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article imageWikiLeaks reveals errors in script of 'WikiLeaks documentary'

By Anne Sewell     May 24, 2013 in World
Ahead of the release of the $2 million documentary "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" by Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney, WikiLeaks has leaked the annotated transcript of the movie revealing the errors and "sleight of hand" in the film.
The documentary is set to be released on Friday, May 24, 2013. The transcript, annotated to reveal the errors and sleight of hand of the director, Gibney, has been released online.
Even the name of the film, "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" has been condemned by the group as misleading.
“It directly implies that WikiLeaks steals secrets. In fact, the statement is made by former CIA/NSA director Michael Hayden in relation to the activities of US government spies, not in relation to WikiLeaks,” the group wrote.
According to WikiLeaks, the timing of the premiere of the documentary is extremely opportunistic, with Bradley Manning's 12-week trial starting on Monday, June 3. Manning could possibly face life in prison and even potentially the death penalty on charges including espionage and aiding the enemy.
While WikiLeaks supporters and people of conscience feel that Manning is a hero for leaking the information about the atrocities which occurred during the war in Iraq, the film portrays his alleged acts as a failure of character, rather than a triumph of conscience.
They say that Manning's alleged relationship with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is portrayed in a way that is grossly irresponsible. It even suggests, when there is clear evidence to the contrary, that Assange may be guilty of conspiring with Manning to commit espionage or similar offenses.
What the documentary is portraying is reportedly the current position of the US government, i.e. that journalists and publishers can be prosecuted as co-conspirators alongside their alleged sources.
The group warns that such a proposition is extremely dangerous for all journalists and media organizations, and not just WikiLeaks.
Concerning the US government's attempts to prosecute journalists who communicate with confidential sources, this "documentary" seems to have been an important and timely project.
The film itself apparently hardly touches on the US investigation against WikiLeaks. According to the group it trivializes the larger issues, and never mentions the words "grand jury", possibly because the filmmaker had been unable to secure an interview with Julian Assange.
No one associated with WikiLeaks agreed to participate in the film, including Assange. Instead the filmmaker used stock footage of Assange which has reportedly been heavily edited. In places, this edited footage even seriously distorts what was said according to the annotated transcript.
While WikiLeaks would have nothing to do with this "documentary", the group has, however, co-operated on other feature documentaries, including a film by respected Academy Award-nominated, US filmmaker Laura Poitras, which will be released later this year.
Another film, co-produced with Ken Loach’s 16 Films, will also be released shortly.
Anyone wishing to read the annotated transcript of "We Steal Secrets", can do so here.
More about Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Documentary, we steal secrets the story of wikileaks, alex gibney
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