JULIAN ASSANGE: Wikileaks exposed secretly removing life-endangering data after publication

assange Grahame Bowland and Luke Miller have kept a close eye on the documents released on Wikileaks. Their observations are disturbing and confirm what many have feared: that Wikileaks has endangered the lives of countless people identified in documents they’ve published.

The two gents – writing in a left-wing email newsletter that seemed not to want to recognise and give appropriate priority to the shocking nature of their tale – allege that Wikileaks has endangered countless lives by publishing information that revealed their identities to tyrants and terrorists willing and able to kill them.

They explain that they have identified a pattern of Wikileaks publishing cables containing “names, places and conversations” only to later redact the information at a later date.

Bowland and Miller say that Wikileaks has done this secretly and retrospectively altering the information on the site, sometimes removing entire documents, presumably after complaints from potential victims or those government agencies concerned with minimising a loss of life.

They say that of 1203 diplomatic cables released at the time of publication, at least 365 of them have been altered since initial publication, with more than 45 substantially edited and at least 15 documents completely removed.

They reveal:

Examples of cables that were initially published with names but have been secretly censored at a later date include discussions with representatives of the US by nationals of their own countries’ elections, military activities and rulers.

In addition to names, whole sections of the cables have also been excised. One cable was taken down for three days and, when it returned, nearly half the content, including a frank discussion with the president of an African nation on a wide variety of topics, including the Israel-Palestine peace process and the war in Afghanistan, was missing. In a different cable, a secret escape route from a major country in the Middle East was initially described in detail but vanishe(d) in an update several days later.

This is a clear acknowledgement by Wikileaks that they have published information that has risked the lives of those willing to tell the truth about the nefarious activities of the world’s worst dictators and tyrants to US diplomats who then passed on the information to higher-ups in DC.

The unrivalled boss of WikiLeaks Julian Assange has repeatedly denied allegations he was guilty of recklessly mass-publishing leaked documents with callous disregard for the well-being of those identified within.

While Assange is to be commended for correcting these mistakes, they are now clearly occurring so regularly that allegations of systemic failure can be justified.

It is clear he doesn’t like the United States although his agenda beyond that isn’t clear beyond being desperate to be seen as a hero. Heroes don’t have potentially vast numbers of innocent victims, the collateral damage caused by Assange may be incalculable.

We love a good leak. But…

Wikileaks has become a strange cause célèbre of the anti-American Left. Those so championed can do no wrong in the eyes of those intent on wounding the US.

It’s horrifying to think how many people who’d sought assistance in battling the world’s many powerful tyrants and terrorists have had their security compromised by Wikileaks.

While we respect the arguments of those who say diplomacy is about pursuing peace and that our governments maintain secrets for good reason, we don’t say Wikileaks is inherently bad.

Indeed, we’ve been amused to see how many of the stories around Wikileaks US diplomatic cables have affirmed the great extent to which the US is a force for good in the world, in fact constantly approached by other nations to sort out their own problems with menacing neighbours. The Saudi encouragement to the Americans to invade Iran for example. Iranian and some particularly exotic conspiracy theorists have convinced themselves it was a deliberate leak by the US or that Israel is somehow behind it all.

We love a good leak. But…

Even the leak of what politicians tell diplomats at cocktail parties is fine by us too as long as it’s not falsely presented as “US secret informants” or “moles” or “spies” or whatever other filth recently came out of the Fairfax press in their vicious defamation of the thrill-killed Mark Arbib. Some ask why we wish The Age/SMH ill, there can be no better illustration of why than their indecent treatment of Senator Arbib, a man we’ve regularly criticised but whose patriotism is beyond genuine dispute.

But if the leak is illegal, most importantly, if the leak endangers lives, then it cannot be said to be a good thing.

Authorities are often quick to attack the media as “irresponsible” for publishing what they don’t want them to but putting lives at risk in this way is much worse than irresponsible, it is probably criminal and if it isn’t it should be.

Many of the victims of Wikileaks will never have their story told by a salivating left-wing broadsheet press who’ve treated Assange like a messiah in return for access to the leaked cables.

While Wikileaks papers over the cracks of their injudicious publication of information identifying those who have co-operated with the US in undermining terrorists and tyrants, we don’t doubt that the world’s bad guys are keeping a very close eye on everything put up on the site, saving copies long before the site’s administrators get around to redacting the documents.

