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Books / March 2, 2011

shite2 computer.

From The eXiled’s Special Australasia Correspondent

PERTH, AUSTRALIA–First, the Right accused WikiLeaks of endangering US soldiers and Afghan informers. Then after “Cablegate” the neocons conceded to the lack of evidence and switched to the opposite tactic: insisting there was nothing exciting at all about Julian Assange’s leaks. Spectator editorials appeared, claiming we already knew Sarkozy was a narcissist and Berlusconi was a womaniser. This didn’t work either. The cables had a lot of new information about DynCorp bribing Afghan police with “dancing boys” and Mubarak telling the US to install a “fair dictator” in Iraq.

Now a much easier way to discredit WikiLeaks has emerged: attacking Assange as a human being. It’s easy because there’s no need to touch any wider political issues. It’s damaging because (regardless of how right he is) Assange still needs technicians to work for him and a well-timed mutiny could hurt his organisation more than any external pressure. Worse, the man probably is a dickhead. He’s a brave dickhead, a talented dickhead, a necessary dickhead. He has a better chance of crippling the war effort than any of his competitors. But none of that makes him easy to work with. And WikiLeaks doesn’t just need volunteers, but extremely skilled ones who can maintain large servers and keep them running after all sorts of cyber attacks.

At the moment, Assange’s most notable competitor is a squishy little Kraut by the name of Daniel Domscheit-Berg (better abbreviated to “Shite”) who worked for WikiLeaks until last September. On January 28th, he announced that he was forming an “alternative” whistleblower site, “OpenLeaks.” Instead of publishing documents directly, OpenLeaks plans to provide a select list of media groups with inboxes and give leakers the choice of which inbox to send material to. They do not, however, have the choice of getting documents put up for the public to see. Instead they have to hope their selected editors will: a) find the document “newsworthy,” and b) publish as much of it as possible without trying to soften the impact. In other words, OpenLeaks isn’t really that open. And it gets creepier – Domscheit-Berg seems hesitant to put up more US documents, writing that WikiLeaks “should have ruled out any further publication of the American documents” after Bradley Manning’s arrest.

domscheitassange

Domscheit-Berg’s attack on Julian Assange has been three-pronged. Not only has he formed a rival organisation, but he’s pinched several thousand documents from the WikiLeaks server and refused to give them back to Assange. He claims this isn’t theft – even though the leakers entrusted Assange with the docs, not him – because he doesn’t plan to publish them. Instead, he’s keeping them “in a safe environment,” whatever that means. Finally, he’s put out a memoir – Inside Wikileaks – attacking Assange for chauvinism, transvestism, uncleanliness, gluttony and animal abuse.

You see, Domscheit-Berg’s main advantage over his Australian adversary is his blandness. He’s monogamous, doesn’t play mind games with his employees and trusts his government to “respect the law.” He also objects to Assange turning Wikileaks into “a global political player – something it was never intended to be.” (Intended by whom, I wonder? Domscheit-Berg doesn’t dispute that Assange is the group’s “sole founder.”) He opposes Assange’s decision to give the name “Collateral Murder” to footage of a US helicopter gunning down Reuters journalists. And despite hanging around with an anarchist or two, Domscheit-Berg doesn’t really seem to have much against the Iraq-Afghanistan occupations. The worst he says is that “the suspicion can hardly be dismissed outright that the United States waged war partly for economic reasons.” (It’s the “partly” that does it.)

He even suggests Assange only gave so much attention to US military documents because focusing on Africa or Russia “wouldn’t have gotten him on the nightly news” or improved his “status.” It’s the same old argument the Right has always used: anyone who seriously challenges the status quo is just a narcissist. The goals they’re trying to achieve aren’t half as important as their motivation. Well, what if Assange is a narcissist? What if he is a jerk, a creep, a stalker, and an absolute pig to everyone who knows him? At least he’s actually trying to hurt the scum in power, fuck with bankers, and derail the war effort. Shite doesn’t even believe a whistleblower page should be about hurting, but, rather, about making the public “capable of behaving correctly” by giving them sufficient background information.

Domscheit-Berg’s nanny-leak philosophy is about as idealistic as he gets, if you call that idealism. In other regards, his blandness merges with a cheerful pro-corporate attitude. Regarding his wife’s job as a programmer, he says:

She worked for Microsoft on open government projects. In principle, she was trying to increase transparency from the top down, while [me and Assange] were working from the bottom up. I thought she was probably very good at her job.

And just in case you didn’t know what a perfectly bland, politically-correct teacher’s pet he is, Domscheit-Berg dedicates his book to “My wife Anke, who is my equal.”

anke-steckbriefe-domscheit

This is Anke, Daniel’s equal

Domscheit-Berg seems like he’s trying to convince himself that he’s satisfied being bland, monogamous, and perfectly politically-correct. He admits that Assange’s alpha mindset threatened his pious Puritanism:

I must admit his fascination with women was contagious, even though I was already spoken for.

[…]

On our way back home from our absinthe evening, we both saw what amounted to an apparition. A woman in hot pants and a tight top whizzed past us on Rollerblades. We continued talking about the conference, other people we knew, and our future plans, but every once in a while one of us would say “What a woman!” Or “Boy, was she the business!”

Scary, scary picture. A debased Hessian IT worker who can’t fantasize about strangers without getting a sick feeling he’s deserves to be served with a restraining order. I don’t know if this retro Eurovision dweebiness is half as palpable in the original German, but the translator’s done a fine job nonetheless. You can almost hear ELO’s Xanadu soundtrack in the background when Shite mentions his “apparition… on Rollerblades.” And yep, the good Puritanical Domscheit-Berg’s favourite drugs are absinthe, weed and “a soft drink containing stimulants,” to which he gives a cosy product placement spot. I guess that’s supposed to show his healthy distrust of authority. Within acceptable limits.

