We Steal Secrets – The Story of Wikileaks

Bill I’s Review – 3 out of 5

Bill C would probably rate this higher than I did ’cause he loves documentaries. I just “like” them, and this is an excellent one, but maybe a little long at 130 minutes. It’s very timely (I sat through a panel discussion beforehand) given the Snowden situation going on now, with many parallels to Bradley Manning releasing tons of US government classified documents to Wikileaks, who then partnered with some major new organizations (including the NY Times) to publish the information. I thought this would be a very liberal take on it, lionizing Julian Assange, but it certainly is not that. It’s a very even handed take on all parties, and by the end reinforces my suspicion about Assange’s character, which is that he’s not so honorable (“all information should be free”), and ended up turning into what he was supposedly fighting, namely someone who is not transparent about information that he considers private (sexual assault charges against him). Even his former founders speak against him. Alex Gibney is the talented director/writer and he is a master at telling this story. Most interesting to me is Bradley Manning, whom I knew very little about. You will be shocked when you hear from him. He’s the real hero or villain, and you will wonder how different Assange is from the NY Times. The Times scrutinized and redacted information it deemed dangerous to people’s lives, while Assange did nothing of the sort, although he claimed to have a process – he lied.

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