed abuses and
crimes is of far greater significance than the widely criticised mistakes
over inadequate redacting.

Mr Assange is being personally pressured because of his involvement in the
military leaks, including threats of espionage charges. Mr. Assange is no
more guilty of espionage than any journalist or any whistleblower.  This is
a terrible precedent and one that is contrary to open government. 
If it is espionage to publish documents provided by whistle blowers, then
every journalist will eventually be guilty of that crime. Mr Assange
deserves our support and encouragement in the face of the attacks.

Since it was launched in 2006, Wikileaks has been an extraordinary resource
for journalists around the world, furthering transparency at a time when
governments are reducing it. Although it is not part of the media, and does
not purport to be, its mission of informing the public and reducing
unjustified secrecy complements and assists our work. As grateful
beneficiaries of Wikileaks and Mr Assange's work, we stand in support of
them at this time.

Best to all, 

Mark Lee Hunter
Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Fellow, INSEAD
Docteur en Sciences de l'Information de l'Université de Paris 2
Portable: (+33) [0]6 27 81 00 87




-----Original Message-----
From: Drew Sullivan [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Fri 29/10/2010 22:01
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [GLOBAL-L] statement on Wikileaks
 
Thanks Gavin.  That was quite informative and helpful. 
 

****************************************************** 
Drew Sullivan 
Advising Editor 
Center for Investigative Reporting (www.cin.ba <http://www.cin.ba/> ) 
Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (www.reportingproject.net
<http://www.reportingproject.net/> ) 
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>  
+387 33 560 042 (office) 
+387 61 139 403 (mobile) 

 

________________________________

From: Gavin MacFadyen [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 9:15 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [GLOBAL-L] statement on Wikileaks


Dear Drew, 
Here are a few respectful remarks.
As a point of fact, not conjecture, the redaction of the much larger
(400,000) Iraq documents was achieved using a much more invasive method than
used before.  The method is something like this. Instead of hunting for
particular names, words, numbers which was so time consuming during the
first redaction process, they reversed the process.  They redacted virtually
everything in each log.  Then they carefully replaced only those words which
did not relate to anyone in particular.  This precluded the names of even
the reporting soldiers, or the identifying locations.  When the statistics
were being culled from these logs, these details were used to enable
corroboration with existing media sources, Iraqi government releases etc.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism who recieved logs from WikiLeaks, and
like the NYTimes, The Guardian, LeMonde, Iraq Body Count and Der Spiegel is
entirely independent of the source and no one connected in any way to this
second stage redaction process has voiced any complaints of which I am
aware.  All of this work had nothing to do with WikiLeaks and was vetted
again by many lawyers prior to the release of the few redacted documents
that accompanied the analysis.

On the deaths as a result of the Afghan logs, there is indeed an interested
party, the force that recruited or used the names that escaped the original
redaction would have most to gain by publicising any deaths.  And that's the
Coalition forces.  And so far despite claims that the Taliban were scouring
the logs for these sources, months have passed and there is thankfully
nothing.  

And not easily tracked.  Its those who have fixed addresses in particular
villages who were in danger of being identified, not non-geographically
fixed names.  It's precisely because they had a known address that put them
in danger.  Also reading the logs is not easy, even for English speakers,
its much military jargon, code words - so much so that the Guardian
published a glossary for their own teams just to make a dent in the
translations.

On 29 Oct 2010, at 18:03, Drew Sullivan wrote:


	I'd suggest that sentence be added in.  But I don't like the opinion
that the story outweighs our professional responsibility.  I think you can
do both and that's my argument here. And not everyone agrees they did a far
better job.  And to say there is no evidence that no one has been killed is
an assumption.  There is no evidence that nobody has not been killed.  It's
not like these people are easily tracked. Or that killers aren't looking for
them now and they won't be killed at some future date.  We don't know. 
	
	
	******************************************************
	Drew Sullivan
	Advising Editor
	Center for Investigative Reporting (www.cin.ba)
	Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
(www.reportingproject.net) 
	Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
	[log in to unmask]
	+387 33 560 042 (office)
	+387 61 139 403 (mobile) 
	
	-----Original Message-----
	From: Lucy Komisar [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
	Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 3:23 PM
	To: [log in to unmask]
	Subject: Re: [GLOBAL-L] statement on Wikileaks
	
	I prefer this graf in Mark's
	
	Has Wikileaks endangered lives? There was legitimate criticism of
Wikileaks for not vetting the Afghanistan documents fully enough, with some
names such as informers being released. Fortunately there is no evidence
that anyone has been injured or killed as a result. We note that Wikileaks
learned from that mistake and has been much more careful with the Iraq
documents.
	Overall, Wikileaks' factual reporting of numerous undisputed abuses
and crimes is of far greater significance than the widely criticised
mistakes over inadequate redacting.
	