But Domscheit-Berg’s Inside Wikileaks is more than just a cowardly smear job. It’s a well written one, too. Domscheit-Berg dictated the book to a journalist named Tina Klopp, whom, I suspect, is no stranger to Charles Portis novels. There are moments in the memoir when Domscheit-Berg’s thoughts about Assange are eerily similar to passages from Dog of the South. If you’ve read the great eXiled-recommended novel Dog of the South, you’d know what I mean – those bitter, jealous parts where prig-lord Ray Midge attacks the personal upkeep and manliness of his wife-stealing rival Guy Dupree (a leftist-radical megalomaniac). Klopp may have been trying to emulate them when she wrote these bits:

Julian ate everything with his hands, and he always wiped his fingers on his pants. I have never seen pants as greasy as his in my whole life.

[…]

Julian sat beside me, bitching. He was a terrible backseat driver. He complained the entire time that I was driving too fast, and to him as an Australian, the German roads seemed far too narrow and full of traffic. What’s more, he never quite got over the feeling that I was driving on the wrong side of the road.

[…]

When we reached Switzerland, I spent all my remaining money on Ovaltine. I love the Swiss chocolate drink, and for the rest of our tour, I couldn’t wait to get back home and make myself a huge cup of cocoa. But when we arrived back in Wiesbaden, the cocoa powder would be all gone. Julian had at some point torn open the packages and poured the contents straight in his mouth.

[…]

You usually couldn’t speak to him when he was working. He sat in deep meditation, programming or reading something or other. At most he used to leap up briefly without any warning and do some strange kung fu exercises. Some media reports said that Julian was at least the equivalent of a black belt in all known international martial arts. In fact, his improvised shadowboxing lasted a maximum of twenty seconds, looked extremely silly, and was probably intended to stretch his joints and tendons after all that sitting.

How much closer can you get to Ray Midge’s self-consolatory whine? We’re just waiting for Domscheit-Berg to tell us he can’t think of any Prime Minister who couldn’t handle Assange in a fistfight. He also mocks his former boss’s attempts at keeping a low profile (“You couldn’t have behaved more conspicuously than Julian did.”) and how he repeatedly loses his way through the streets of Wiesbaden. Yes, this makes our Julian seem pretty careless, but not as sloppy as Domscheit-Berg when he fails to make a back-up of the WikiLeaks server.

When the server breaks, Assange (rightly) tells Domscheit-Berg: “Wikileaks only survived because I didn’t trust you.” Seeing that Domscheit-Berg later stole several thousand files and kept asking for partial control of WikiLeaks’s money supply, I can’t help but wonder if this was deliberate sabotage on his part.

shite1

Domscheit-Berg is oddly incredulous, too, at Assange’s descriptions of his ancestry: “There were stories of him having at least ten ancestors from various corners of the globe, from the South Sea pirates to Irishmen.” Well, I’d believe a man had nine ancestors – but ten? That’s getting a bit excessive. And IRISHMEN?! Isn’t that just too exotic for words?

Klopp does a good job, though, of making Assange look like Portis’s Guy Dupree. He gets into a fight with a corrupt Italian ticket inspector, on the grounds that “the man in uniform has to learn his lesson.” He randomly attacks Domscheit-Berg’s cat “spread[ing] his fingers into a fork shape and pounc[ing] on the cat’s neck”:

“It’s about training vigilance,” Julian explained. Mr. Schmitt was a male cat, and male cats were supposed to be dominant. “A man must never forget he has to be the master of the situation,” Julian proclaimed. I wasn’t aware that anyone in my apartment or the courtyard had questioned Mr. Schmitt’s masculinity. What’s more, he was neutered.

Guy Dupree’s words–“I know your movements and have access to your pets”– might actually be scary coming from the founder of WikiLeaks.

However, there’s a key difference between Assange and his Portis-universe doppelganger. Our Julian might be a control freak, but there are plenty of reasons to believe he’s a genuine ubermensch. He works for days on end, hardly eats, has no fixed address, sleeps on cold tables in a Berlin convention centre and carries all his worldly possessions in a single backpack. He’s also taught himself to type completely blind, because “working without optical feedback was a form of perfection, a victory over time.” He refuses to bribe the Italian conductor even when he’s likely to miss a flight to Germany by doing so. Domscheit-Berg, on the other hand, the perfect Social Democratic yuppie, can’t stop mentioning how much he loves cooking and shopping at “lefty alternative macrobiotic” groceries. And yet he tells us he’s storing Assange’s files “in a safe, secure location” because “children shouldn’t play with guns.”

In fact, his whole OpenLeaks model is designed to keep as much heat away as possible from the website operator, who’s little more than a go-between between the leaker and the media. Domscheit-Berg isn’t even likely to get a threatening letter from someone’s attorney. That only happens when you’re publishing, not handing out exclusive email accounts. In his own words:

OpenLeaks can be seen as a kind of sober, neutral infrastructure. We see ourselves as technological engineers, not as media stars or global galactic saviors. Some people may even think we’re boring. That’s just how we want to be. The main thing is the system works.

Dickhead or not, at least Assange can deal with pressure. He’d rather go fugitive, sleep rough and live on his wits than surrender his servers. This is the guy I’d trust in a guerrilla war campaign, the old “inflict-and-endure.” Compare that with Domscheit-Berg, who claims to give homelessness a try for half a year before running to his fiancee’s doorstep. Even his tolerance for messy hotel rooms is much lower than any of Assange’s other lackeys.

In other words, a pussy. But aggressively marketing his pussy-ness, with the goal not so much of making the reader like Domscheit-Berg, as in trying to peel away Assange’s crucial left-progressive supporters.

