2011-05-16 This Week in WikiLeaks Special Segment - Debating Whether the Organization is Hypocritical or Not

ImageFor the past four or five days, a copy of a leaked confidentiality agreement from WikiLeaks has been a hot topic among those who follow news and politics. Those that have regularly scrutinized WikiLeaks, who have typically gone along with any meme in the media that shines a light on the organization’s imperfections, took the posting of this agreement as an opportunity to focus on how this showed complete hypocrisy. Those sympathetic and supportive, on the other hand, saw this as a moment when they needed to get out in front and defend the organization.

I was one of those people who found the renewed push to further de-legitimize WikiLeaks concerning. I posted an analysis of the confidentiality agreement and later posted a comprehensive and thought-out critique of David Allen Green's work on WikiLeaks. (Green is the blogger for the New Statesman, who helped make the agreement a big story.)

As the story was breaking, I received a Twitter message, “WikiLeaks Threatens Its Own Leakers With $20 Million Penalty" http://bit.ly/klgAnz What says @kgosztola?” The message came from Roni Weiss, a personality on a podcast show called “Don’t Worry About the Government.” I told him he should have me on his program to share my opinion.

On Facebook, we went back and forth on the “Don’t Worry About the Government” show page as I tried to get him to do a segment with me. He stated his position, “My biggest concern is that I just don't have much to say about it…My stance is basically: This looks bad for them, publicity-wise, and beyond that, I don't really care, because they do a lot of things that look bad.

I continued to push him and offered to have him come on the “This Week in WikiLeaks” podcast to tell me I was wrong. He agreed to make an appearance and ended up bringing another personality from the show, Joe Geni, with him.

In addition to hearing why I was wrong, I also hoped that during this show we could get into a deeper discussion on the organization itself.

We recorded this debate last night over the agreement and whether this makes WikiLeaks an entirely hypocritical organization or not. You’ll hear me try to make this debate about more than just the agreement. I wanted to expand the discussion because I think what’s more significant about the agreement is the fact that the organization believes it has to draw up something like this in order to preserve itself. And, when you consider that and ask why, when you think about how they are under attack from governments and how some of the major media outlets regularly publish smears against WikiLeaks, it is more understandable that staff is asked to sign this agreement.

You can listen to the segment by clicking on the widget below or you can click here and download or listen to it from this page. The segment can also be found on iTunes by searching for "CMN News." (Much thanks to CMN News host Chris Novembrino for making this possible.)

Now, two items worth noting:

Becky Hogge (@barefoot_techie) has posted a response to Green, "Why I signed the WikiLeaks NDA."

And, BradleyManning.org has posted a video reminding us what Bradley Manning has done for the world if he is indeed the leaker. As we get into these contentious discussions over secrecy, transparency, law, media and government, it's always good to return to the fact that there is a young man in jail for releasing this information to the world: information that is helping to make the world a better place.

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