	To the 3rd graf of Drew's
	
	Wikileaks may not have done enough to mitigate harm and we hope that
the organization takes this responsibility seriously in the future. We
understand the difficult decisions inherent in weighing public good versus
mitigating harm.
	
	Or at least add in the line that Wikileaks has learned from its
mistake and been more careful......
	
	Otherwise, it's very good and thank to the drafters.
	
	Lucy
	
	
	-----Original Message-----
	From: Drew Sullivan [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
	Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 5:31 AM
	To: [log in to unmask]
	Subject: Re: [GLOBAL-L] Gavin McFadyen on Wikileaks
	
	I am not comfortable.  Might I suggest a replacement for graphs
3/4/5
	
	We believe Wikileaks had the right to post confidential military
documents because it was in the interest of the public to know what was
happening. The documents show evidence that the US Government has misled the
public about activities in Iraq and Afghanistan and that war crimes may have
been committed.
	
	Wikileaks may not have done enough to mitigate harm and we hope that
the organization takes this responsibility seriously in the future. We
understand the difficult decisions inherent in weighing public good versus
mitigating harm. 
	
	But the fact remains that Mr. Assange is no more guilty of espionage
than any journalist or any whistleblower.  This is a terrible precedent and
one that is contrary to open government.  
	
	
	******************************************************
	Drew Sullivan
	Advising Editor
	Center for Investigative Reporting (www.cin.ba) Organized Crime and
Corruption Reporting Project (www.reportingproject.net) Sarajevo, Bosnia and
Herzegovina [log in to unmask]
	+387 33 560 042 (office)
	+387 61 139 403 (mobile)
	
	-----Original Message-----
	From: HUNTER Mark [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
	Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 7:35 AM
	To: [log in to unmask]
	Subject: Re: [GLOBAL-L] Gavin McFadyen on Wikileaks
	
	Hello, Nicky Hager of this list wrote the following.  I cut a few
words from the first version.  You all can suggest further cuts/changes.
Comments welcome.
	
	"Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing organisation
Wikileaks, is being angrily criticised and threatened for his part in huge
leaks of military documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (the 'War
Diaries').
	He is being accused of irresponsibly releasing confidential military
information, of endangering lives of people named in the leaked military
reports and even of espionage. Some media organisations have joined in this
criticism.
	
	We, journalists and journalist organisations from many countries,
express our support for Mr Assange and Wikileaks. We believe that Mr Assange
has made an outstanding contribution to transparency and accountability on
the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, subjects where transparency and
accountability has been severely restricted by government secrecy and media
control. He is being attacked for releasing information that should never
have been withheld from the public.
	
	Was Wikileaks doing something wrong by releasing confidential
military documents? Not at all. There is a fundamental difference between
legitimately private information, such as between a patient and doctor, and
secret information about the mass killing of civilians and handing over
prisoners to be tortured.
	
	Has Wikileaks endangered lives? There was legitimate criticism of
Wikileaks for not vetting the Afghanistan documents fully enough, with some
names such as informers being released. Fortunately there is no evidence
that anyone has been injured or killed as a result. We note that Wikileaks
learned from that mistake and has been much more careful with the Iraq
documents.
	Overall, Wikileaks' factual reporting of numerous undisputed abuses
and crimes is of far greater significance than the widely criticised
mistakes over inadequate redacting.
	
	Is Mr Assange guilty of crimes? No, it is some of his loudest
accusers who appear to be guilty of crimes, which may explain their campaign
of denigration against him. E ABOVE
	
	I SUGGEST WE CUT TH
	
	This campaign now includes suggestions of espionage charges against
Mr Assange. If it is espionage to publish documents provided by whistle
blowers, then every journalist will eventually be guilty of that crime. Mr
Assange deserves our support and encouragement in the face of the attacks.
	
	Since it was launched in 2006, Wikileaks has been an extraordinary
resource for journalists around the world, furthering transparency at a time
when governments are reducing it. Although it is not part of the media, and
does not purport to be, its mission of informing the public and reducing
unjustified secrecy complements and assists our work. As grateful
beneficiaries of Wikileaks and Mr Assange's work, we stand in support of
them at this time."
	
	Best to all
	
	Mark Lee Hunter
	Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Fellow, INSEAD Docteur en
Sciences de l'Information de l'Université de Paris 2
	Portable: (+33) [0]6 27 81 00 87
	
	
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=======================================================================
	
	




 Gavin MacFadyen, 
  Director,  

  

Centre for Investigative Journalism, 
Department of Journalism, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V
0HB   
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>       +44 (0)7740 304 570    +44
(0)207  040-8224




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