But let’s take Domscheit-Berg at face value. How much value does he bring to the WikiLeaks movement, compared to Julian Assange? Here’s an easy way of telling if someone poses a real threat to the Powers That Be: How much can they endure? If a bit of ceiling mold is enough to make them hoist the white flag, they’re not the guy you want to back against the military-industrial complex. If they have real conviction – ANY real conviction, whether it’s self-sacrificing altruism or a self-inflated martyr complex, creepy or not – they’re much more likely to scare the neocons and see the battle through to the end. The difference between a careerist hanger-on and a martyr has nothing to do with selfishness and everything to do with posterity, a Higher Purpose. A careerist has no notion of posterity. A martyr does. That’s the difference. Domscheit-Berg’s pain-and-poverty threshold is so much lower than Assange’s that you wonder what he’s doing there, why he’s not delivering mail or serving in some safe job as a Social Democratic Party hack.

What about all the insane surveillance and death threats? Well, Domscheit-Berg won’t even admit that Assange was harassed, at any point in his travels, by cops or spooks. Take note: anyone who laughs death threats off into conspiracy theorist territory will buckle, and buckle fast.

There’s another odd thing about Domscheit-Berg’s memoir: the feel-good moments. In one scene, a corporate executive contacts WikiLeaks, praises the site and offers to organise a fundraiser in Manhattan for it – if Shite and Assange retract a document or two. He threatens to call his attorneys when they refuse and they tell him to get fucked. Later, the head of Germany’s intelligence agency, the BND, emails WikiLeaks and demands they remove a confidential report. They reply, asking him to specify which “BND-related” doc he wants them to remove. He falls for it, admitting that a file titled “BND_Kosovo_intelligence_report” is authentic.

Domscheit-Berg doesn’t tell us whether these emails were his idea or Assange’s. It’s always the royal “we”: “we responded… we wrote back… our next answer… we got a few laughs… our response.” Seeing as Domscheit-Berg and Assange rarely met in person during 2008 and communicated almost exclusively over a chat program, you wonder if the emails to German intelligence were really the result of teamwork. The email to the BND chief ends with the name “Jay Lim.” In an earlier chapter, Domscheit-Berg suspects this is probably one of Assange’s pseudonyms, making it fairly likely that Assange caught the spook on his own. Still, he can’t stand the idea of Assange teaching an authority figure a lesson, so the credit goes to “we.” At the same time, he theorises that WikiLeaks was probably a two-man organisation for most of 2008. So, Domscheit-Berg, was it you or Assange? Stop leeching off of him with those cowardly first-person plurals when the going is good, and then distancing yourself when things get rough!

Domscheit-Berg insists his motives aren’t really malicious. He insists that he isn’t trying to compete with WikiLeaks but provide a “complementary” service. Just to show how well-meaning he is, he even gives Assange a pious shout-out in his Acknowledgements. But why did he release his memoir in the middle of the state attack on Assange, when he faces extradition and trial? If that’s not malice, I’d hate to see the real thing in Domscheit-Berg’s eyes.

Even more suspiciously, Domscheit-Berg really seems shocked when Assange finally tells him he wants to run Wikileaks as an “insurgent operation,” as if it’s a drastic change of direction. This actually explains a lot – for instance, why Shite didn’t know the number of volunteers WikiLeaks had in its early days. A well-organised insurgent group wouldn’t tell the lower rungs exactly how many other lower rungs there are. This protects the group from betrayal by individuals under torture, and by Domscheit-Berg’s standards, torture is a smelly Icelandic motel room. It’s also evidence that he never had real leadership in the group. He joined at the end of its second year, had no idea how WikiLeaks was structured outside of his own cell and now complains that Assange didn’t move it closer to “other charitable organizations such as Greenpeace or Worldwatch.” You wonder why it took him nearly three years to realise what Assange’s basic strategy was. Didn’t he ever watch Pontecorvo’s Battle of Algiers?

I guess not, because even if his motives are innocent, the guy’s still a White Hat. Before joining WikiLeaks, he worked as a private IT security consultant for “a large American company that did IT work for civilian and military clients.” (We have to take his word for it that he didn’t work for any war profiteers.)

Twice in the book, he mentions Adrian Lamo and doesn’t call him anything stronger than “ex-hacker.” Lamo, it turns out, was a member of WikiLeaks’s original donor list. When Assange accidentally forgets to blind-carbon-copy a mass email he sends to his donors, Lamo sends him the addresses as an “official leak.” Instead of treating it like the brutal sabotage carried out by what everyone and his grandmother assumes is a government informant, Domscheit-Berg seems to think Lamo was only throwing the chin-strokers a bone:

It was interesting because we had spent some time philosophizing about what would happen if we were compelled to publish something about our own organisation. We agreed that we had to release things that were bad as well as good publicity. In fact, our internal leak went down well with the press. At least we were consistent and none of the donors complained.

I don’t know whether Domscheit-Berg is a spook himself or just one of their useful idiots, but he’s in for a long, long year of rat comparisons.

Ramon Glazov lives and writes in Perth, Western Australia. Email him at “ramonglazov at gmail dot com”

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73 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. vortexgods  |  March 2nd, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I hope to God, or Angulimala, or Guan Di that Domscheit-Berg didn’t steal the Bank of America docs.

    I still think that those are the reason for the honey trap with the “Cuban Exile Group” “feminist” who’s accusing Assange of “rape.” ( http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/12/08-2 ) and not the diplomatic cables which are already out, after all.

  • 2. Wyse Guy  |  March 2nd, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I assume this is an indirect eXile Seal of approval for Wikileaks in general, and the barebackin’ Julian Assange in particular.

  • 3. Jie Ke  |  March 2nd, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Domscheit = dumbshit

  • 4. Aaron  |  March 2nd, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I hope the Charles Portis reference means that this is a Dolan article; he needs to write more. This is a great article regardless, but Dolan’s recommendation of The Dog of the South in his takedown of that terrible Franzen book turned out to be spot-on and I’m glad Mark still has him write here from time to time.