Yes, we can be sure there’ll be victims. It’s a jungle out there. A jungle made even less safe by Wikileaks irresponsibly naming good people who’ve taken risks for freedom.

There’ll be victims. And we’ll never hear their screams.



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44 responses to “JULIAN ASSANGE: Wikileaks exposed secretly removing life-endangering data after publication

  1. The Ghost of Grammer


  2. namenamename

    So basically neither the left nor the right is happy about wikileaks? Is that the message the medium hopes to convey?

  3. Dan Lewis

    Well said, Vexnews.

    Those ferals marching in the streets demanding Assange’s freedom, carry on about freedom of speech and human rights.

    Where were they when people in Islamic states or Communist regimes were quite literally risking their lives to tell the truth?

    Nowhere. People like that don’t matter to the so-called ‘progressive’ movement.

    Assange doesn’t face any real danger from America or any Western nation. His family aren’t going to disappear and he isn’t going to end up in a dungeon somewhere. He’s just an attention seeking twerp. People in China, Iran or Gaza must be shaking their heads and wishing they had the support he did. Sadly, they won’t get it and most will simply remain silent.

  4. Kim Philby

    Assange has a mansion in England and a mega-million dollar underground James Bond like bunker complex in Sweden.

    Yet this guy, who feels it’s his right to publish private and confidential documents about conversations many people believed they were conducting in private, wants to keep his own sinister secrets – like where the mega millions that prop up his criminal empire come from?

    If you are in favour of transparency, as you claim to be, Mr Assange, it’s time to come clean.

    Given that you seem to only have targeted the US and its allies, we are entitle to ask whether you support has come from China, or North Korea or Iran or some other megalomaniacal, tyrannical, murderous police state. If you are not an agent of some looney despot, then it’s time to come clean about just who is propping up your crackpot empire.

  5. The New World

    You’re an irrelevant f’wit Landy. I shall refer this site to the fine Cyber Punk movement, you can look forward to relentless attacks on your blog of idiocy. Without it who are you? The answer my friend, an unscrupulous fat irrelevant slug, still bitter about the treatment of his corrupt daddy. Let it go son, do something useful for the first time in your fat life.

  6. Peter

    “a salivating left-wing broadsheet press who’ve treated Assange like a messiah in return for access to the leaked cables”

    The NY Times?
    The Fairfax press?

    Get real!

  7. Anonymous

    Authorities/Police always say or infer this message to the populous “If you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear”.

    Those in power should be tarred with the same crass brush, if they have done nothing wrong then they have nothing to fear with this information coming to light.

  8. Adrian Jackson

    You are on the wrong tram here as most Aussies support Wikileaks.

    There is not evidence anyone has been harmed because they are named and there is not evidence Wikileaks has broken any law as Laurie Oakes said at the Walkleys.

    Gillard’s ans Co are increasingly looking silly for saying laws have been broken too.

    Julian Assange for Australian of the Year and a gong in the New Years Honours or Queens Birthday honour in 2011.

  9. nan

    Wikileaks is mostly gossip said federal attorney general Robert McLelland to Canberra cameras this week.
    So why then has this ‘gossip’ been kept secret and locked up by our government?

  10. Adrian Jackson

    Is Dan Lewis an mate of the Quisling Arbib?

  11. The Assangers

    “The national interests of the United States and its allies are behind this. They see the world through their eyes, pursue their own goals, and draw the conclusions that suit their purposes.” Adding;

    “America wants to portray itself as the leader of the world, as master of the destinies of nations. It wants to play off the regimes in the region against one another. It wants the world to believe that we are divided. It wants to legitimize its presence and influence in the region.”

    Could this be a CIA sub master plot. They disseminate documents, public;y slam and persecute Assange which makes him seen in the public eye as a source for dissemination of more documents in the hope that would be terrorist and others will be attracted to the Wikileaks web site like bees to honey and provide a means of identification and tracking of the new sources before unknown

  12. “The truth only hurts those who want to hide it”
    Clearly someone is upset by this news. Normally, the governments don’t care about the stories that are leaked. The problem they have is that people believe Julian.


    most of the leaks so far seem harmless.

    Must be some nasty items still in the pipeline.

