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Entering the Secret World of Wikileaks

By Fresh Air from WHYY

July 15, 2010



The Website Wikileaks publishes secret documents submitted by anonymous sources and makes them available to the public. The site, which went public in January 2007, has been compared to Daniel Ellsberg's leaking of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

The Website has leaked a variety of formerly secret documents, including "everything from investigative reports about corruption in the nation of Kenya to manuals from the Church of Scientology to Sarah Palin's hacked e-mails," explains journalist Philip Shenon. "They very famously released the so-called Climategate memos that were from a group of climate scientists that were seized upon by a group of conservatives to argue that global warming was a fraud."

Shenon, an investigative reporter who contributes to The Daily Beast, joined Fresh Air's Dave Davies for a conversation about the Website and rumors of its demise, following the release of a video showing a U.S. military massacre in Baghdad. Shenon recently wrote a series of articles about Julian Assange, the site's founder.

"He believes that when he puts material out, it should be put out to some degree in context," says Shenon. "And he should, in putting that material out, prove that it's a) authentic and b) significant. He has a very difficult relationship with most mainstream news organizations because he believes they do not do that—they do not prove the truth of what they are offering to their readers or viewers."

From Fresh Air from WHYY
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