  • 5. tam  |  March 2nd, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    I’m starting to feel a little sorry for Assange now.

    In the latest issue of the British magazine Private Eye, there’s a transcript of Assange having a bit of a confused, anti-Semitic rant with the magazine’s editor. [Of course, that assumes that the transcript in an overtly satirical gossip rag is authentic and unadulterated.]

    This is usually a strong indication that a person is losing the plot and entering a world of paranoia, which isn’t surprising given all the pressure he’s had to deal with over the last few months.

    He’s clearly whip-smart, but geeks are not the type of personality that deals with being the centre of attention at the best of times, let alone when you have the full power of US diplomacy focussed on teaching you a lesson.

  • 6. hobomaker  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Well I knew Domscheit is a pathetic loser but this piece spelled it out right. You can tell it right away from the Swedish documentary on Wikileaks he’s a hypocritical and coward glory hunter. he’s the nerd without any friends. but he’ll be fine, he’ll land some gazprom contract or something. dorkface.

  • 7. fajensen  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 12:51 am

    It’s Sweden! The man has to prove innocence in the case of a rape charge.

    To be safe from female vindictiveness, a man will have to obtain a statement in writing, signed by two witnesses, listing the kind of acts that he is permitted during The Shag (and the duration and configuration of said shag e.t.c ) to be able to beat the spurious rape allegation in court.

    Then the Swedes had to ban prostitution also because no sane person would shag anyone else but a prostitute on such onerous terms.

  • 8. Michal  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 12:59 am

    For all the focus on Berg, you seem to have completely omitted the fact what an incredible pussy Assange is, far from the “insurgency leader” image you’re trying to create. I sure wonder how exactly was Assange fighting the power when he bitched and moaned about someone releasing documents pertaining to his investigation.

    Boo hoo, original documents make Julian look bad. Those meanies. ;_;

    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/72985,news-comment,news-politics,assange-lawyers-demand-investigation-after-leak

  • 9. gyges  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Why are you bothering with Wikileaks; they give the impression that they peddle chaff seeded with propaganda.

  • 10. Duarte Guerreiro  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Very enlightening Glazov. I heard a few blurbs in the news about this and immediately wonderer what kind of honorless scum would backstab their friends, even their ex-friends in such a manner. Now I know.

  • 11. Eddie  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 4:46 am

    The tiny details revealed do say a lot about the political climate we live in. Just like reading a 1000 twitter messages would lead you to conclude that people in general are pretty much retarded, reading a 1000 diplomatic messages will lead you to conclude that diplomacy is not really about diplomacy. I’m not saying that diplomats are twitter stupid, it’s just that they are not really all that keen about this peace and security business.

    It’s certainly not about authoring treaties and attending cocktail parties. Although I’m sure that happens from time to time.

    No sir, it’s now about lobbying your opponent to buy your brand of weapons and airplanes while writing bitchy telegraphs about his overly Botoxed wife.

    Knowing that these guys are there to protect me is not all that comforting of a thought.
    I would probably shit my pants if I’d still gave a fuck. But I don’t so here’s a link to my own wikileaks mirror: http://wikileaks.cluster.nu.

    P.S. Would it be cool if Gaddafies voluptuous nurse made like a really good sextape. Not one of those night vision ones, that’s all crap. I’m talking full on with decent lighting. Fuck, I would probably pay to see that.

  • 12. vwlhtr  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 4:49 am

    I see epic fail for Daniel Domscheis-Zwerg, or whatever name he has this week, because he does not know the first thing about attention-whoring. He has the leadership capabilities of a mineral and is unable to see that a ministry like his requires the talents of the carnie, the stage-manager, the guerilla. This is in stark contrast to Daniel Dumbscheidt-Nerd’s actual character. He is a retired government official trapped in the body of a middle-aged hubby. That he does not even know how to conduct a good smear-campaign which does not make him look like a whiny, sore loser only stresses the point. Good luck with fighting the propaganda war against the global power-elite of the 21st century, Danny. And say hello to your new homeys in the mainstream media.

  • 13. c1ue  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 6:21 am

    I’m still on the fence about Wikileaks – Assange is such a self promoter that it raises all my defensive reactions.

    Plus the involvement of the NY Times, the Washington Post, and what not in ‘leaks’ seems ridiculous.

    Then there’s the editing part – if Wikileaks is truly so open, why does Assange have to edit? Seems counter-mission.

  • 14. John Drinkwater  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Fuck this Dom-Berg guy. Fucking wannabe loser if you ask me. Assange is the man. He took on the US government and won. If he gets put away now, he’ll always be remembered…just for that unbelievable showdown, making those close look stupid. Assange single-handedly outwitted and outclassed the combined forces of the Pentagon, the State Dept. and the POA. What will this Dom-Berg guy ever accomplish? Sounds like a total pussy to me.

  • 15. Jeff Albertson  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 9:58 am

    @#4-Aaron
    IF Glazov + Dog of the South = Dolan
    +Pontecorvo’s Battle of Algiers = Brecher
    AND Dolan = “Ilene Jones”

    THEN… Do the math.

    I’d hate to be his accountant, (if there’s any money in this).

  • 16. GhostUnit  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    “She [Domscheit-Berg's wife] worked for Microsoft on open government projects.”

    Another bad sign. Working for Microsoft’s already bad enough but on “open government projects”? that’s some hard-core hypocrisy and double-speak right there.

    The Domscheit-Bergs appear to indeed be nothing more than middle-class yuppies who would smother freedom-fighters just to maintain the status-quo that allows them to pay their mortgage and keep their positions in some corporation.

  • 17. grrrrhhhh...  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Argh! Gaarrrr! and various sundry sounds of complete annoyance and disgust. I want to perform a swirley or a wedgy on this eunuch. Every Darwinian schoolyard feeling of revulsion and hatred that I ever felt towards those weaker than myself has taken over me, killing my moral center.

