Wikileaks and how they listed the veil on US government…and made them very angry.

Wikileaks is a non-profit journalistic organization that aims to bring more transparency to governments around the world. Their slogan is “We open governments”. The best way to describe Wikileaks is the sunshine law on steroids. What a sunshine law is, is a law that is intended to create greater transparency from all agencies of the government by making sure all meetings and information about those meetings are made public. Basically a media outlet, for example the New York Times, just has to file a Freedom of Information Act request and most likely the government should give them the documents they are seeking. However here’s where the steroid part comes in, Wikileaks publishes classified information that governments don’t necessarily want made public. They obtain this information from people with high level security clearance within the governments they are reporting on. The best example is the Iraq War Logs that were published on the Wikileaks website in 2010; the Iraq War logs which added 66,081 civilian deaths out of 109,000 recorded deaths. Which prompted the Iraq Body Count Project to raise their total deaths by 15,000 bringing their grand total to approximately 150,000, roughly 80% were civilians. It was the biggest leak in US Military history. The documents were provided to Wikileaks by Private First Class Bradley Manning who is a trans gender person, male to female, and who now wishes to be called Chelsea Manning. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison but would only have to serve a third of that which brings the sentence 11 years and 8 months or 140 months. Counting good behavior and other considerations she could be released in 8 years. Wikileaks has effectively lifted the veil over all governments and as a result it’s founder and editor in chief, Julian Assange, is currently living in Ecuador on asylum from the US and Sweden. His organization has helped find asylum for famed NSA leaker Edward Snowden who is currently living in Russia on a one year temporary asylum.

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Posted in Important figures in media history

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