Filmmaker Gabriel Shipton on why Julian Assange created WikiLeaksApr 25, 2022
"If you look back to the global protests that erupted around the Iraq War -- the biggest protests in history -- perhaps the most surprising thing about them is that they were essentially ignored," said Australian filmmaker Gabriel Shipton. He was speaking to Orchid's Derek Silva on this week's episode of the Priv8 Podcast about the reasons why his brother, Julian Assange, created WikiLeaks. Shipton's recent documentary, "Ithaka," tells his brother's story through his family's eyes.
"Huge numbers of people around the world made it clear that they didn't want that war to happen. Yet, many major world powers banded together to invade Iraq," Gabriel said.
"So there was this huge problem: if a global protest won't stop something like this from happening, how do we combat these powerful 'conspiracy groups' that are pushing for them? Julian saw that the most important asset that these groups had going for them was their secrecy. So then the question became, how do we expose them?"
"Julian realized that as these networks become larger and larger, the cost of keeping secrets becomes higher and higher. Therefore, continuing to increase the cost of secrecy makes it more difficult for secrets to be kept. In other words, increasing the cost of secrecy counters conspiracies."
"That was where the concept of having an uncensorable website to publish government secrets came from. And so when it was created, WikiLeaks quickly became the best place for leaked sensitive information."
"After all, if you were a leaker, would you take your information to the corporate media (who may or may not publish it)? Or would you take your leak to WikiLeaks, where you know that your leak will be made permanently public, and could have a huge impact?"
"That's why WikiLeaks is so important -- and why it continues to survive. For instance, when Chelsea Manning found the Collateral Murder video and decided to go public with it, she shopped it around to major press outlets. None of them were interested."
"But WikiLeaks was very interested, because it exists outside the corporate system. WikiLeaks really understood that the materials she was leaking were going to change society -- that she was starting a revolution by exposing the conspiracies that had taken the world to into a war that it didn't want."