    Folks, this is why the fascists will always win, the people opposing them invariably lack balls or are shocked, shocked, nay, horrified, at the thought of showing balls or otherwise manliness in the face of a militaristic onslaught. Unfortunately, the people who tend to have the most organizational or technical skills, and who aren’t self-destructive, are the most conformist and naive.

  • 18. John Drinkwater  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    @Michal

    Assange is an incredible pussy? Really? What the hell have *you* ever done?

    Did you watch ANY of the interviews he gave back in December? I couldn’t believe how absolutely cool and confident he came across, under a ton of pressure and threats aimed at him by the most powerful forces in the world. He faced the fuckers down and won, whereas most of us probably would’ve cracked and ran for the hills.

    It takes a lot of courage to anonymously call Julian Assange a pussy.

  • 19. cl  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Shite also wants to work closely with Reporters Without Borders, a group that has nothing in common with Doctors Without Borders, just as the Cuban/CIA group “Ladies in White” copied the style and tactics of the ideologically quite opposed “Mothers In White” from Argentina… it has previously “blasted” Wikileaks for it’s “incredible irresponsibility” in publishing US war documents.

    RSF is relatively well established as a CIA front group, opposing the socialist government of Cuba and left-wing groups in Latin America more generally while providing cover for repressive regimes linked to the US. (Which, just to be clear for the “conspirophobes,” obviously doesn’t mean they can’t do good work or that everyone involved in the project is part of some detailed, evil agenda.)

    I could go into this more deeply, but to start consider the fact that they were apparently given an ongoing grant of $50,000 a year by Otto Reich, who was head of the “Office of Public Diplomacy” in the 80′s, a govt. PR operation designed to propagandize the US population (illegaly and deceiftfully, according to our own GAO) and responsible for, among many other high points, attacking “anti-Contra” US reporters with the smear that they had been paid off in sex by “Sandinista prostitutes,” I’m not even kidding. And that yearly grant is just a small example of US govt. support for Reporters Without Borders, with much larger funding coming from the NED, IRI, USAID, Center for a Free Cuba, and “private” groups of Cuban/Latin right-wing immigrants who themselves have a long history of CIA funding.

    These groups have funded the paramilitary groups that overthrew elected leaders like Aristide, Zelaya, and Chavez (temporarily). They have backed, financially and diplomatically, confessed terrorist bomber Luis Posada Carriles and similar conspirators, and I could go on. And RSF’s publications sometimes match their worldview in strange ways, claiming for example that the Bolivian govt’s persecution of journalists was more serious than what goes on in US-allied Gulf States, etc.

    RSF also dismissed WL’s publication of war documents not only as “dangerous,” but since, in their words ”the US government has been under significant pressure for some time as regards the advisability of its military presence in Afghanistan, not just since your article’s publication.” So since other’s have tried to end the war and failed, why should anyone else get involved? And this is a “human rights” organization!

  • 20. King Mob  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Love this guy. Publish him more plz.

  • 21. myffie  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    This is like the platonic ideal of an exile article. Really nice job Ramon Glazov

  • 22. Michal  |  March 4th, 2011 at 4:47 am

    @ 18. John Drinkwater

    Gosh John. The incredibly dangerous life of Julian Assange. The danger from random nutjobs sending threatening emails. The thrill of being faced with a just trial in a neutral country over a bunch of bullshit some feminazis made up. Wow, could his life be any more dangerous than that?

    I had to laugh when I read about how he dressed up as a grandma because he believed CIA thugs were after him. He walked around some European city for hours, just dressed as an old woman. He’s a real Clint Eastwood, alright.

  • 23. John Drinkwater  |  March 4th, 2011 at 11:00 am

    “The danger from random nutjobs sending threatening emails.”

    I was thinking more about the threats from nutjobs in high offices in the U.S. Government. You know, like being labeled a terrorist by the Vice President. A criminal by the Secretary of State. Trivial stuff like that. Or, being targeted by the Department of Defense. Did you miss all this?

    Didn’t catch the “grandma” story. Link?

  • 24. Michal  |  March 4th, 2011 at 11:45 am

    @ John, 23.

    The story made a bunch of appearances, in example: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/31/3125742.htm

  • 25. Derp  |  March 4th, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Derp derp! Wikileaks is bad for America, Limbaugh told me so himself and so did Fox and Friends!

    This bullshit is too confusing, I say kill em all and let Jesus sort it out, derp derp!

  • 26. John Drinkwater  |  March 4th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    MIchal,

    You cited a claim in an anti-Wikileaks book co-written by eXiled enemy Guardian hack Luke Harding. Really? Can’t you do better than that?

    The claim also begins, “Despite no evidence of the CIA following him…” How do the authors know Assange had no evidence that the CIA was following him?

    Anyway, I doubt he dressed up as a granny for 2 hours to evade the CIA. But even if he did, I don’t see what the big fucking deal is. Maybe he was having a laugh?

  • 27. John Drinkwater  |  March 4th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Yep. Looks like the only source for the granny claim comes from the anti-Wikileaks, Guardian book. Not to be trusted, for obvious reasons. Still, if this is the best they’ve got on him, well, they ain’t got shit then.

  • 28. Ubi  |  March 4th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Daniel Domscheit-Berg is what Germans would call a “Spießer”, meaning an uptight, slightly nerdy guy who always thinks that HE is right and others are wrong. That HIS way of thinking about things is best. Who gets upset when confronted with other people’s opinions if they differ from his own.

    Now he is mad at Assange for not giving him the “status” he deserves. After all, he spent “soooo” much effort and time on Wikileaks. So he really deserved a higher position, did he not?

    Now he tries his best to annoy/hurt Assange, because he wants Assange to feel “sorry”. The funny thing is: Domscheit-Berg, for all the damage his is unwittingly doing to Wikileaks, is not really a bad person, he just can’t help himself. It’s his character.