  14. media management up in smoke

    Gone are the good old days when a lunch with a media baron and few winks and nods about a casino and TV regulations could bring the media to heal.

    fast forward to today with online freelance outfits with hundreds of thousands of files….only in the digital age could this happen on such a scale….

    I would have thought vexnews would enjoy such ‘truth’ being spoken to all world powers…..

  15. speak the truth to their power

    I would have thought this site would enjoy such ‘truth’ being spoken to all world powers…..

  16. Sotherby

    Alan has endangered me with a severe tear ‘back there’ in the gentlemen’s public lavatory this morning.

  17. Anonymous

    When will Wikileaks release the truth about Rosewell and UFO’s?

  18. Attila

    Good old Andy Landeryou, speaking truth to power, ever the workers’ friend!

  19. no higher purpose needed

    Young Julian reflects a new online morality – do what you have to at work – and then after that anything goes –

    there does not need to be a greater truth calling for the needs to expose those in power – simply that you can remove the various shackles of control that operate at work on the weekend or at night and unload…

    those that support wikileaks go to work and maintain the veil of corporate double speak….

    this is not a revolution this is just s reflex against a system we accept we can only put under mild stress….

    here lies the danger for an information society in a world where half the nations are in real time war….these western kids (18 to 35 year olds) can dump info anytime and really anywhere…and all just for the hell of it….

  20. onlilne nerds clueless

    I bet even wikileaks top nerds have studied little history and have no idea how sensitive some items they have are…..

    just too much stuff.

    If this information was being handled by smart latins or islamists then a more clever and selective release of items could have caused real lop sided harm

    as it stands the current info reminds us our pollies are shallow and vein and that there is a whole lotta crazies in charge of whole countries out their…

  21. top dogs are digital

    the online wikileaks nerds are still the tail that wags the print and TV media dog…

  22. The Truth

    I didn’t realise Joolia is now writing for Vexnews.

  23. Lou Gasner

    Interesting. The Australian sactimoniously preaching “freedom of information” through a “staff writer” whose identity we are not allowed to know. Does that not seem more than a little incongruous to people?

    What appalling hypocrisy. Is this courageous souls so ashamed of what he or she has written?

    Is it OK in the eyes of the Astralia for epeople to now hack in to computeres or to steal documents in the name of duboius “whistleblowing”?

    Would be interesting to see how staff at the Australian and the army of brain-dead Assnge worshippers people react to their private conversations or the internal documents of News Limited or the contents of their own computeres were suddenly and indiscriminately published en mass.

  24. Lou Gasner


    Interesting. The Herald-Sun sactimoniously preaching “freedom of information” through a “staff writer” whose identity we are not allowed to know. Does that not seem more than a little incongruous to people?

    What appalling hypocrisy. Is this courageous souls so ashamed of what he or she has written?

    Is it OK in the eyes of the Herald-Sun for boffins to now hack in to computeres or to steal documents in the name of duboius “whistleblowing”? Whose privacy is safe?

    Would be interesting to see how staff at the Herald-Sun and the army of brain-dead Assnge worshippers people react to their private conversations or the internal documents of News Limited or the contents of their own computeres were suddenly and indiscriminately published en mass.

  25. police and govt sources

    Herald sun have been using information gathered in breach of various people employment contracts for sometime…it is all data dumps in the end….

  26. Uncle Toby

    He’ll do porridge for this.

  27. wiki-business

    wikileaks is like any online business…the longer he can milk this stash of files the more he can make….

  28. money at every thing

    Yes but he has to survive

  29. Dan Lewis

    Kim Philby, the uber-cool underground datacentre isn’t Assange’s. It’s a private company and anyone can host their data there.

    Look up the Pionen White Mountain Datacentre.

    Adrian Jackson – your attacks on me are about as devastating as being hit by a rolled up wet lettuce leaf. Everyone here knows you are an unrepentant antisemite who was a total failure in the military (watch him ignore that comment) and your political life was even less impressive.

    Thrown out of the Liberal party and a failure as an independent as well.

    Tell me, Adrian, have you actually amounted to ANYTHING in all your years on Earth? Gosh I bet you’re a hit with the ladies too.

    Still want to have a go at me sunshine? You’re a failure mate. A total, utter failure.

