The Wikilost Story We Weren’t Supposed to Hear

If you’re wondering what’s been going on with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange lately, you’re not alone.  Interest in the whistle-blowing website has been at an all time high since Assange first started fighting extradition earlier this year.  But this latest development is definitely worth a double take both because of the bizarre circumstances surrounding it and the actual reportedly lost files themselves which have many saying, “Wait, they found what!?”

And that’s not all, as with so many other stories developing in the case of Wikileaks, there is talk of a substantial conspiracy to keep the information secret, which is exactly what former Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg confided to German Newspaper Der-Spiegel.

Domscheit-Berg, or as Assange referred to him DDB, was rumored to have been used to sabotage the organization with government authorities, including the FBI.  But as is the case in so much of what goes on in the Wikileaks information sharing saga, there is no way of knowing if this is the case or if Domscheit-Berg’s move was purely with the intention of protecting sources as he suggested.  Of course the stakes in this case are fairly high for all parties involved, including the potential information leakers themselves.  And virtually no element of this series of events is without some level of controvery, even including the circumstances behind Daniel’s leaving.  Der-Spiegel reported that he had resigned in 2010, but later a message reportedly from Assange tweeted that he had been suspended from the organization a month prior.

But the contents of the deleted files are what everyone is likely most interested, rather than the social elements within the organization itself.  According to Domscheit-Berg, the deleted documents included information on Bank of America, which Assange assured would take down a bank or two, and perhaps most interestingly the US no-fly list.

Of course skeptics of the whole Wikileaks venture have indicated that this would have been some of the most useful information to the public, including the no-fly list which could indicate just how extensive the Federal no-fly list was and who was affected by it.  But from the looks of it now these are among the things that will never be seen by the world until a FOIA request is finally approved half a century from now – if ever.  Considering the fact that the Pentagon Papers gave information that was primarily embarrassing to countries other than the US, there has been some speculation that there’s a double-conspiracy involved, where Assange is being duped by authorities who wish the information to be leaked both to justify more stringent secrecy legislation and as a tactical way to out information about other nations.

Domscheit-Berg has declared he will be starting his own whistleblowing website, but says he is finished with Assange due to personal differences and his concern for Assange’s technical limitations in protecting sources.  As details continue to come out it’s difficult to see who is behind what part of this quickly developing story, but news agencies will no doubt be mourning the loss of this information.  Could all this really be over a personal disagreement?  Or is there something else in the mix?