    Whatta loser! Even if he would be shocked if somebody told him so: The CIA is probably gloating over the fact that he is causing the damage to Wikileaks that he causes.

  • 29. ardmoth  |  March 4th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    nicely written. most enjoyable. i suspected that Domscheit-Berg was a dill from his tv interviews and wanted to know more but couldnt bring myself to buy his book. thank god i dont have to.

    julian is the balls and brains behind it all. that is patently clear. may he be ultimately successful…and safe.

  • 30. Eddie  |  March 4th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    @John Drinkwater

    All good activists are a little nutty. No completely sane man would risk his life for a cause not directly threatening to him. Following that logic, all soldiers are probably fucked in the brain, as playing where is the sniper and the IED for a cause that has no money, pussy or fame at the end of it is pretty much wasted time. Oh and it all takes place in a hot ass desert.

    So he dresses as a tranny and goes for a stroll.

    Big fucking deal.

    That’s the beauty of life. It is played out with a bunch of irrational semi retarded dimwits. Without them this trip would be a whole lot more boring.

  • 31. John Drinkwater  |  March 4th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Eddie, I agree with you, and I think that’s part of the point of this article. Assange is interesting because he’s eccentric. He’s also a genuine threat to the establishment in part because he’s slightly insane. No completely healthy, normal person could stay calm under pressure like he has. (That cat story, btw, is hilarious…)

    In complete contrast, we have Dom-Berg who will never make a mark precisely because he aspires to be the “responsible” alternative to Assange.

  • 32. Tyr  |  March 4th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    These kind of bitch fights are common among geeks, you’ll see them in most projects when they turn even moderately successful. Eg. Wikipedia vs Citizendium or the more successful OpenBSD split from NetBSD (OpenBSD’s De Raadt is an abrasive geek of the Assange kind.) In geek parlance it’s called “forking” ( http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/F/forked.html ) They are often started by this kind of whiny idiot.

  • 33. Eddie  |  March 4th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    @John Drinkwater

    The guy is just one of many tens of millions of people who for one reason or another no longer believe in the narrative coming out from their governments. We all secretly know that, even his critics. The difference is that instead of privately giving them the finger he actively decided to do something about it.

    Notice that idiots including on this blog really have no rational defense against him. All they can do is to engage in personal attacks.

    Say for arguments sake that they are all true: He is a weird, perverted and tall Australian guy with a complete lack of humor.

    So what? When is this a rational argument against an idea. Ideas and art have a life of their own and stand completely apart from their author. They also have a tendency to outlive their author giving us every idea that we today hold as self evident. Mind you the proponents of this theory never apply this rule universally. The founding fathers for example owned slaves and frequently raped them, I’m pretty sure without using any protection, yet somehow their ideas are considered sacred. (By the way nothing of what they wrote was unique, their ideas can be found in documents far older, sometimes word by word. But that is a different discussion.)

    Another argument I have been hearing against Wikileaks is that they are a product of some brilliant CIA conspiracy. My question to that would be, against WHO? And for what reason? If the conspiracy was against the American diplomatic corps to reveling them to be incompetent by publishing their own documents then it’s really not much of a conspiracy is it?

    But the cake goes to the argument that it is all fabricated. This I hope any intelligent person can dismiss outright. No one would fabricate 250 000 documents to make himself look bad. Not to mention the fact that this would be an Herculean task easily disproved once more facts became known. Not even the government was stupid enough to float this one.

    No, the truth is that Wikileaks is real and proves really embarrassing to the US government. It shows them to be incompetent manipulative hypocrites without much influence in the world. Everyone wants them to fight their own enemies but does not take them more seriously then that. What could be more embarrassing then that?

  • 34. M. Ike  |  March 4th, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    DumbShite-Berk

  • 35. justHarry  |  March 4th, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    @22

    Dummy, pls dont reproduce yourself and your sister…

  • 36. Derp  |  March 5th, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Derp derp! Ann Coulter dresses like a woman all the time so I don’t see what the big deal is, derp derp!

  • 37. wengler  |  March 5th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    There is absolutely no utility to his website. I would not be surprised if it is a vacuum for an international corporate consortium.

  • 38. kerstster  |  March 5th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Looks like the beast is jealous of the beauty…

  • 39. Ann Arquist  |  March 5th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Trying homelessness for six months =
    six months prep at Spooky U.

  • 40. @deanonymous  |  March 6th, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Great stuff but, Well I can’t get past all the torturin’ and nefarious activities Governments have doin’ in our name, not to mention the billions in cash that have been flung around outside the trillions all this bullshit is costing.
    ****Julian wins the coolest man with the biggest balls ever competition hands down.****
    If Julian enjoys a bit of female company that is understandable, and even the best of us might have been seen in a frock, to be unseen is masterful.
    Let us not forget what it is all about.
    WTF have they been feeding us and how do wake our fellow man from the stupor before they put us all under the gun? It’s a different kind of 1939, the 1984 kind.

  • 41. abc123  |  March 6th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I agree with everything in this article. Assange is a narcissistic asshole, but he is an incredibly capable person and that accounts for more than anything else. The idea of replacing him with a social-democratic door mat doesn’t sit well with me.

    On the bright side, it will never happen. Openleaks get 450 000 hits on google and wikileaks get 69 100 000 and it’s very unlikely openleaks will ever get any more attention to itself, other than being known for “that other wikileaks with those people who were pissed of at Assange”.

    Also, it comes with the territory to have that type of personality when you do the kind of thing he does and he is not even that much of an asshole, just a little bit. He has pretty much absorbed all criticism and protected wikileaks, you have to have a strong will for that.

    inb4, yes, I know there are ppl who worship the ground he walks on and don’t like me calling him an asshole, and I don’t care, he is a narcissistic asshole who would fuck himself if he could, live with it.