  30. The Ghost of Grammer

    I don’t know who this Adrian Jackson is, but his views sure do stink and he comes across as a total nut job.

  31. Excellent source that added balance to the trove of standard media articles written about Assange this week. More please, as this topic you raise got little airing anywhere else.

  32. Goal Kicker

    Adrian! Keep on whacking Dan Lewis with heaps of rolled up wet lettuce. Dan is a twat and a few more lettuces will knock him for six soon.

    I’m sure Dan would be welcome to post his own military record and personal accomplishments here. I imagine that won’t amount to much. As much as I disagree with Adrian, on this occasion I would join him in giving Dan a tremendous kick up the arse. Dan is an opinionated drongo and timewaster.

  33. boriingggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

    question: who is adrian jackson?

    answer: another middle park middleclass failed liberal wannabee

  34. Adrian Jackson

    Dan Lewis(11 Dec 10) ha, ha, ha. No other comment needed except 3 properties (2 producing income), no mortgages, no debts, 2 cars (a Range Rover and a Triumph TR3A), ex- ADF superannuation payment every fortnight too. All that with no Uni degree either.

    Ghost of Grammar (11 Dec 10) ha, ha, ha.

    Goal Kicker (12 Dec 10) Thank you.

    boringggggggg (12 Dec 10) is you name boringggggg or BORAT?

    Incidentally the people in Middle Park are upper middle class and upper class as all the bogans have move on.

    I note in the last state election the ALP MP got 30% and the Liberal got 38% of the primary vote and Brumby last government, ha, ha, ha.

  35. Real Adrian

    Do not be so hard on yourself fake Adrian. Not all the bogans have left. Those with rental properties remain.

  36. Adrian Jackson

    Real Adrian (12 Dec 10). Boganism is a state of mind not whether you are a renter. Most Middle Park people are now professionals and civilised and not bogans who steal, live of the dole or are involved in Painter & Docker Union type criminal activities.

    They use to find bodies in drains and have drive by shooting locally before I moved to the area in 1980.

  37. Wiki Chryne

    I’m now known as Wiki Chryne, because I leak like a sieve.

  38. Jackson

    Didn’t you get the memo?

    Assange met with Israel to censor any material which might shed some light on the actions of the jew.

  39. henry lawson

    You mightn’t like what Assange has done, but you can hardly justify the trumped up charges against him as reasonable, and the demands from some in the US that he be executed or assassinated. Leaks are a way of life in politics and journalism, as vexnews well knows.

  40. Bill Calvin

    Not all the bogans have left Middle park, Sharon Burrow still lives in the area.

  41. Adrian Jackson

    Bill Calvin, Sharon lives (lived) in Albert Park actually but close enough – same 3206 post code.

    However since she took up the role as leader of the world union movement (ILO is it?) has she moved overseas to Italy, Poland, France, Greece or some other backward EU Commo country?

  42. Karl Marx

    WikiLeaks also exposed Iran for moving arms to Hezbollah in Red Crescent ambulances in its war against Israel in 2006. They also exposed the Turkish PM (who organised the Jihadist thugs a place on the so-called Free Gaza flotilla) for having 8 Swiss bank accounts. Fairfax interest in those revelations? Zero.

  43. Where is the hard evidnce for this story??? No proof, no beliefe. you ahve made allegations so third hand they smell like a used pair of old shoes. No facts just reporting that someone wrote an email to someone thaty someone did this. Poorest journalism I have ever seen in decades. i bet you work for the mian stream media and pretend at some kind of independence and you relaly really wish you were Julian Assange.
    You know what is really dsdisgusting are the amount of innocent people western armies have and continue to kill in the name fo freedom, you know “collateral damage”. Now that is the real story here not Wikileaks. When oyu start reproting on that then maybe you will be taken seriously.

  44. Melanie

    Good article. It disgusts me how Assange has become a hero because he is anti US yet the real heros are those that risk their lives by being real whistle blowers against tyrants and murderous dictators – the people whose lives he has possibly put in danger by publishing their names. It also disgusts me that the swedish women who have pressed charges against him have been publicly trashed by people who should be supporting them or at least allowing them to their case fairly dealt with in the courts. Even feminists have taken his side. I’m sure once the details of the case become more apparent the tables could turn for him though.

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