Should You Believe Julian Assange's New One-Million Document Promise?
The WikiLeaks founder re-emerged today for a Christmas address promising a leak guaranteed to affect "every country in this world." Fine, we'll bite. Maybe.
Julian Assange, the silver-haired enigma, founder of WikiLeaks, and soon-to-be politician, re-emerged today for a Christmas address outside his makeshift home at the Ecuadorian embassy in London promising a leak guaranteed to affect "every country in this world." Fine, we'll bite. Maybe.
Sift through the metaphors and the bloviating and you get to the point in Assange's speech, starting below in a video courtesy of Russia's RT.com, where he almost sort of starts to detail the one-million document dump WikiLeaks is prepping for 2013:
"Wikileaks already has over a million documents being prepared to be released. Documents that affect every country in the world," Assange says. Every country? One million? That's sort of exciting.
But you have to remember this man's hype over the last big WikiLeaks dump, back in July, when the group released 2.4 million Syrian e-mails. "The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents ... It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts," he promised. Now, quick (and no cheating), do you remember anything those e-mails told you? They weren't nearly as juicy as the State Department cables released in 2010.
So you can see why the online reaction to Assange's Christmas address today got skeptical, and fast — believers were chomping at the bit to see those 1 million documents, but Twitter's eyebrows went up almost as soon as the speech began. As for CNet and CBS contributor Declan McCullagh, he's still holding out for Assange's guarantee from three years back:
Julian Assange today promised to release "over a million documents." We're still waiting for those BoA docs from 2009: computerworld.com/s/article/9139…— Declan McCullagh (@declanm) December 20, 2012