  • 42. robert j west  |  March 6th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Herr #2 reminds me of Chico Escuela (translation: “School Boy”), played by Garrett Morris, the Weekend Update sports correspondent of Sat Nite Live. A retired Hispanic ballplayer with limited command of the English language, he wrote the tell-all book “Bad Stuff ‘Bout the Mets” (sample: “Tom Seaver – he once borrow Chico’s soap and no give it back”). Har, har. Can I have an AMEN!?

  • 43. GhostUnit  |  March 6th, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I just wanted to say that

    33. Eddie

    made the best post in the thread, check it out

  • 44. John Drinkwater  |  March 7th, 2011 at 9:52 am

    @abc123,

    Gore Vidal defined a narcissist as ‘someone who is better looking than you are’. In Assange’s case, I think it just means ‘someone who is better than you are’.

  • 45. Jerome  |  March 7th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Julian Assange is a CIA patsy. An unwitting patsy, but a patsy nonetheless.

    What was going on right before the diplomatic cable leaks? The TSA evilness, with the United States civil liberties being shat upon by idiots and savages. The US government, not wanting its police state tactics to be shoo’d away by an angry populace, fell upon a common tactic that works so well with Americans: distraction. They leaked the cables (I’m not sure if Bradley Manning was following orders or if he is a patsy too) and manufactured rage against “a common enemy” of the USA. In other words, a play on The Big Lie of Nazi lore, creating an “other” to hate.

    And man, did it work. Was there anything about TSA for the first week when news of the leak hit the airwaves? Hell no, it was all about how Assange was a traitor (never mind that he’s Australian), and how he harmed international relations. Meanwhile, barely a mention of Bradley. He hasn’t even been charges with treason.

    Was there any real harm from these leaked cables? The leaks are pretty much bush league pettiness from disgruntled and bitchy diplomats. There’s no nation wrecking info in the leaks, and nothing really goes higher than “embarrassment”. Does the whining of the power elites help citizens of the world to overthrough the shackles of oppression? Not a damn bit.

    Assange’s quest is noble and righteous, but damn was he used by the US government.

  • 46. Skinner'sHorse  |  March 7th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    @33

    The people who claim Wikileaks is a CIA project are generally 9/11 truthers. They have to account for the fact that Wikileaks hasn’t published documents that show Dick Cheney planned and executed the attacks. They see Wikileaks as a fiendishly clever way of covering up the truth – by publishing unimportant secrets, they distract from what’s really going on.

  • 47. abc123  |  March 7th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    John Drinkwater: It is way to easy to say that. If that were true we would hate a lot more people, who are more successful and better looking than us. Truth is that there is something with Assange that bothers a lot of people, but he still way, way better than anyone else at what he does.

    Also, who the fuck is Gore Vidal?

  • 48. Chas  |  March 8th, 2011 at 8:55 am

    In a similar “Life of Brian” scenario Domscheit would be called a “splitter” and John Cleese would berate him for having such an asinine name: Domscheit, Dom , from Latin Dom for House (Big House) and scheit from German Schissen, shit – Domschiet then a Big House Shit. Sometimes names are appropriate somehow

  • 49. ArgotMay  |  March 8th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    If the world was not owned, I wonder what all these brilliant people would rather do with their time. Makes me glad for huge Earth changes.

  • 50. jess  |  March 8th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I giggled at the whingeing by shite. As an Aussie, I too would comment on narrow roads and the wrong side of the road feeling. And I don’t know anyone who grew up here that doesn’t just eat ovaltine from the packet, and most people wipe their hands on their pants. Despite his name, Shite seems like a bit of a prude and, as said, very bland!

  • 51. Eddie  |  March 8th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    @Skinner’sHorse

    All of these theories are asinine because they leave out the largest factor of human failure. Namely stupidity. I have to look no further then my own life to know that most of my failures in the end come down to me operating on assumptions that where naive, incomplete or faulty. Add to that laziness, wishful thinking and the dynamics of group think and “Voila” you have yourself stupid thought.

    I think it was Goethe who said it best when he wrote: “…misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.”

    Reading some of these diplomatic cables certainly support that view.

    Regarding the Dick Chaney conspiracy in particular I ask you this. Which of these is more likely?

    #1. Dubya and Chaney fucked up, and compounded that initial fuckup by a couple of larger fuckups.

    #2. Dubya and Chaney hatched a brilliant plan that initially worked flawlessly but then resulted in a big fuckup.

  • 52. Skinner'sHorse  |  March 10th, 2011 at 4:03 am

    @51

    Oh, I completely agree with you. I just wanted to point out that those who attack Wikileaks usually have some spurious ulterior motive.

  • 53. Carl Snarly  |  March 10th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence”

    I know we want this guy to turn out to be some sort of duplicitous state informant, but I think Glazov nails it that he is just a small-minded coward. Assange realized this and slowly tried to cut him out of the loop.

  • 54. Eddie  |  March 11th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    @Carl Snarly

    I don’t like that Napoleon quote. It says way too much.

    There is no shortage of malice out there, most of it in the form of greed and blind self interest. But just like Napoleon they use the word ‘never’ in their assumptions.

    In the form of:

    People will never revolt as long as we feed them this stupid shit.

    There will never be a day when the bills come due.

    Even if this all falls apart, it will never affect me.

    And so on. Just like Napoleon they may one day find out that arrogance and hubris have a way of paying for itself.

  • 55. emil  |  March 13th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Domscheiss may well be one in a chain of spooks, with Assange being set up as the final patsy. After all WL was originally intended as a pro-imperial operation.

    Got to say that even Assange is behaving like a piece of shit here. It’s Bradley Manning who made all this happen and they don’t seem to care for him at all while he’s being tortured in a US Gulag.

  • 56. Dimshit  |  March 15th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Nice article Ramon. You got him in a nutshell.
    Dumshit is a just a jealous worm. Saw him interviewed on Lateline ABC (australian tv) First I felt anger at him then just embarrassed for him. No wonder he was so easily used against Assange.
    Thanks for the bit about assange jumping up out of his chair after long periods of sitting and attempting some awkward form of martial arts – had a good laugh. Reminds me of the pink panther. “Kato!”
    Gotta laugh I suppose. Can you imagine all the complete dicks Assange must come across from the intelligence agencies. They think theyre so clever and secretive; all they do is cowardly use virtually unlimited power and resources against dissidents. Protect the powerful from being answerable to society.

  • 57. Kolokol  |  March 17th, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Asssange had nothing to do with Cablegate, even if he says otherwise.

  • 58. Stan  |  March 24th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Manning was a useful idiot and Assange has outlived his usefulness.

    Rather than get into the whole security issue surrounding how Pvt Manning was able to abscond with all of those classified documents while “supposedly downloading” Lady Gaga songs from the web (which defies logic based on how certain computers access communications networks), I’ll just say this:

    Has anyone noticed how all of those supposedly damaging cables have only damned our erstwhile allies and “friends” who have had no problems stabbing us in the back or reneging on their promises/assurances in prosecuting the greater Global War on Terror (I wasn’t supposed to use that term, was I?).

  • 59. Müller  |  April 1st, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Loved it. Want more.

  • 60. postman  |  April 2nd, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Am I the only one who realised that Wikileaks is a controlled intelligence disinfo operation of the LAP, approved by the US, and Julian Assange is a paid actor?
    Get a grip on the real world, folks…

  • 61. MyopicMuppet  |  May 14th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Nobody knows who Julian Assange is so there is a war on to create a 2D image of him that can be packaged and sold. Everybody wants their cut or for things to fall their own way. Ironically who Assange is/was doesn’t matter because the new tech is in place, vilifying him won’t change what has happened and just wastes time, if people want to engage in fantasy, play computer games or watch a film.

  • 62. nb  |  May 28th, 2011 at 2:49 am

    I admire Julian Assange – one of the greatest who ever lived – despise the rat Dumbshit – a clear parasite – leeching off the Assange fame.

    Julian inspires people to engage in intelligent behaviour in society, while Dumbshit only repells people. He is the natural opportunist, only sticks himself to brilliance to get his fair share – and then like the natural opportunist he is – sticks his knife in the back of his benefactor.

    Ramon, I loved this essay so much, I’ve read it three times. A follow-up on Julian’s detractors would be greatly appreciated.

  • 63. Adam  |  August 21st, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    dumbshite-burp has proven the value of his name

  • 64. Espartaniac  |  August 21st, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    @Ubi nailed it.

  • 65. dwain  |  August 22nd, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Assange should be hung as a spy!He is scum of the earth.Just look at photos of any of them connected with Him.They all look like escapees from a mental hospital!

  • 66. Marc  |  August 23rd, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I just have to say, that was epic.

    Don’t think I have read an article that kicks complicity in the balls quite as hard as this did.

    Assange is like most great men, maybe a bit of an arsehole (so 99.999% of humans), bit crazy, but is willing to run through walls to improve the world. Unless you have an army behind you, men like that are often persecuted in their day but sooner or later most will see he had it figured out.

    This Daniel person on the otherhand is clearly not willing to go that far. The kind of person who if he was around in Nazi Germany would have obviously done whatever he was told no matter how abhorrent.

  • 67. deepelemblues  |  August 23rd, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I don’t think he’s very concerned about being called a rat by the likes of Julian Assange or Ramon Gazlov.

  • 68. mt  |  August 25th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I’ve seen what operatives get up to when they are engaged in neutralizing an activist group and the “tells” are all there with Domscheit-berg:

    - drain financial resources
    - block up communications
    - incite discord
    - create confusing and ugly counter narratives to turn off interested outsiders
    - smear and undermine the leadership
    - establish association and then publicly behave badly

    Whatever Wikleaks (or any other leak site) does now, whistle blowers will think twice about taking the risk – “what trust my life to those farking assholes?!”

    Mission accomplished.

  • 69. The Archivist  |  June 21st, 2013 at 8:33 am

    So it’s been a year and a half and here is where Domscheit-Berg is: fucking nowhere. He tried to run some OpenLeaks nonsense which was immediately compromised by German spooks, and since then he has vanished. Julian Assange is still in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and the trial of Bradley Manning is proving to be a kangaroo court. There are still whistleblowers, and right now the media has caught on to government internet surveillance.

  • 70. Jonathan hartley  |  July 30th, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Rival organisations to WikiLeaks are a good thing. While individual ones might be implemented badly, in the general case they should be encouraged and nurtured. They are the god guys! There should be many, so that leakers can see them compete on security & the anonymity of sources, and so that they form a more resilient network than any single organisation.

  • 71. tovangar2  |  August 11th, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Julian may well be rather hard to deal with on a personal level, but I have no doubt I would much prefer him to Shite who sounds unbearable. And who saved Snowden? That’s a debt to Julian I can never even begin to repay.

  • 72. internetguy  |  September 22nd, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    correction, domscheit has not vanished, he was a highly paid consultant for the new Disney produced Wikileaks film the Fifth Estate.

    the film doesn’t touch on the massive US (and other) abuses that Wikileaks revealed.

    in the film the Domscheit character is ever-present, when in fact he had no WL involvement during any of the Cablegate and War Logs revelations.

  • 73. internetguy  |  September 22nd, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    ps – I would consider this a low blow, but he sticks his wife Anke (Microsoft’s “security liason” with the German govt!!!) into the film as a main character, arguing with Assange.

    Assange never met or spoke with Anke. Do yourself a favor and Google Image Search Anke Domscheit and then do the same for Alicia Vikander, the actress who plays her.

    Enjoy your blood money Daniel.


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