WikiLeaks leadership in crisis after disputes with founder Julian Assange

THE leadership of whistle-blower website WikiLeaks is in crisis, with the organisation’s German spokesman set to quit over disputes with founder Julian Assange.

Daniel Schmitt, the German spokesman for WikiLeaks, told Der Spiegel that he will leave the organisation because the leadership “lost the faith that we are all pulling together.”

“We all had an insane amount of stress in recent months,” Mr Schmitt said in excerpts from an extensive interview the magazine will publish today.

“A few mistakes happened, which is OK, as long as people learn from them. For that to happen, though, one has to admit them. We have lost the faith that we are all pulling together.”

WikiLeaks published nearly 77,000 classified documents on the Afghan war in July, leading to criticism that the website was putting soldiers’ and civilians’ lives at risk.

Mr Assange is also personally under attack over allegations of rape and molestation leveled against him in Sweden, which he denies.

Mr Schmitt criticised WikiLeaks’ focus on large projects, such as the Afghan war files. He said the organisation was ignoring the importance of smaller national documents and blamed Mr Assange for the problem.

“I tried again and again to push for that, but Julian Assange reacted to any criticism with the allegation that I was disobedient to him and unloyal [sic] to the project,” he said.

He added that other WikiLeaks employees were also dissatisfied with the organisation.

“There is a lot of resentment there and some others, like me, will leave,” said Mr Schmitt, who also revealed that his real name is Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a fact he kept hidden until now because of security fears.

WikiLeaks posted a message on Twitter today which called the report “misleading.”

“Spiegel report Schmitt resigned which is misleading. Schmitt was suspended a month ago,” the Twitter post read.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply